The decade is a wrap, and I want to talk about style because it took me a good part of it to nail down.
My friend Angela recently sent me a photo of a print I made in college. It’s funny how similar it is to my current-day drawings because back then I was envious of everyone who had a “style” because I couldn’t figure mine out. Many friends from college are illustrators, and most of them had a style figured out right out the gate. Their focus was refining it.
Then, I saw the gods of design like Stefan Sagmeister, James Victore, Jessica Hische, and others (long list). You knew they made something as soon as you saw it.
Being a graphic designer is hard on your soul. Most of us follow brand guidelines or create identities based on ideas that portray the essence of the brand. Our job is to be incognito—do what’s right for the brand, not you. That concept kept me from exploring things for myself, but also made me get overly attached to what I designed. At the same time, I was captivated by those who could make design and add themselves in there/have a visual signature.
2015 I decided to start drawing stuff that encompassed things I liked for my own satisfaction. And... this style just sort of came out. There was no divine intervention. I just quit trying so hard and built on what came out. Ironically, I had kinda figured it out years ago but just didn’t notice. Since then, I’ve been developing the things I draw and the messages behind them. This past year I’ve been making more time to draw something every week without excuses.
If you’re still struggling to find your style, yourself, or whatever it is you’re searching for, the answer might be right in front of you. If not, it's most definitely buried somewhere inside you. It’s easy to get distracted by the noise around you of envy, expectations of others, and “the rules”. Shut it off, that shit will kill you. Oh, and the quote here is from Socrates.
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