Design Block

I have recently started reading this new book with the most peculiar name! You see, part of me day job is to design magazine ads for the company I work for. I get the words from the President himself and make them look pretty. This had been working out seemingly well until the inevitable happened. I had design block.

The entire week was dreadful! Nothing I put to paper looked even remotely worth change for a penny. Me inspiration was nonexistent, which was also adding to me difficulty in finding pictures to match the concept. To top it all off – me boss thought what I had designed was good. Good, he said. He calls that kind of chicken scraps ‘good’? Ring the fire-bells, because we have a problem me lass. No self-respecting graphic artist would let this level of work be seen outside the confines of their own personal Illustrator art-board! So I set out to figure out a solution.
I stumbled upon some online reviews that recommended this book. Couldn’t hurt, right? So I bought it, waited the painful week for it to arrive, and by the time I had it in my possession I could just feel the inspiration and possibilities oozing out of its pages. I purchased “Hey Whipple, Squeeze This!” by Luke Sullivan.
While I may be only a third of the way through the book, already I can rave about its contents. The writing style is free-flowing and enjoyable, while the content being presented is as juicy as my mother’s apple pie. (Which always seems to leave a burnt pile along the bottom of our oven.)
After diving into it, I have yet to be disappointed. There is one particular passage I keep coming back to. Luke identifies and explains “how the creative process is exactly like washing a pig.” And I joke none here, he is so spot on! From the feeling of uselessness at the beginning, to the final moment when the ‘client’ changes his mind and wants a totally different thing than what ye’ve agonized over for two days. It was comforting to hear that this process is normal. I’m not doing it wrong, after all!
It’s not all about the images, or the tagline. It’s both. This was a concept I had been fighting with for the previous months leading up to reading this book. I would find the perfect image, and it would get rejected. I would add an image to what I thought was a finalized tagline, and they would change it. I was rather frustrated. But now, I am playing with the balance between them, and learning to accept the changes that are bound to come me way.
I highly recommend this book. Once I’ve finished it I may write a wee bit more on an overall opinion on it. So far, it’s been a great tool to get me out of me rut and back into the game!
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