Do you ever look at other designers and feel jealous of the projects they’re doing? We do.
Saige and I have been going through a period where 10% of the work we get is AMAZING! Totally up our alley. It rings all our bells and makes our hearts sing. -- Butttt the other 90% is just blah*.
*Blah - noun, uninspiring and underpaying, making one feel like an adobe illustrator robot
We find ourselves scrolling through instagram playing the comparison game. Not the standard instagram-induced vacation envy and a thirst for a new wardrobe. It’s design project envy and the thirst for a killer client.
For a while we tackled this issue by promptly starting every monday meeting with, “Dude, we need some good clients this month.” Followed by, “Yeah… we really do.”
But now we’re going to do something about it, and if you’re feeling a similar way, we invite you to try it along with us.
First, a little background on what sparked this potential solution: On Thursday I went to a talk by Adam Vicarel, put on by Ladies Wine & Design. I raised my hand at the end of the talk and asked my question, “Did you ever feel stuck in a flow of low-paying client work you didn’t love? Do you have any recommendations on getting a “first big break” into an industry that really lights you up?” (Adam works with really cool companies and seems to get tons of opportunities to keep climbing higher and higher towards cooler and cooler gigs. Seriously, check out his website, he’s awesome.)
He answered with an idea that really resonated with me. It was something to the effect of
“You don’t need a client to tell you to do your dream project. Just do the work and put it out into the world. Your dream client will find you through that work once it actually exists.”
DUH! That’s the entire point of portfolio building! I knew this, I learned it in school, but somewhere along the way I lost that drive to just create what I wanted to create.
So, that is what we’re going to do...
Carve out time for “personal” projects that will act as magnets to attract our dream clients.
I know from experience that the carve out time portion of that is the hardest and most important part. And it might be what’s holding you back from going after things you feel called to create too. So this is just a friendly reminder that if you feel that way, you are NOT alone. If you feel like you’re not reaching your full potential, you’re stuck in a rut, or you’re “behind” in some way, you’re not alone.
We know this is not going to be a quick-fix solution, but we feel like it’s something that’s really important to focus on in this season of our business. It will force us to:
Practice a type of work that we love
Put work out into the world
Even if you don’t have your own client business, we think this practice would still be super valuable. Maybe you’re trying to get promoted to more creative role -- Show your boss that you’re motivated and qualified by working on relevant projects outside of work!
We'll be updating this post as we go, showing your our project and talking about how the process is going. So make sure you're following us on instagram and getting our emails if you want to stay in the loop! And if you’re in a place where you want to try this out too, let us know! We’d love to support you in any way we can.