A few months ago I wrote to my pen pal and long time friend, Whitney, about some struggles I was having as an artist. She owns her own photography business and also has two young kids with her at home. Lately I've overwhelmed, confused, and insecure about my direction as a designer. My letter to her centered around two questions: how to I balance business and life, and how do I create a style that is only mine? I addition to her return letter filled with wise advice (I'll work on getting permission to quote it), it seems like answers have been coming from everywhere:
1. That same week, the famous designer Rachael Taylor (who runs surface design class that is way too $$$ for me to take but I would love to), announced a free 5 part series on "Developing your Signature Style". The videos are only free for three more days so check them out while you can!
2. A few weeks after that, Design Sponge wrote an article titled 50 Shades of Grey: Copying and Credit in the Design World which brought up many important issues about trends, influence, and copying. I feel like I need to have a book club discussion about it.
3. I found and read Steal Like an Artist in an hour. The premise is that you are a collaboration of all you take in. All good artists steal from their heroes. I particularly loved the quote, "fake it 'til you make it" because it gave validation to exactly what I feel like I'm doing every day.
4. That same day I rushed to the library with both kids in tow to check out Kleon's other book, Show Your Work! This book was even better, if that's possible. He shows how you should give freely to the world and the world will give back. These are books that I'm going to reread every couple of months--they are that good. Every page is quotable.
It was amazing that I found these things at the same time I needed them. I am not alone in asking these questions! That thought is very comforting because I assumed that these were questions that amateurs or untrained artists asked. It seems like there isn't one right answer, and lots of grey area. I figured that I would do my thinking and research on the blog so that I could possibly help other creators out there who wonder the same things.
As part of this process, I seek your opinion and advice. I want to hear from other creators. What do you struggle with? What resources have you found that help?
Hi! I'm Rachel and welcome to Citrus and Mint! Here you will find unique hand drawn illustrations for yourself or someone you love.
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