For anyone who hasn't read the other side of this blog you might want to check it out as a contrast to how something can seem negative to one and positive to another.
Yes, Jason and I went to Sundance. Yes, Jason was a tad bit....unprepared... I, on the other hand have discovered something completely wonderful: I knew what this woman wanted. I understood the "Greek" that was flowing from her lips and was able to interpret clearly to Jase after our "meeting" so he understood what was expected of him the next time he decided to take a trip back up the mountain. It is amazing to see something that I was already putting into action in my life verified! (As some of you may know I am opening a shop on Etsy next month and have been buying small items here and there from various sellers to see how they package their product, the quality of said products, etc etc so I will be prepared for when my small shop opens. I plan to know what my product will sell for, have my packaging figured out, my product line ready to go and my marketing tools in place before I even sign up for a shop.) It is called market research (though the girlie side of me just looks at it as justification for buying some cute stuff!)
Jason walked away from that meeting totally confused (understandable...she threw a lot of info at him really fast) and a bit bummed. It wasn't his work he was critiquing....just his lack of preparation (anyone else hear Scar in the background warbling out "Be Prepared"? No? Just me then....) It all comes down to what you want to focus on, doesn't it? Here Jason walked away feeling like an idiot (his words, not mine!) and with a "what's the use" attitude when really this woman was telling him she liked what she saw.
How many of us do not REALLY listen to the creative criticism around us? I know I am guilty of this. All we hear is the negative and not take into consideration the good advice that comes with it! Case in point: my design class. The teacher flat out told me I had no understanding of color and that I need to start looking at what inspires me and start thinking about why I respond to certain images, colors, words. He was right. My final assignment in that class was that Alaskan travel brochure that I mentioned a few blogs back. I threw myself into that assignment, I thought about my color choices, wording, images. I thought of my target audience and went forward. Some things didn't fit and I had to scrap a few ideas along the way. After my teacher's comments I was hesitant to send him this assignment, thinking that even though I liked what I saw that he would point out yet another reason I had no business in design (NOTE--THE INSTRUCTOR NEVER SAID THAT...THAT WAS MY INTERPRETATION FROM HIS CREATIVE CRITICISM!) To my shock I found out Tuesday that my instructor loved the work. In his words "Very good". Coming from this instructor this is high praise indeed. His assistant (who is teaching my illustrator class) was standing nearby and listened to this instructor as he went through my assingment, finding no fault along the way. The assistant leaned over after my old instructor walked off and asked if I knew what "Very good" really meant. I shook my head no. The assistant smiled and quietly said, "It means it could be taken to the client exactly how it is right now and be published". You could have knocked me over with a feather. Seriously. I was on a cloud for the rest of the night over that one. Not just the praise...but I suddenly realized that I COULD BE A GRAPHIC DESIGNER! I can honestly accomplish this. I can take that negative little voice in the back of my head that says "see, you're no good, why do you even bother" and flush that sucker down the drain. Open up some mental windows and let the sun in!
Preparation is a wonderful thing....but cutting yourself some slack, realizing your human and (therefore) make mistakes can help keep you from being your own worst critic. Jason and I both have wonderful opportunities in front of ourselves if we just(as he so perfectly put it) do our homework.