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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-Challence

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.

Check us out on Facebook to keep up to date with our day to day shenanigans, and inspirational insights into the world of brand design.

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Swapping Heads

There are so many ways I hone my skills in my business, short courses, seminars, industry nights, networking events, marketing retreats and seeking out other designers for inspiration, but none are quite so exciting as the head swap.

I started out my career as a colour printing specialist at print bureau in Subiaco. I learnt a lot about design just by observing what came by my desk for printing. Amazing work from high end marketing firms and local freelance designers, to the tragic self made work party invitation from Mr Have’a’go, made in Word using Comic Sans and clipart in his half hour lunch break (personally I loved these for their sheer randomness…)

Then came the day that a swimsuit calendar print job landed on my desk. Yes the feature lady was hot, but there was something about her pose that reminded me of one of my colleagues… Having recently been promoted to supervisor, this particular colleague was throwing his weight around, but having been one of us print monkeys only 2 weeks before, I took it upon myself to impose a reality check.

So I dug out some photos from a recent work party and set about find one that had the same angles, lighting etc. and set out to have my revenge.

Being my first attempt, I had basic knowledge of the tools at my disposal and the finished result was passable. I printed off a few copies and stuck one to the aircon piping above his desk. He saw the poster later that day and thought nothing of it. It was only after closer inspection the next day that he noticed that was his head on the body of the bikini model.

But as with many great moments in history, the original has been lost amongst the archives. I have however managed to dig out a few others…

Lester-Head-Swap

A cunning cover up of an ex colleague on the Xmas Party invite.

This one was a bit of fun… I figured hey, they’re celebrating a work anniversary together, surely they wouldn’t mind me depicting them having a cuddle so I could layout the invite correctly. And surely they wouldn’t mind if I put an A3 poster of this on the kitchen door of every floor on the building…

Cuddles

Photograph has been altered to protect the innocent

Since then, I’ve swapped many heads, every time finding new techniques to blend, add shadow, and adjust skin tones for a near seamless finish. Occasionally the subject of my manipulation sees the results, but for me it’s as much a cathartic release as it is a way to sharpen my skills. I’ve honed them to a point where photo editing for my clients is now an easy process. It is a skill I use daily, and is a profitable part of my business, a skill learnt through having fun, and so it makes my work day fun.

I still do the occasional head swap, but it’s usually swapping my kids faces onto disney cartoon characters for birthday party invitations. I always get a kick out of showing them, their reactions are priceless.

Birthday party invite for my youngest two monkeys

This one is my favourite one to date… My beautiful princess.

Birthday party invite for Vanellope Von Sweet’s #1 Fan…

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.

Check us out on Facebook to keep up to date with our day to day shenanigans, and inspirational insights into the world of brand design.

    WRECK-IT RALPH (Pictured) Diet Cola Mountain in the video game world of Sugar Rush. Copyright 2012 Disney. All Rights Reserved.
    WRECK-IT RALPH (Pictured) Vanelope Von-Schweetz. Copyright 2012 Disney. All Rights Reserved.
    PETER PAN (pictured) Characters from the original Peter Pan movie. Copyright 1953 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

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