We have our minds set on it: We want to apply to grad school, write our novel, develop the app, start the relief effort, or plan our wedding. Our mission is clear. Suddenly, something magical happens: tedious work turns into mission tasks under the light of our motivation and determination for the major goal.
My mission was: I want to do illustrations for a living. I quickly realized that making “beautiful” drawings wasn’t enough. I needed a website, used social networks, designed advertising materials, wrote my first invoices, improved my English, and visited fairs and events. I even picked up the phone to call agencies and drove to distant cities to deliver my postcards in person. That’s something I would never have done before. Suddenly, I was a programmer, social media expert, graphic designer, salesman, and I read books only in English.
Each task on its own would not have brought me joy. On the contrary, I would have hated them. But since they served my mission, all negative feelings disappeared. I just did it.
In Italy there is a saying, “Hai voluto la bicicletta? Adesso pedala.”, “You wanted a bike, right? Now pedal!” I used to roll my eyes every time my father said this. But it just seems to be true: We can’t have one without the other. And when it’s blowing the warm summer wind in your face, pedaling is fun, too.
“Do it once to lose the fear of it. Do it twice to understand how it works. Do it three times to see if you even want to do it.”
To find your own style, a series of work on a particular subject is mainly, but not only valuable in illustration. Whether for the application portfolio for college or for the first job afterward. Series not only help us in our personal development, but they also say a lot about ourselves. More about this topic soon.
At first, it tastes bitter, and you want to spit it out. But once it is down, it works wonders.
This only applies to constructive criticism. Criticism has the sole purpose of bringing the criticized person closer to her goal. This can be during the logo design process, the realization of a business idea, or the improvement of shooting techniques in football.
“Why” questions shake the core of an idea and determine if it will stand afterward. “Why did you use that color?”, “Why did you use that font and not this one?”, “Why that particular format?”. They are the first stress test for an idea, and at the same time, the viewer gets a first impression of the thought processes of the creator. These can serve as a basis for both sides before getting down to the nitty-gritty.
There is a fundamental difference between loneliness and solitude: Loneliness is a state that is always related to our fellow human beings. Being stranded on an island, cut off from all people, makes us feel lonely. We can also feel loneliness even though we are with or surrounded by other people. For example, we can be out with our friends and still feel lonely because we lack a partner. We can move to a foreign city to study and still feel lonely, even though we meet dozens of other students every day. Loneliness has nothing to do with ourselves.
The moment we face it and overcome it, we absorb its energy and transform it in our favor. We feel pride, relief, and confidence that we will make it again the next time. It becomes our ally for the future and helps us to grow. In short, we grow.