Saturday, May 29, 2010

no doubt

(I have a tendency to type up something then post it later. This was written 4.30.10.)

Doubt is sometimes a fierce enemy. It arrives so casually disguised that it blends with your family, your work and all common ways of life. It can even become so familiar you start to believe it's your good friend who keeps you reasonable and far from danger. Well, I kicked Doubt out of my house this morning. It started telling me that I was not doing as well as I could, and that my talents were failing me and I wasn't trying hard enough. It's one thing for doubt to keep me from trying something risky...but to try to tell me who I am, and what I'm capable of and what my purpose is??? I can be just as fierce, Doubt. I know you'll probably come back, but I know better now what you look like.

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There are a couple of high school seniors who want to raise money for the Mission with a ping pong tournament. They didn't know that UGM had a designer on staff that could help promote their event. One of the boys had drawn up a poster by hand and was going to make copies to hang, but was glad to turn the project over to me. But I told him I liked his poster. There were a couple of things I could help with to make the poster communicate the message more clearly, but I was inspired by his original and playful illustration. Somewhere along the line of adding fresh typography to the poster, I felt thankful for my job and the unique opportunities I get to help others. My projects are so diverse. One might be a direct ask on a billboard to help the homeless and poor of Spokane, and the next is making wallet-size meal punch cards for the guys who come to the Mission hungry. They might not look very exciting next to some of the edgy and new design work out there. And that's usually when I start to doubt. When I read blogs and look through creative magazines I feel rather unoriginal and stale. But the people I design for are so grateful, encouraged and surprised by my work. They feel honored, of all things! They say, "How did we get so lucky to have someone like you work for us?" And I blush because how on Earth do they really think that? They obviously don't look at design magazines and blogs. But I'm their designer. And I love them. And I will bust my butt to do an excellent job on their projects. Their affection for me and my work makes me so thankful for what I do. And if this is where God wants me, he can do wonders with me.

Here is the Ping Pong poster and the banner before I added a couple last pieces of information. Jake and Keinyn raised $150. That will provide 85-90 meals at the mission. I love young hearts for the poor.


Barbara said...

I'm kicking doubt out, too. Love you, Jess!

Steph Smith said...

I like doubt.

But you shouldn't doubt yourself in the examples you cited.

You ARE a really great designer. I'm glad I can say that without doing the Friend Lie. Look, you even have all the details on those signs down there! I wouldn't have thought that can work since the type would be slanted, but it does!

Amy said...

I love how you give others license to be creative. That is truly, in my eyes, the mark of a true artist. I admire your thoughts and words about doubt.