That Time Again?

January 20, 2015, In: Cocktails, Creativity, Drawing, Hand Lettering


Wouldn’t it be nice if things could just happen effortlessly? You know, without any challenges or drama? It’s in those moments though, where we are challenged that we find growth. Drama… well I haven’t found anything positive to come from drama. It’s best to avoid drama when you can.

Let’s focus on the challenges shall we?! I’m in the process of looking for a new job. Last year the design job market was very quiet but it seems to have picked up these last few months. I’ve had some interviews and while it’s disheartening to hear you weren’t chosen for the job, it’s also an opportunity to learn. I’ve learned to appreciate feedback when it’s given and try to grow from it. I had two interview last week and this is what I learned:

Interview one: this job was with an agency and the description sounded perfect for me. The place was clean and had a creative energy I wanted to be a part of. I was excited when at the end of the interview, the interviewer said “let me see if our creative manager is available, I want her to meet you.” Yessss!! The creative manager came in and we hit it off, but at the end she told me they were looking for someone with “big, bold ideas.” What??? Insert bubble burst. She loved my clean style but it wasn’t what she wanted for this position. Then she mentioned how she loved my illustrations on my website. Really? I never show those in interviews, right now it’s something I dabble with. She wanted to pass on my name to a surface pattern design firm she knows. I walked away disappointed but at the same time excited. I know the chances of something coming from this are slim, but it was an ‘ah’ moment for me. Years ago I looked into surface pattern design but I’ve always been too busy to focus on it. The illustration dabbling she saw was a result of this blog, a little side project my sister Sharleen and I started last March. This blog has allowed me to design without the restrictions of a client. The fact that someone saw my personal work and appreciated it was a big eye-opener for me.

Interview two: this job I wasn’t sure if it would be the right fit or not, but I went in with an open mind. I wound up interviewing with a panel of four people and it felt more like ‘Shark Tank’ than an interview. They seemed to appreciated my work, but the comment that stood out the most was that I am a ‘designer’s designer.’ My expression must have given me away, I didn’t know what to make of that. They all agreed and told me it was a good thing. I have a clean style, strong understanding of typography, the grid and color. I guess that’s a good thing, but I wonder if I’m explaining my work too much like a lecture I would give my design students. I’m a college design instructor, is my teacher voice taking over!?

The rest of last week was filled with drama. Drama I had little control over and it’s not worth giving it any more energy than it already stole. However, it did lead to my Wine O’Clock post. Oh how I struggled on that one. I struggled with what to write and then I struggled with the wine illustration. My first version was dark and I just didn’t feel good about it. I posted it, but then took it down and came back to it the next day. This time things flowed, and no…. it wasn’t the wine! As Sharleen told me, “Sometimes a new day and a new perspective is all it takes!” I’m back on track. It’s not “big and bold,” but it is “clean” and true to my style. Sometimes life derails us and pulls us in the wrong direction. It’s ok. Take a deep breath, pour a glass of wine and listen to that tiny inner voice of yours.

Salute, Denise


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  1. Reply

    Thanks to the Facebook Blogher post I discovered your blog. Hang in there! Job searching can be brutal. My experience is you will find what’s best for you. I love your designs. They’re amazing! And yes, I too believe wine helps!

    • Reply

      Thanks Debra for your support! Job hunting is a roller coaster for sure. Ultimately I want to find something that is best for me. It’s a balance between good fit and yet a challenge. I’m sure it’s out there!

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Denise + Sharleen

Two sisters dedicated to living a creative and inspired life. Our goal is to share fresh ideas, connect with like-minded people, teach something new, and bring beauty to everyday moments.

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