Phew! I’m fresh off of a wonderful, intensive weekend filled with learning. I participated in a class taught by two design mavens, Bri Emery (of Designlovefest) and Angela Kohler (of Angela and Ithyle). Their baby, BLOGSHOP, was something that I had been hearing a lot about. When I peeked at upcoming classes, I was totally surprised and thrilled to see Minneapolis on the list! I jumped at the chance and signed up; It felt so serendipitous. I soaked up a lot of information and met some great people. I have come out of the weekend feeling more optimistic about my city’s creative potential than I ever have before. In other words, I’m inspired and ready to rock. I would recommend this experience one thousand times over: It was the least school-y, most fun class I’ve ever had the pleasure of attending. Now, practice, practice, practice. A quote at the beginning of our BLOGSHOP manual gives me a little reassurance as I struggle through the obstacles consistent with being a beginner in this whole design/blog/Photoshop realm:
Nobody tells this to people who are beginners. I wish someone had told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is a gap. For the first couple of 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 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 that it’s 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 finish one piece. It’s 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 just gotta fight your way though.
– Ira Glass