My Slump [My Slump, My Slump, My Slump]

Note to self: Stop comparing yourself to others. It all started with an Instagram stalk sesh. You know what I’m talking about…when you’re on your explore page and one profile leads to another. Next thing you know, you’re 128 weeks back on someone’s page and you feel like you know their life. Well, the people I happen to stalk today were super creative, crafty girls. And then it got me thinking about my career and art and wondering if it’s even my passion. I was spiraling like Dorothy in that tornado.

So step one was to mope, a lot, and resist the urge to throw my phone across the center in frustration (oh, I’m at work tonight). Next step was to text the Boyfriend about my feelings of inadequacy. Like the loving, supportive man that he is, he immediately fed me the words of affirmation I desperately needed. He even threw in a HIMYM reference; definitely my person. Last thing I did was Google “how to get out of a creative slump.” Browsed through a few articles, got a re-energized attitude about being pro-active in improving my art, and took the simple advice of one blogger who said to write about your slump. Thus, here I am.

If I think about it, there are several things I can do to get the right side of my brain moving again: Start using my coloring book again, get a change of scenery (this past weekend was a good start), break my routine, keep a sketchbook and don’t hold back on it (I often get so caught up in trying to make something perfect that I don’t even try in the end), finish one of my three incomplete vlogs, get back into calligraphy, de-clutter my room and my mind…the list goes on.

If you have any suggestions, holluh atcha gurl. Let’s get crafty, bastards (#bars #puns). In the meantime and I’ll leave y’all with this bumpin’ Afro jam that gives me life.

Mastering Your Craft, Pt. II

  1. Take a calligraphy workshop
  2. Buy a starter calligraphy set
  3. Buy print production books
  4. Take a print class (screen, letterpress, print making, etc.)
  5. Visit a printing company’s facility
  6. Re-brand myself
  7. Take on small side-projects

In July, I published this post about taking steps toward mastering my craft. Five months later and I’m finally doing it. I’m slow to start, but being creative feels great.

Two nights ago I came across this mesmerizing video. I watched it on full volume with my eyes fixed on the screen for the entire 10 minutes. It made me want to pick up a quill and draft the Declaration of Independence. Y’know, or something like that.

So yesterday, with no projects to work on at the office, I took out the notebook that permanently resides in my bag and started practicing my calligraphy. It wasn’t with an actual calligraphy pen. Just a felt tip one I used to fake my way through the alphabet, remembering the brief lesson I had in one of my capstone graphic design classes. Even though it wasn’t true calligraphy it felt so satisfying and exhilarating. I spent the entire day writing words, looking for pens, nibs, and ink, researching calligraphy classes (Found one in the area. For $250 though?!), and browsing through calligrapher’s blogs and Instagram feeds.

This holiday season, please remember those less fortunate than you. Donate to the ‘Michelle Desperately Wants to Take a Calligraphy Class’ fund today and make a cheap woman very happy.

When I got home from my part-time I rushed to my local Michaels’ Arts & Crafts store and spent an hour deciding on which pens to buy. Then I spent the rest of my night like a kindergartner, practicing my alphabet and writing words over and over again. I have a writing callous the size of a marble as proof.

The side projects have also been flowing in. And by flowing, I mean more of a trickle. Maybe three drops. I won’t divulge into them as much for client-designer confidentiality purposes. Very fancy stuff. Insert business jargon here. Connectitude. Transformatation. Just know they exist and they’re keeping me busy outside of the office, okay!

So at the rate I’m going I should have the rest of my list done in… February 2016. See you then.

Mastering Your Craft

I recently took on new responsibilities at work as a Production Coordinator. My first feelings about this were excitement and glee. A new position! New skill set! Hoorays all around! But then reality sunk in and I panicked. I realized I knew next to nothing about printing. You know, besides ctrl + P. Sure, I had thrown a bleed mark around all my projects, but why exactly did I really need that? And I had to talk to people. Like on the phone. A huge phobia for me since the day that agitated Pizza Hut worker scarred 10 year-old me. I frantically hung up the phone after being unable to decipher the quickly spit out words she said under her thick accent.

Well, the past few weeks have been completely educational for me. I’ve learned so much about production – the types of paper, ink, presses. And I’ve managed to make a few calls without hyperventilating.

Thus naturally I started forming a list in my head. Of things I wanted to do and products I wanted to buy. But instead of its usual lustful reasoning, this was all for the knowledge. I want to do my job, yes. But I also want to understand and immerse myself and do it well.

  1. Take a calligraphy workshop
  2. Buy a starter calligraphy set
  3. Buy print production books
  4. Take a print class (screen, letterpress, print making, etc.)
  5. Visit a printing company’s facility
  6. Re-brand myself
  7. Take on small side-projects

Bottom line, I’m excited to be excited about my craft again and I forgot how much I love learning.