Do you have a dozen interests that you refer to all the time but never get around to doing them?
If so, why is that?
I figured out what makes my heart sing over twenty years ago and I talk about it all the time but rarely do it. After being a graphic designer, my second profession (or favorite hobby) is photography. I truly adore everything photography. From the old school film cameras to the funky negative frames printed onto the paper during the darkroom process. I enjoy watching the light change in front of my eyes so that I can capture a completely different look.
After taking a few photography classes in college, I carried my camera like a school bag. I would find something interesting while walking down the street and either snap a quick pic or spend the next hour visually dissecting it through the lens – taking interesting angles, cropping it just so or zooming in to unveil lovely layers of texture.
Years later, I brought two young children into the world and with them came loads of extra baggage – diaper bags, car seats, strollers, swings and bottles. There was no way I could carry my big camera case along. Now that this stage is behind me I can replace the “load” with my trusted camera and be ready for the unexpected memories to unfold before my eyes.
I recently had a wonderful opportunity to take several hours away from graphic design work. During a fifth grade science trip I snuck away to rediscover my passion. The second day of the trip the class was traveling by bus to hike around prehistoric ruined villages and passed an incredible automobile graveyard. I knew I needed to circle back to capture the scene.
The following day was cold and windy but I was ready. With passion by my side and a tripod in tow, I strolled through the tall, thick prairie grass to the first abandoned car. The southern Colorado weather had given it quite a beating which gave the car a unique, rusted look. The seats were torn out and the headlights hung off to one side. The window glass was broken and the tires were missing. For some odd reason I was smitten with my subject.
I set me camera on the tripod and began. BAM! Just like that, I was back in action. Focusing on the details, I squinted for a narrowed view and cropped it within the frame. I leaned from side to side, switching from landscape to portrait views. I was in control and feeling it. I was creating, exploring!
Each car was my muse telling me a story, providing a glimpse into their world.
This is the same feeling I receive when I am creating branding packages – brand strategy, business/product naming, competitive research/analysis, identity design, graphic design for print and WordPress design/dev. Soup to nuts!
Yes, I was in my element of creativity and passion.
As I circled the other cars I discovered very inviting perspectives of the mountains framed with the cracked windows and car frames. I sighted a cool lineup of three cars – like at a car meet at a nearby parking lot but my subjects were more rough around the edges.
This opportunity I created for myself reminded me that I need to have what I call “An Artist’s Date” more often. Getting away from graphic design projects to be creative in another way allows fresh ideas to form. This greatly enhances my client projects. If I allow a creative break at least once a week, my clients will truly benefit from it.
Marni is Chief Creative Officer at Marni Myers Creative, a brand strategy and graphic design studio in Denver, Colorado. With over 20 years of design experience with print and online,Marni partners with small to mid-sized businesses stand out and get noticed. She also owns Myers Photography and Fine Art Photography Studio that sells digital and print images and shows work at local galleries. You can reach Marni at (303) 808-0326 and firstname.lastname@example.org.