Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Gap Between Our Taste and Our Own Work

When I started this blog in 2008, one of the first subjects I wrote about was my taste and what I am attracted to as compared to what I create and how different they are. I noted that I felt it was just part of the process of becoming that separated the quality and aesthetic style of my work from what I am attracted to and aspire to be. Since this particular post, while my work has improved, it still is no match to my own taste. This does frustrate me quite often and at times, I question myself and my path as an artist/designer. But my passion for both leaves me no choice but to remain patient and diligent, so I try to continue remind myself that I am still on the path of becoming or of measuring up to my own taste preferences and that as long as I remain practiced, with my goal in sight, I will, one day be what I've always admired in some of my favorite artists/designers.

I have never really been able to explain this whole idea very well and how I feel when I see artwork/design that is at the level that I wish my own work would be in terms of craft and execution...until today, when I came across a quote, that when read, caused an involuntary, "YES!" (with fist in air) to echo from my office. The quote was apparently said by Ira Glass from This American Life and was posted by a commenter on the Logo Design Love blog.

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

Thanks, Ira! And thanks David Airey of Logo Design Love for posting on the subject! And thanks blog commentor "AVL" on 8/24/2011! Thank you all for the encouraging reminder that I'm not alone! Now my hopes and faith have been, once again, renewed so that I can keep on fighting my way through! Here's to the journey on the path of becoming!

1 comment:

Felina Lune Kavi said...

Ain't that the TRUTH! I think Michael should read this quote too. He always dons the self-conscious cloak of 'DISCLAIMER MAN' when I ask to view (or hear) his creative work. But when I look at it, or listen to it, without the disclaimer...I see diamonds in the rough, I see simple beauty, I see meaning he didn't even mean to express. Still, he regularly feels compelled to express its not-good-enough status before anyone can say if to say 'I'm going to tell you why you may not like it before you get the chance to reject it.'

I have *mostly* stopped doing this with my own creative work (except visual art, because I've allowed myself to get rusty). I've found the beauty of the creative process to be as meaningful as the intent...and now I just allow others to glean whatever meaning from it that they will.