Design Drama

documenting the delicate dance of design

I will survive July 15, 2008

I’ve had one of those weird Mondays. It always happens on Monday – it’s either a wild Monday or a dead one. And today is one of those dead Monday’s that give me the blues.

Last week was completely crazy. I wrapped up two jobs that were both fun and challenging. And maybe that’s why I have the Monday blues. I’ve come off a design high and I guess this is how a crack-head feels after a good score and buzz. I have a lot of friends in the same field as I, and when we talk about these moments, we laugh and say “feast or famine!!!!” Luckily, I’ve been on the feast train lately, while many of my friends and colleagues have been on the famine bus as of late. But, no matter what side of the fence we’re on, there’s always that underlying fear of “oh crap, what if the phone doesn’t ring?” or “what if that’s it for the year?” I’ve had to explain many times to people in other “safe” professions that “even if I made $10,000 in one month, I’d still squirrel it away in fear that no work would come in for a year!”

I’m being completely silly because I know that I’ll survive no matter what. I was raised with a tight work ethic and have done everything from interior design to painting rooms of houses, to being a personal assistant to production work.

I had a really fulfilling conversation a few nights ago with a friend and her long-term friend, both of whom have worked for over 40 combined years in the film biz in LA. It was really interesting to hear them talk, over dinner and drinks prior to a movie. Currently, their industry is facing a strike — similar to the writer’s strike of a few months back, but now it’s the actors union that faces shutdown. The industry is tense currently in LA — or at least everyone is holding their breath in preparations for a worse case scenario. Anyway, what I took away from their conversation is that no matter what, if you do good work and build great relationships with people, you will survive the tough times.

So, back to my freak out about my Monday blues. When these moods strike, I usually gravitate to the type of work I call “making my own shoes” — which is a play on words regarding “The cobblers children have no shoes” — in these situations, I tend to focus and work on my own stuff — my own marketing materials, and in this case today, I went back to archiving my own photos from childhood. That work always challenges me in the areas of photo retouching. Some of these photos have terrible exposure and it really makes me brush up on making something great from something lackluster. I really dig doing my own stuff… somehow it centers me. And even though the freakouts start the madness of my own production work, I’m thankful for the time to focus on the little tasks that make me happy.

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3 Responses to “I will survive”

  1. bradley Says:

    Have you considered becoming a “Zap” photographer for alumni socials? :p I keed! I keed!
    Seriously, I envy the ability to self-center, at least vocationally, when in the midst of a work-flow vacuum. I certainly understand how your tenacity would come in handy during these times…because “time and chance [do] happen to [us] all.”
    So, are you creating some sort of retrospective with these old family photos or simply archiving?
    -B-

  2. missbethd Says:

    Both retrospective and archiving. The end game is to put them on a DVD and make copies and distribute – and put some in a lock-box for posterity.

    If this graphic design thing doesn’t work out, I’ll schlep around the camera and take “zaps” — and then kill myself promptly thereafter.

  3. -B- Says:

    That’s would definitely bring down the party…and might jinx our ’08 season. Don’t do it!


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