Yes, yes. I know. I said new posts in June. I lied. So here we are, 3 months since the wedding and I think I have finally caught up on my sleep. Thank you notes are another story. So, without an impending due date creeping up on me, and without the motivation to wow my family and friends at one of the most important events of my life, do I have what it takes to be inspired and make new work and push myself and my concepts beyond what I think I am capable of?
The short answer is "yes I do." While it will be quite sometime before I resurrect the red and blue color scheme (I say that but inadvertently a painting I'm working on assumed that color scheme without my knowledge... pics when completed), I have found it much easier than I anticipated to throw myself back in to production of creative work that has absolutely nothing to do with my wedding. In fact, by the time I went back to work, I welcomed it.
People warned me about the "Post-Wedding Blues." They would tell me that I would miss working on it, that I would miss the excitement of discovering new things and how they could play into my special day. They would say, "When your day is over, what's there left to do? You're not a bride anymore." This may be a huge bummer to some people; and I can totally understand how, but I have found that not being the bride is one of the most enjoyable aspects of being married.
(this particular bride wanted "Upscale Cajun." The accordion was a must.)
Professionally, I am uninhibited when it comes to helping my brides achieve their vision. If anything, I'm disappointed when a bride comes in and chooses something straight out of the album and is just like "This one, in blue. Here is all my information. Can I pick it up in a week?" Business wise these customers are awesome, but I have been itching to flex some design muscle lately. I probably should start cranking out Christmas Card layouts now with all this new found motivation.
Personally, without the limits and specifics of anybody's wedding getting in my way, I am consistantly looking at the following:
1) Blogs by Illustrators. Any of them. Any style. I truly believe that if you are not investigating what other people in your field are doing, and if you are not looking into new techniques and finishes then you are dead in the water. PARTICULARLY in graphic design, 'cause the bottom line is, there is some 15 year old with the Creative Suite on his laptop, and a hell of a lot more time than I got who is already a better designer than I am. Nothing lights a fire under my ass more than seeing someone whos work is better than mine.
(loish is 25 and started posting on deviantart the same year i did. i am humbled by what she produces on the regular.)
2) Marimekko. When I realized the storefront in Oxford closed I was motivated to get my hands on as much pattern as I can, even if the only thing in my budget right now are the disposable cocktail napkins.
3) Odosketch. I am a very visual learner, particularly when it comes to processes. Drawing on paper has never been my strong suit, what with its inherent lack of undo button, and while I have yet to contribute to the Odosketch library, I learn so much by clicking on some of the featured drawings and watching how they were produced stroke by stroke. You have to check this out, and if you have a graphic tablet, you have GOT to try this.
4) Lauren Faust. This woman is my total HERO! From the Powerpuff Girls, to Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends to the revamped version of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Lauren is totally brilliant and deserving of more than a simple wrap up paragraph here at Cage Free Press. She is an inspiration to me and to design nerd girls everywhere striking the delicate balance between humor, girl power and "hearts and rainbows."
(RAINBOW DASH RULES!)
So see! I haven't been farting around being a newlywed and listening to Abba. I've been pickin at this tired old brain of mine waiting for the jumper cables to get me moving again. I'm sure it comes as no big surprise that I am loving stylized, retro illustration, pattern and two tons of in-your-face color. This all sounds strangely familiar....
I think we just got a spark.