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I Can’t…

So there I am, standing at the top of the ramp, one foot on the skateboard, mind racing.

NegMe: “I CAN’T!!”
PosMe: “It’s fine, it’s the same size as the other ramp.”
NegMe: “They’re totally different. That one is a straight incline, this one has an imperceivably slight curve in it!!”
PosMe: “The kids can do it, they’ve been running this ramp all afternoon!”
NegMe: “So..?”
PosMe: “Remember, that thing you dreamed of being able to do when you started this skating journey? The ramp will give you enough speed to carve the bowl at the other end. GO FOR IT!”

Ever had this conflicting head chatter as you are confronted with a new challenge?

I call this the designers dilemma. Intrinsically I know I can take on any design job and nail it.  So I take on the job, reassure the client that every single one of his requirements from the brief will be met, just leave it to me. I’m super excited and ready to tackle the job head on!

I sit down to start the project and doubt creeps in. My mind goes into overdrive. “What am I doing!?! Holy Shit, I’ve over sold my abilities, I’m a hack, the client hates me and I haven’t even started yet!  Where did that hour go!?! Where did that DAY go!!??!! I’m so screwed..!”

I know the rest of the designers out there will know what I’m talking about. The fear of that first step. The doubt that creeps in just before you put pencil to paper…

And then I take a breath and start.  I block out the negatives, the mind chatter, put pencil to paper and just start drawing.  I draw everything that comes to mind.  I draw every single cliché that’s even closely related to the design brief I can think of.

Then I look at those desperate scribblings and I start again, having cleared the decks of the noise and clutter, letting inspiration unfold. This, by the way is usually at 2:53am, but with the goal now firmly in my sights, the creative process begins and with it returns my confidence in my craft.

Ever since I took up skateboarding (a whole 6 months ago) I’ve had a dream of cruising around the skatepark, carving the bowls and just being in the flow.

I had my first taste of that goal today. The first hurdle, a simple case of the I Can’t’s. That and a ramp no higher than my knee with a clear exit that my kids (3 and 4) had been riding with ease for the past 2 weeks.

All I had to do was commit. Start. Roll down the damn ramp and when I finally did it, it was the least scary event of my life. It was all in my head (as it usually is), and pushing down that ramp gave me a shot at my goal. I carved the bowl (and by carved I mean went about 23cm up the ramp…) and achieved what I had set out to do.

And I did it again and again and again feeling well chuffed with my mad skills, until Dexter stepped up went down the big ramp, and then Araylia went down the big ramp… and as I climbed to the top of that ramp my mind started up again. “I Can’t!”


The Next Challenge…


Damo is our creative director at Inkandescent, a boutique design studio focused on branding businesses in and around Perth, Western Australia. As specialists in unique branding applications, we strive to dig out your passion for your business, and build your brand around it to attract customers you want to work with.

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