Towards the back end of 2012 I became increasingly aware that I had sunken into my studio chair and become a design machine. Ploughing through client work with no real emotional investment in the end result. For some creatives this is enough, but I kept finding myself trying to push certain client projects more than they’d feel comfortable with for the sake of my own creative self-satisfaction.
I soon became aware I was not happy with the design work I was pushing out and found I was missing the freedom that comes with self-initiated work. This was my own fault. I had fallen into a routine where I was no longer pushing myself and lacked the motivation and drive needed within the work place. Reciting all the reasons why I enjoyed creating design work helped me understand what I needed to do next. The answer was simple: Get pro-active.
At the time I had no self-initiated projects on and I wasn’t planning any either. I was missing my pens and pencils and couldn’t remember the last time I had created a piece of design I was proud of. The Christmas break gave me time to reflect and I soon compiled a list of goals I wanted to achieve in 2013. This wasn’t a new years resolution list as such, this was the cold realisation that I wasn’t doing enough and I needed to improve as a designer and a member of the Fiasco Design team.
I didn’t want to create self-initiated projects for the sake of it, so I jumped in the deep end and contacted a couple of my favourite bands who are based out in California. By asking if they’d be interested in collaborating, I was lucky enough to get a decent response, which resulted in a some poster designs for a US bands forthcoming tour. As the saying goes, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get”.
Since the tour poster project, my head has been full with new ideas and projects that I want to start. I’m now finding inspiration pretty much everywhere and I’m slowly and steadily filling my sketchbook up again with new design concepts ready to be worked up. I’ve also started hand rendering type again and have finally delved into the world of Cinema 4D.
Setting up my own creative projects and approaching people of interest away from client work has not only helped to push my skills further but has forwarded my creative thinkings and helped me regain my passion for design. A blank sheet of paper can be one of the most daunting things when you’re looking to kick start that next great idea and it takes confidence to make that first mark. If you’re struggling to get motivated, remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. Creativity comes from a belief in yourself and your own abilities. So take the leap and put pen to paper. You never know what the result might be.