Did I just dream the past couple months? Maybe I did. Or maybe the whole mess was just a reverse weeping angel from Doctor Who, and each time I turn my back or blink, the good runs away from me instead of the bad getting closer. Alright I'm over it. I'm over the feeling of opening up a new blog post, wanting to say something great, and saying nothing instead. It's been a few months since I blogged "regularly" and I'm JUST SICK AND TIRED OF IT. I want to talk about the future today, long term and short term. I also want to talk about inspiration and what I look to for help when my pool of creative energy is drained.
A month or two ago I was talking to Rachel (who is responsible for making the tastiest food ever. you should go see for yourself) about blog design, and she sent me a link to an Etsy shop that had little vector illustrations and blog buttons for sale. A little voice popped out of the heavens and yelled, "Hannawhyaren'tyoudoingthis?!" and so I put the idea into short-term storage in my brain, expecting to pull it out at the first available moment when I had free time and motivation. That moment never came. For a long time I've felt like I wanted to do something with the little drawings that I do, but I've kept myself from taking it anywhere because I'm a big scary perfectionist that never feels like anything I do is good enough. I'm still learning; I'm always learning. I don't take the time to make my lines perfect or straight because I HATE the process of creating an idea. If it's in my head, I need it to be on paper or finished in front of me or else I lose all interest almost immediately. It's why freelancing was such a chore. I'd get so excited to take on new clients because I had so many ideas and could picture the finished products in my portfolio, but when it came to implementing those ideas I just felt miserable.
It also explains why I struggle to put anything up for sale. It's not the fact that I don't want to bring money into it - it's that the process of finding a printer, paying for it to be printed, preparing files for print, shipping purchases to people...it makes me so unhappy that I just stop doing it altogether, and so I get nowhere.
What I need is a partner that wants to take care of the process and let me take care of the ideas.
It's a huge part of my personal life, too. If I look at relationships I've had (friendships or otherwise), I'm very rarely present for the process of being with someone - I'm more interested in the idea of being close to someone and what that means and how it's represented visually and audibly and how it makes me feel. Being friends with someone or being with someone means something very specific to me, and unless I happen to stumble upon someone that shares the same idea, I usually retreat and only come out when I have to. I am always an observer rather than a doer. Always.
So what next? I guess I get over myself and spend the time to make something that I can monetize or care about. If I figure out a foolproof way to make myself enjoy that process, I'll blog about it. In the past I've gotten through big freelance projects by making a good playlist, making sure my room was spotless (can't focus otherwise) and wearing comfy clothes. I actually prepared to have my wisdom teeth out in the same exact way, which should give you an idea of how much I hate creating my own ideas lol. It's like I can only deal with something I dislike if everything else is perfectly situated; otherwise, I feel like the bad infiltrates the good and everything is wrong.
Some things that inspire me as a designer and artist and human-relationship-haver:
- Pinterest. I unfollowed almost all of my family and friends and only follow artists and bloggers with a fine-tuned eye for the kind of visuals that inspire me. I NEVER want to look at weight loss secrets, mason jar recipes, home organizational tips, nail art, felted crafts, and chevron patterns ever again (please take no offense if you're into that, I just...cannot.)
- Designspiration.net. It doesn't change as often as Pinterest, but I find myself here multiple times per day because everything is so beautiful. I find color palettes, patterns, concepts, and typography here that sticks with me.
- The #moleskine and #handlettering hashtags on Instagram. It's just a constantly-changing stream of people's ideas put on paper. I spend a lot of time there.
- The VSCO blog. I probably annoy everyone with my #vscocam shit on Instagram, but it's there because I have a VSCO grid and I am always inspired by the things people come up with while using that app or software to edit their photos. If you don't know what it is and you take pictures and you have an iPhone or Android, you're fucking blowing it. I also love scrolling through the features that they do - it's not just a set of photos, it's an entire lifestyle post with an interview and a story. Stop using ugly Instagram filters and use VSCO, I promise you it's worth the time it takes to download the app.