Thursday, July 17, 2014

Terrifying Courage

My friends are ridiculously talented. Like, it's kind of crazy.

They're performing on Broadway - or promoters for Broadway shows.
They're small business owners.
They're talented graphic designers and website developers.
They're skilled fund-raisers.
They're in medical school and kicking booty.
They're tech geniuses - like for real. (Erick, I'm looking at you)
They're travel for a living and visit amazing locations.
They're planning large-scale meetings and conferences and events.

My friends are movers and shakers and seers and doers. (Okay, is it just me or do those last two look like they're misspelled? I googled just to make sure.)

They're experts in their fields. And I am terrified - TERRIFIED - to ever even inch my way into any of their domains.

Now, as you know from yesterday's post, I am a confident girl. But as I also mentioned, there are some areas where I'm less than confident in my abilities.

Illustrator. Yep, that's a biggie. 

I want to be a skilled user of the program - so desperately. I want to know how to use the tools and use them well. 

Of all of the categories of talented friends that I have listed above, I'd say that a good chunk of my friends fall into the category of skilled graphic designers. Talk about intimidating. My first experience with Illustrator was during the Digital Creative Workshop back in February, and currently, I'm halfway through the curriculum of my second Illustrator class. 

Here I am learning how to combine two shapes into a teardrop shape, and I think it's the coolest thing ever, yet it's child's play to them. I have a couple of designer friends who have been unbelievably supportive as I've sent them my homework assignments for feedback.

I am timidly proud of what I'm turning out. Timid because I know that there is good design and there's bad design - and in the beginning, it's all bad design. But to me, it feels monumental and amazingly successful!

I created something. I. Made. That!

Before I left for my trip to NYC, I found the courage to post one of the homework assignments on Instagram. 

Okay, can we have a real moment here for a second? I was terrified. Like, I think I considered deleting it 4 or 5 times after I posted the photo. But you know what? My friends rallied and were incredibly supportive! 

So here I am, about to post that homework assignment - plus a couple more. I have been thinking about this post for a week - a WEEK! 

As I wrote yesterday's post on confidence, I decided that today would be the day that I muster up the courage to rip off the bandaid and just do it. I'm going to share my work with you and be vulnerable. 

This is a set of skills that I am not yet confident in - and it is going to take quite some time, and undoubtedly quite a lot of bad design, for me to finally feel like I've got my bearings. 

To be honest, it feels comparable to me going on Iron Chef right now to battle Bobby Flay. "Errrrrrr, would the judges be impressed with cereal? Maybe bacon and eggs? Because that's about all I can whip up right now."

Ok, Newton. Do it. Rip off the band-aid. 

Here are my first two week's of Illustrator assignments, thanks to Nicole's Classes. (It also needs to be said that the instructor, Holly, has the best English accent - so listening to her teach the class is extra fun!)

Week 1, Assignment 1: Create a set of symbols/icons for an online city map of places to visit. An icon for museums, shopping, restaurants & entertainment.

Week 1, Assignment 2: Create a set of online navigation symbols/icons for a zoos website.

Week 2: Design a logo and associated icons for a new company.

You can see the influence of my job (and our goal of making downtown a better place to work, play, and live) in the kind of company that I decided to create! That and the fact that I ball up pieces of paper all the time because my handwriting doesn't look good enough. #perfectionist

Hm, that wasn't so painful.

I have two more weeks in this class and then I'll be an expert! Totally kidding. I have many (many) months of practice ahead of me. I know I'll get better day by day. I have confidence in that!

Oh, and this is my current desktop background. It's my own personal cheering section while I learn and practice... and watched HGTV while housesitting for JPS. #WeekendMultitasker

Thanks for reading and for not judging the design quality - or not judging it too harshly!

xoxo, E

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