Potty training, what? I know I know, the title is a bit odd given what I do. But in my mind, as I was cleaning up the bathroom and reveling in my small victory, I realized all the stuff I do as a graphic designer is a lot like potty training.
My daughter is ready for potty training and has been for a while. She tells me when she had gone in her diaper and that I need to get her a new one. By the way, she never tells her dad; I digress. So on Friday the 17th of August in this year of Two Thousand and Eighteen, I declared, “thats it, no more diapers!”. I am nuts (that went through my mind a few times)!
It has been a week and I stuck with it, trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Trying this, that and the other thing and then banging my head (and hands) against the wall a few times. What were we doing wrong, why does this not feel right? Then it clicked, I need to just left it flow (get it?). I couldn’t force something that would eventually happen naturally and with ease. I just had to be calm and let it be the right time. Nonetheless, it is still defeating to not be any closer than we were a week ago. The girl can hold it like none other!
Potty Training & Design Work
Ah, yes, I got off task. How does potty training relate to my design work? Sometimes it just flows and other times it just doesn’t.
When it flows, I am in the zone, the creative juices pour onto the page and I end up with more ideas that I know what to do with. I can create five invitations from one simple idea. Three hours can pass and it feels like I just sat down; I love that feeling so much. I live for that feeling. The feeling of accomplishment, the feeling of loving what I do.
When it doesn’t, however, I stare at the blank art board in Illustrator and can’t make it work. I play around with the elements I like and nothing flows. It is a truly defeating experience when I hit a road block. With that said, if I sit at the road block long enough and switch my design perspective, that is when the magic happens. The pieces start to fit and I am moving in the right direction again.
So, in conclusion, potty training is a lot like design work (or anything for that matter). We will hit road blocks, it’s inevitable. Finding an alternative route allows us to grow as individuals. Furthermore, it allows us to gain knowledge where there might have been none otherwise.
What are some road blocks you have dealt with and how did you deal with them to move forward?