Monday, December 8, 2008

Dialogue and productivity

The loss of my mother distracted me from doing much work for the past two weeks. I had done comps for a client but neglected to set up a meeting. Hoping to get voicemail, I called at four on Friday afternoon. She picked up the phone and said, "Come right over." The comps were already in my messenger bag so I mustered the strength to present five versions of one idea. This client liked looking at work product so I had about twenty mounted examples of discarded ideas in another pocket. When I mentioned it, she jumped at the chance to see them. I spread the various abandoned ideas on the tiny table. In brief, she loved several ideas and sent me back to burnish them. Her choices also solved some issues such as how to get brilliant photography for a dozen pieces and stay on budget. We agreed that public pieces, those distributed outside the organization, would use the images we already had. In-house brochures would use a single graphic solution in various colors to differentiate their messages. Enthused client, problem solved, closer to completion, closer to billing.

Now read, "Enthused professor, closer to degree, closer to job. Most design classes break into three tiers. Promising designers, designers who will develop into promising designers and those who's careers will not be involved with Adobe® products.

Procrastination is a hallmark of creativity. The first two tiers display this early on in their pursuits. The sense that any idea completed is only another step toward the "right" solution hobbles them. The meeting avoided, the incomplete solution, simply not showing up with some excuse plague designers.

Maintaining communication and the visual dialogue with work progress and ideation—with the right clients and teachers—expands the realm of exploration. Bite the bullet, move forward, seek criticism. It does pay off.

Oh, it helps if you have nice comps, well mounted and organized and that you pick an appropriate time and setting to present your ideas. Nice shoes are optional.

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