Ever taken on a project and been like, well okay, fuck…. this is kind of uncomfortable. How do I get from point A, this blank page, to point B, something that these people are going to like when this is so out of what I would normally do?
My husband really, really likes toys. He goes out at least once a week with his toy buddies and they will spend hours driving from town to town hitting up Walmart’s, Walgreens, Targets, and any other place that sells toys. He calls it “The Hunt”. He has a monthly budget to purchase whatever he wants (within that limit) but it’s not always about buying the actual toy so much as it is “finding it in the wild” as he says. The photos below shows his pride and joy, The Toy Room.
My husband and his friends decided a few months ago that they were going to start up a DIY Toy Zine with a bunch of things about toys. He’s been planning it out for a while now and one day while we were talking over coffee he says “Wife, I need a logo.” I look at him blankly and say okay….meanwhile in my head I’m like well, my style is slightly different than something 4 grown men who like toys may like, but okay. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve designed almost every logo he’s used for every project he’s had including his bands. I’ve designed band flyers and t-shirts. But this one felt different. I wanted to give him something I could be proud of and that he could be proud of. I’ve grown as an artist a million times over since the last time I made anything specifically for him.
He mentioned it that one time and I kind of forgot about it. But he didn’t. He brought it up to me again over coffee and I asked him to help give me a more clear idea of what he was looking for. After brainstorming a little bit he actually went into pretty good detail of what he wanted it to look like but I was still reluctant.
So a few weeks pass and he asks again if I could work on it for him and I decided I would finally set aside some time to figure it out. But every artist knows that you can set aside all the time in the world. It’s not always about time, it’s more about inspiration. I sat at my desk drawing a blank of what it should look like or how I should even approach this problem. (I should say that 2 of the 4 guys helping with the zine are actually really fucking fantastic artists.) I felt slightly out of my element and actually was second guessing my ability. I think I even asked the question “Dude. This is something a dude should do. I don’t think I’m cut out for this.”
And then I said fuck it and just started drawing. And guess what, the design just kind of flowed out of me onto the paper. I didn’t have to force it, or second guess, or wonder. It just felt right and I went with it.
Fast forward a few hours and I finished the piece. I showed him the finished design and he freaked out. He loved it. In my head though I was still worried about these 2 other brilliant artists seeing it. In the end though, everyone liked it. I’m a pretty happy girl.
This logo totally took me out of my comfort zone and to be honest I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it or that I even could.
This is a little reminder: When you hit the uncomfortable bits, or come across a project that challenges you as an artist, do not shy away from it. Tackle it head on like the boss bitch that you are and do not look back. You will surprise yourself.