Over the two years, I was able to combine my love of design with my passion for climbing... the result being the 2019 edition of the New Brunswick Guide to Climbing.
You may not know this about me, but I love exercise. I'm not obsessive over it, but it's definitely a big part of my life. With that in mind, I created an infographic that is designed to encourage people who are considering incorporating weight training into their lifestyle, but are nervous about it! I wanted to steer clear of those typical, beefy infographics, that show huge and muscular people... that's not always someone's goal!
graphic design, art, infographic, weight training, exercise, hobbies, retro
As I grow and develop different interests and tastes, I find I have to continually remind myself that there are no real set "rules" to anything in life.
In my own life, I've always created expectations and rules for the things I do. What are the exact steps to writing my own thoughts down? There must be a guideline to painting, and if I don't follow it, I will look like a fool! My goodness, how terrible!
I can tell you now, this is an awful attitude, and I've been struggling against it since I was a kid. I was on a softball team as a child (it was one of the many, very short-lived activities that I tried), and I retain one vivid memory from that time:
Us little tykes were all lined up, in our typical order of alphabetical by last name, waiting for a turn to bat. Little did I know, my sweet mom had suggested to the coach that it might be nice to reverse the order (my last name, Schneider, ensured that I was never first in any activity... in this case, I was absolute last). So the coach announced that "Anna Schneider is up first!".
I stared at him. This did not make any sense. I was always last. So I told him that.
"No, no, Anna, you're first today", he answered. I stared at him again, feeling my face grow hot with embarrassment, the prickle of tears, my throat going tight.
"No," I remember whispering, "I go last".
This continued on for a little bit. I believe the poor, bewildered coach managed to eventually coerce me into hitting the ball first... but my night had been ruined. I was devastated.
Well... I can laugh about it now. But why am I remembering this when I design?
It's the one memory I draw on the most whenever I start to get caught up on my own self-imposed rules. Thinking about it allows me to take a step back, question my current thoughts and attitudes about something (such as an assignment, or something for a client), and realize that there is no set rule for this particular piece... because I haven't created it yet. Yes, there are suggestions, principles, and guidelines, but no, there aren't any damn rules.
So, as a parting thought, let me ask you... have you ever created false rules and expectations in your head, only to realize that they don't actually exist?
How often do you start an art project with no real end goal in mind?
Recently, I've been a little too occupied with the "why" of my art. Before I delve into a new project, I ask "will this make me money?", or "can this be a good portfolio piece?", or maybe even "could I give this as a gift?". More often than not, if I don't have a clear reason for creating something, I won't even bother to start.
That's not a healthy attitude.
If you stop creating those random pieces, you stop doing art for yourself. A major benefit of art is that it is therapeutic, but you lose that benefit as soon as you introduce the possibility of failure. If you have created a goal in mind, then you have also created the possibility of failure.
There is no shame in making something that you can't use for money or approval... because, in the end, you've made it for yourself. So that's what I've been working on lately- creating for no reason. And you know, I've been feeling more creative (and lucrative). Go figure!
My suggestion for you- go do an art project that you will never show another person.