Ep. 124 - Emilee Rudd
This week on the Creative Waffle podcast, I chat with hand letterer Emilee Rudd. We talk about mentors, how to find mentors, learning a craft from others, right ways to practice, getting inspiration from old books, how lettering is impacted by a digital world, the process of hand lettering, getting outside and how that impacts the creative flow and travelling. We've packed loads into this podcast, hope you enjoy the show.
Find Emilee here:
Full Episode - Audio Only
5 Bullet Breakdown
1. 1:44 What is creative consulting? What questions to ask and how to get the client to open up.
2. 10:41 Who should do consulting? Can you be too young? How much experience do you need?
3. 11:31 Getting a message and meaning into a concept. Not just a pretty design.
4. 15:36 Example of getting a message into a design from a consulting session.
5. 35:00 “You can only get so much value and inspiration from other peoples work” Get out of your normal environment.
Clip of the week
Mentioned on the episode
Utility Roll & Deer Antler
People Mentioned on the show:
Ian Barnard: http://www.ianbarnard.net/
Scotty Russell: https://perspective-collective.com/
Jessica Hische: http://jessicahische.is/
Full Video Version
Catch the video version of the show on YouTube. https://youtu.be/nkZwcfZi90M
Full Episode Transcript
Ep. 123 Dylan Menges
[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to another episode of creative waffle podcast today you’ll be listening to myself my cones and Dylan mangas doing it someone I really respect and I first made my creative self and must be on podcast on 20th episode. We talk about some really important topics on this podcast. First of all Consulting our go deep into. Of design Consulting and have two clients what questions to ask that sort of thing and who can do it as well.
[00:00:35] Is there any qualifications on who actually can consult properly most talked about getting meaning from that conversation? What tips and things can you pick up on from that conversation with a client how to create an actual context natural design with an idea rather than just pretty picture. We only focus a little bit of a deep chat and the didn't talk about getting out of your normal environment and how it's helped him and impacted his design work.
[00:00:55] So I really hope you enjoy this podcast. I have all do let's get into the show. [00:01:00] According to Cloud Perfect. All right, welcome back to the podcast episode 20 last time. They're like we talked about before with the birds going off in the background, but it's all good your sunglasses. If anybody's watching this saw that last one with the birds.
[00:01:14] I'm going to just apologize now right now the beginning of the podcast for that stupid bird that was on my front porch. A company if you pick up when I like you say in the end start the episode or like throughout the episode. We didn't stop it like go inside or anything. That's funny. It's funny.
[00:01:32] So today I like to know a bit more about Consulting my review I found on your website. They do be more Consulting and I don't have already spoken to anyone about this and what it entails and what's included. So what what is it? What is it was Consulting for design for us Consulting is a couple of things but primarily it's it is what it says.
[00:01:52] I'm going to sit down with it with a client here. The big takeaway is I'm going to ask them [00:02:00] questions that they're not going to think of or hopefully ask them things that they're just they're not thinking of in some way obviously designers are focused in those exercises, but sometimes it's going to go a little deeper wider than.
[00:02:12] Just talking about what their let's say what their preferences for design. Is anybody can ask that question, but I want to dig a little bit deeper into their story a lot of the time at least some level of their story because that often informs what we pursue in terms of design for them or perhaps.
[00:02:31] It's the story for their customers, which is sometimes even more important, of course, so the backpedals the second view you've got. Potentially a job for their identity would them as a business obviously than their stories critical we're designing something for Their audience so that I need to know that audience story that demographic is so, you know, a lot of the things that a lot of those questions without breaking them all down to detail our when you hear [00:03:00] them pretty straightforward things.
[00:03:03] and yet that's the great role of hopefully a good consultant is that. We're just invited to a conversation that helps them unpack some stuff that they haven't done before now right? Try it once all the questions you ask games at Mommy. If you have my share any fee. Well again, there's there's a it depends on what they're trying to achieve.
[00:03:29] So like all things that they do it made us design. The the light of questions is going to be custom to whatever that agenda is or whatever that desired outcome is. So again, go back to we're designing an identity for them as a client. I want to know how the business got started and I want to just try to unpack who they are as people where they're coming from terms of what happened before this business.
[00:03:57] You could really spend hours. Just trying to [00:04:00] unpack the story of how they got to where they are now and then in addition to that there's a there's always a really helpful if people are willing to talk about it. There's always a helpful set of questions around what are your pain points now? What are the things that you're struggling with?
[00:04:16] So talking through that and then there's another great line of questioning around things like where you see yourself in a year or five years because the years of you know, if you think about it, I know this is. You are a little different nations to snitch. But when you ask somebody what you expect to do in a year, it's just that goes so goes by so much work.
[00:04:33] We're doing to get over trust me. So I like to do the five years thing and say, where do you see yourself in five years. I think 10 years is actually for most everyone ever talk to is way too far out for anyone to even remotely predict what might happen in 10 years but five is something you can set goals to.
[00:04:50] So when I throw a questions like that when I first started doing it, I thought well, these are dumb because anybody could provoke these questions, but the reality is people just [00:05:00] don't make the time to unpack those questions. That's just a that's a fear thing. It's a time management thing. It's all kinds of things that keep us from sitting down and having that conversation with somebody so that's where my rule can hopefully be helpful is to sit down and say.
[00:05:15] Let's break this stuff up and unpack it again and see where we land. It's a painful process sometimes just because you get into questions where you just realized by that person's facial reaction that they don't want to go down that road and you just have to know how to definitely sidesteps events and it's okay you get what you can get order to accomplish that goal of that design.
[00:05:38] And then how do you get people to talk? Like because like you say it can be some people don't really want to do it or like a people in America quite receptive to talking about the business what I've done in the past or because that over here I found that I've got problems with going down that route of getting people on a call and actually get them to explain it because it seem like it's not really need.
[00:05:57] Yeah, that's difficult sometimes because what you're asking [00:06:00] you're asking a stranger to tell your things. Yeah. So yeah, I can't be difficult. That's why sometimes these things take a couple three sessions. I think it's unfair for anyone to sit down as a consultant and just open up this bucket of questions right away.
[00:06:16] I think it's often best to ease into it. Maybe maybe you have lunch or coffee beforehand. Maybe twice, you know, just just see if it's a good relationship. But that person before you ask them to you know, get us a package for three hours. I did one last year. That was a two-hour session all men all whitening.
[00:06:38] Whatever that's worth in the room all how I put this nicely type A personalities and Silverback eight types, which I recognize because I can be that way too. and it was a challenge because everyone was so eager to be heard and I could. Quickly see that how they were positioning themselves against each other [00:07:00] in a room that it was just really hard to get much done with and I realized we got we got after a couple hours, but I felt like I had failed a little bit because I didn't think about that environment and that audience I knew who they were to some extent but I wasn't privy to detailed information about those guys.
[00:07:17] So again when it was all done, I don't know if I got really what I needed out of that one, but I asked for a second session. They said budget would accommodate so it was kind of a you know, less than successful engagement. Say the truth but to go back to that but I think the reason was one of the reasons I failed to make that as good as it could have been was that I allowed to many people in the room and it's a rule that I have with almost every single job that I take.
[00:07:45] It has been true every single chocolate take action. Where I want to know the key stakeholders, I think you and I talked about this before. I want to know who that who that single stakeholder is in a relationship. That's the person I want to talk to if it's a husband-wife team, which is a project.
[00:07:59] I did recently was like [00:08:00] that. I would prefer to have both of them in there. And that's how I like to roll those kind of things. So going back to something else. She said in terms of how the process works. I don't think there's any shortage of Need for people to be heard or want the want to be heard in the US.
[00:08:18] And I saw this and 60 Minutes Janet and I my wife and I are watching this during the election couple years ago. Where a guy who does polling for has been doing polling for 20 years in America said, there's never been a time like this that he seen in 2002 doing it where people are so desperate to be heard and he showed examples of people from the same political party talking over each other shouting over each other in order to be heard no conversation.
[00:08:46] No one wants to listen. So applying that to things like Consulting. The reality is people love to tell their story and they love to be heard. And so I'm doing a remarkably bad [00:09:00] job listing right now. I'm doing a lot of talking consult situation. I do as a little talking as I can. Yeah, and with when it does go bad like you had that session with all the men the second one you said didn't really help either.
[00:09:12] So what happens after that then you say I didn't get much out of the systems in the country move forward with the project or yes, what happened specifically in that one was I said, I did cordon off that key stakeholder actually to all right and said and sent back a documents that this is where we arrived.
[00:09:32] These are the questions. Of course, we knew we were pursuing because we're agreed to this expectations were set beforehand. We didn't answer all of them to the extent that I'd like to answer them. Could you guys please review my notes? Keep me honest make sure that I've captured what you heard in the room, please send feedback as to those those comments that that document and tell me how you'd like to proceed and then I said, I would prefer to have another session with a fewer with fewer people in the room.
[00:10:00] [00:10:00] Would you guys like to proceed that way and that's when they said well what does not going to accommodate that? Okay, however, ultimately the question was do we have what we need to proceed and they said yes, we feel like we have what you perceive and we did, you know, if I turned around a particular product truthfully, I won't show I don't think it was the best work I've ever done in three and a half years.
[00:10:19] There have been a couple of projects to projects in particular that I'm not terribly proud of. And I can look back on both of those and see my own errors and have those Arabs troubled less-than-stellar product at the end. Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. What if Consulting do you think is something that you do more when you're bit more experience in a bit older and then you can charge for it and you feel a bit Justified because I found that a lot of young designers that don't spoken to release.
[00:10:45] They don't feel like they can charge for it yet. They don't feel I feel confident charging for it. Yeah, I would agree with that. I think it's pretty hard to sit down with somebody. What is right the paycheck and saying I'm an expert on 20 no [00:11:00] offense, but that's a hard thing to self and there. I know a few people here in town who are young cats who are in their early 20s or mid 20s or even late 20s, you know, am I just being home jaded to say that they're not experts because they're not as old as me.
[00:11:17] I hope not I what I do is I look at the caliber of their work. And I ask myself could I bring that person on to make this design past the red face test and say this guy can consult with you on matters of design and and I'll tell you one of my easiest filters that keeps frankly all of those guys out of that potential opportunity is I see still unfortunately a lot of younger designers who are saying here's my Concept in the reality is it's a nice piece of design, but there is no concept there.
[00:11:51] And it's remarkable to me that there are so so many still saying, you know professing. This is a concept. Here's my concept, whatever that Mara be [00:12:00] presented. Can I look at it over and over and say the same thing? I see great design. Actually you guys are hitting all the all Pistons firing on the tenants of good design, but there's no idea there and here's a good way to here's a good way to give you a concrete example without naming names because I don't do that.
[00:12:16] You know me. I don't but none of the gossip. They don't want to malign anybody. I see a design for like a national park, you know outdoor design type thing and it's got mountains and you know sky and it's got a batch like thing on all that. Here's the. And I see the soft I can take the name of the part that's attached to that thing.
[00:12:36] I can delete it. I can add a different Park name on in fact, I could have about 25 different Park games on it and it wouldn't matter because there's no idea their peers and even even easier Target. There's no visual element there that ties that particular design project to that particular part of their joints name and associated with other words.
[00:12:55] The park has no way to there's nothing defensible about that design for that particular part and [00:13:00] I can take that exam. We'll go across all kinds of identities where the identities look nice. And again, they do all kinds of things. Well in terms of design, but there's no idea. There are there's nothing defensible or nothing honorable about that thing to that particular entity that they're trying to make they're trying to defend for so bit of a tangent there.
[00:13:20] But if I'm going to consult with somebody, these are the rules that I play by. And I will not deliver something to a client that deviates from that rule. I will give you an idea that you can own you can see the whole it up and says you can see this is truly our design because and it doesn't mean it's over complicated or over design.
[00:13:40] There's so many new design details in there like the park example. There's so many little details about the park there. So specifically the part that I get this horribly complicated convoluted horrible design and nobody wants to look at because it's way to detail saying. But what is that one thing that everybody goes, you know when you go to Yosemite that's the thing.
[00:13:58] Mmm. So [00:14:00] when you go to this particular Park, you know, there's a water tower. In that in that part that is Iconic in that part shouldn't that be part of the designs of different? Oh, yeah, they can know what that image attaches to without even seeing the day. That's what I'm getting it. So again same with consultant we want to get to a place with with the Consulting exercise that helps that person walk away with something that is Honorable and defensible for them as an entity period if we're not doing that.
[00:14:26] We're just having a cover-up. We're having a nice conversation about design. Yeah, that makes sense. I think it's probably because people don't understand the word concept as well younger designers. Maybe they're just saying they say that word concept concept the don't understand that the host has meaning and they using it as a is nice design.
[00:14:43] Here's a concept his nice design that I've created. You mind if we just try about the headphones again. I just wanted to tell ya, how's that? You still hearing the street Justice? It still but you would like your voice is louder now, which is strange, but rather doubt that they will do about the headphones do [00:15:00] it.
[00:15:00] It's really weird. I'll see what's happens next 10 minutes or so people that are watching. There's a my office was telling Mark earlier. My office is on a the busiest one of the busiest streets in Columbus, Ohio and incredible, it's Rush Hour as we're talking and there's an incredible amount of traffic right outside this window.
[00:15:20] Right outside that window two lanes deep Orleans deep actually up and down the street. So alright so good. See what else you look for in a story in a story about the creative. Someone has created a business. Is there any examples you can look you can give to to say this is where the idea came from?
[00:15:44] And yeah, how did you pick out the ideas and the potential ideas from from the stories? One of my favorite examples from last year was a there's a restaurant here in Columbus, Ohio called sweet carrot and sweet carrot is independently owned restaurant. There's it's now a chain here in Columbus.
[00:15:59] There are three [00:16:00] locations and the theme throughout each. Sweet carrot restaurant is rabbits. That's the simplest way to put it and in each of the three restaurants. There's some additional layer of how excuse me how the rabbits are shown or how they operate visually. So the last one I just did was a circus theme.
[00:16:19] So rabbits plus circus was the theme of the restaurant right? And that was really really fun. I did some work big mural stuff outside of the main restaurant but the restaurant before that was. The theme was still rabbits and it wasn't there wasn't really a central sub-layer like circus. So it was pretty open and I was asked to do the bathrooms and I thought hmm who did I upset that?
[00:16:44] I got stuck with the bathrooms, you know in the range of artists that are contributing to this space. Which wasn't the reality the reality was those were needed. So in terms of getting to the story and the idea and all that for the job, I just [00:17:00] started doing what I try to do as a consultant which is ask questions that a try to get myself to ask questions, but I don't expect it to think about I'd I'm not thinking about front and one of those was just assessing the situation or assessing what I was dealing with and one of those criteria where those conditions that came out of that assessment a quick assessment was.
[00:17:19] This is a closed small space each of the bathrooms, which is true of most restaurants. So I use that as a track to say what how do you how do you deal with a closed space and that led me to think about well if rabbits is the theme and small spaces is one of the conditions what if this was a rabbit hole?
[00:17:40] What if I walk would have said a bathroom I walk in I realize I'm in an actual rabbit hole. And that was the big aha. So from there, I thought well to really illustrate that wouldn't it be fun if I could convince the owner to put I could draw a hole on the ceiling and then have two little rabbits [00:18:00] looking down to the hole.
[00:18:01] So when you walk in the bathroom you like you realize oh, I'm in that hole. I'm in that rabbit hole and then I thought well remember those old Ant Farm things you're seeing these Ant Farm things right two pieces of glass course and the it stick down in you got all these little tiny. Yeah trails and holes where the answer doing things.
[00:18:19] So I thought what if we did that in a rabbit like theme so now you're not just walking in and looking down through a hole and I'm in a singular Rabbit Hole what if on the walls there was an ant farm view of all these other rabbit stories going on so it turned into this idea on top of ideas because now I had to come up with a little story lines for each one of those rabbit hole.
[00:18:41] As you come down and inside each of the spaces. So each bathroom has multiple storylines built into it. So you walk into this what's kind of fun about the bathrooms is not kind of fun. It is fun. I have to say you walk in and it's kind of one of these. Moments because [00:19:00] you didn't expect to walk in and get all that and it even gets a little dark like one of the one of the holes at the bottom actually one of the middle Kohl's is a rabbit taking a bath and so the bottom of that trail going out of that hole is plugged up with a court so that the rabbit can fill it with water and then float and do it.
[00:19:18] So sudsy back well down below that rabbit hole connected to the bath hole is a is a room of schoolchildren rabbits. Doing an art lesson and one of the little rabbits is walking over towards the Corker reaching up for it. Like they're going to pull it and of course the reality is if the little rabbit pulls the cork they're all going to drown and it's horribly dark and I went to the owner right?
[00:19:38] These are just sketches and I went to the owner I said this is kind of weird and super dark actually in terms of the implications. She's like, I love it. This isn't Disneyland. Let's do it. I thought was cool. So it's there are so many little details like that in the in the boat. In both bathrooms that it's hard to go in there and just take a pee and not get stuck for an extra minute and look [00:20:00] around for at least a few seconds.
[00:20:01] Yeah, so if I can and as you can tell I'm excited about that job was really fun to do Angela petrol. The owner is wonderful to work with. Jen Stevens who runs lives out here in town. I have to mention her because she brought me into the job introduced me to Angela to be able to tell a richer story like that is such a blessing to have you know, not only do to make the time critical Factor make the time to think slowly through the ideas.
[00:20:29] Don't rush it be in that space, you know and just slow down a bit and then have an owner who is willing to take a little bit of a risk. And invest because that job was not cheap. But invest in the time it will take to draw these things out. Hmm. That's a really tremendous blessing and I hope that answers the question.
[00:20:50] Yeah the answer here now. I I think it's one on standby. Around around the world makes consulting or how important is it to design because it's important [00:21:00] to get those ideas out and that impacts the design but then that story sort of kind of help you think it's coming from your own head a little bit as well.
[00:21:06] Not just the story of the the restaurant because you like if you look at your lot of your registration work, it's all sort of crazy start that crazy world like not real not real world like these tentacles coming out of people's hands and stuff so that rabbit with the bar. And everything like that, it's also tied into that sort of crazy world.
[00:21:26] Yeah, you know what just said over the years that she said know your stuff always has a little bit of Darkness to it. Yeah. This true. Actually I said I'll tell you a quick story speaking of stories. So I'm doing the job this week here at job first bathroom First wall. Yeah drawings are approved.
[00:21:44] I've mapped to draw a lot of the wall. It's about 9 feet by 6 feet wide some like that led by 5/6 and while I'm doing this job the restaurants been completed. So there's construction guys everywhere. And of course, I'm going to [00:22:00] bathroom. So there's a guy in there setting up pipes and things like that and there's you know mirrors being on and all that for small space.
[00:22:06] It was a pretty busy space but I've got all of the black line work done. And all I have to do is step out of the room step back in rattle-can my clear coat. And a couple coats it sealed. We're safe. We move on to the next wall That's the process. Okay, it's the black and white basically a black and white drawing on a two-tone background.
[00:22:28] So as I step off of this finished wall to get the clear coat. Can I step out of the room and I hear this whoosh. And I turned around and in the second like literally five seconds it took for me to step off that ladder here that sound of turn around what happened was. The guy behind me was putting in the main water gasket for the toilet the brand of toilet that was being installed when you think about a gasket which is of course a 360-degree rubber device.
[00:22:57] It has 360 degrees in which it can [00:23:00] fail this particular gasket failed forcefully exactly in the direction of what the wall. I just finished like a fire hydrant going off. The seconds it took me to turn around is raining Black Ink down the wall completely ruined. I don't know is that I don't know.
[00:23:15] How much work is that but eight hours of drawing so think about you eight hours on that wall and the second wall and actually in that bathroom every day are two main wall. So yeah a lot of work and my old Marine Corps self came back into play for a minute because I just very quickly this series of violent reactions to the situation.
[00:23:36] Happened in my mind, you know all targeted on him. The guy who was putting in the faulty the gasket which turned out thankfully to be faulting. It was one of those moments where I you know, I had this again series of I'm going to hurt this guy. I'm so mad right now O2 Lord help me Lord. Help me just walk away from this.
[00:23:55] I wasn't serious. I'm praying like I need to just walk out of here, you know Lord help me and I did. [00:24:00] And I did turn of the guy said I'm leaving for the day and he saw a look on my face saw that I was clearly saw that I was living and I'm sorry man. I said it's cool. And I just thought it's not cool get out of here.
[00:24:12] And then I found out later that the gasket wasn't was obviously faulty. It wasn't his fault. I'm so thankful that you know, God gave me a moment of. Restraint and I grab my jacket walked out. Anyway, that's that's the story from so the best part of the story the day new album stories. I went to the owner Angela and I said I sent her a picture.
[00:24:33] I see here's what happened. She said I'm so sorry. I said it's not your apology to make you know, what we need to start over literally everything repaint the wall. You see he shows it seal it base coat times two. Set up the white spots and then redraw everything black. So basically like another 12 hours of work.
[00:24:52] She said I'll cover it. I'll take care of it. Go ahead and restart. Who does that mean what a great client to have you know, how you finding these [00:25:00] good clients, like where do they come from? But they just pops up. Yeah. This sounds like a cliche but God is good. I mean, I that prayer cop plow thing that I talk about on Instagram.
[00:25:09] That's that's the truth. That's how I run this business and if I'm not working. Your head down getting stuff done. I'm probably even a little bit of desperation praying like okay God. I have no idea what to do next. Yeah. I just finished a monster 35 foot wall. One two surfaces for the power company here in the u.s.
[00:25:30] Called ATP. They're one of the bigger car companies least inside of Mississippi and across but huge project and the reality is I don't do sales and that job ended and I thought I got nothing going on a February. Nothing that little bit of panic sets in and this is the prayer Cloud mentality man.
[00:25:48] Like okay Lord, what's next and I kid you not within an hour. I got an email from a client who's been kind of waffling about a job there. It's a big cat named it yet, but they're big like Insurance tech [00:26:00] company to start up here in town. Just moved in and they said hey is everything we're talking about we want to pull the trigger on that and then another couple that owns a woodworking shops in Hayward should and doing some work and another guy fed me some illustration work.
[00:26:12] That's a turn and burn this week. We do. Come on, man. I mean you keep you know, if you stack up the timing on this stuff, I'm sorry. It's not coincidence. It's all too intricate. Yeah, and I'm just I'm grateful for it. Obviously. I mean, hopefully I show that I mean I. The worst thing I could do is not be grateful for that.
[00:26:31] But yeah, absolutely. Yeah, and we'll talk about a little bit about before the show you I've been waiting. Yeah, like just carrying on doing for nine months now and finally like three projects come at once. Maybe it was a test my patience or something. I don't know. It's it's hard sometimes being yeah, you got to keep like if you're a guy who can't speak love young designers in that situation where they just don't get any work and nothing comes from nothing good happens and just keep putting stuff out [00:27:00] there.
[00:27:00] And yeah, it does come as conventionally why I love the forefather story about Jonathan right sound. He it's a quick story. But he was he was a design. He is a desire and. To get things moving he made up some work. He looked at some Brands. I think some of them are actually established brands that actually made me all the more established Brands and he redesigned some things towards those Brands about those parades and put that work on the web.
[00:27:29] And then Matthew of the other one third of now on the third of four fathers saw the site. Said hey my stuff. What are you doing? Who are you they meet and then here comes into the picture and then they form forefathers. That's the super short version of the put all to say John and didn't sit around waiting for stuff.
[00:27:48] He just started making up stuff and said I can design this better and he did and he put it out there. It's not a complicated formula, you know, but look at where these guys are. I mean, [00:28:00] I think they're one of my they're not think I mean they are one of my favorite design outfits in the country.
[00:28:06] Yeah, that only the fact that they're super talented dudes, but they also are independent like me and I highly respect that. So it's just a cool story and again not complicated in terms of formula. Yeah, yeah, they go get some good stuff going on. So to wrap up the consultancy thing are you doing it just on people's projects as well, or is it just your own stuff you do it for when you mean so are you doing something for just generally just to find to help other people find out more about their business or just to get people ideas or is it just always for your own projects where you and you're taking the lead design on it?
[00:28:43] Oh, it's a mixed bag. Right. How're you finding doing it for other other creatives when they're creating the outcome so big here, but it really just depends on what the outcome is. I guess here's a period of maybe a better way to answer it. No matter what you're [00:29:00] targeting if you think about this, it's the conditions around these conversations are always the same which is a little scary say that because it makes it sound like a generic process or over simplified process, but the things that people are trying to.
[00:29:14] Accomplish this was outcomes and goals and a process to that are all driven by the same things that our desire to be known and loved and you know, this really core human things are all the drivers all the time. So that set of filters are that set of conditions those sugar human emotional conditions fundamental conditions really kind of helped me not worry about well, is it this or is it this you know, Again, I don't say that's a like it's going to make everything generic but we're all driven by the same stuff.
[00:29:48] So it does help me. Just remember that that person like me has these needs it has these desires and how does that and they're coming from a different approach towards those desires. So how do I use that to effectively get to the end game.
And for younger people, what would your advice be for them to in regards to consulting?
[00:30:17] I think a young designer can still facilitate a consulting situation in terms of they can come to the table with questions from a design perspective, from from a design basics perspective at least, and even as a young designer they can say, I may not have 20 years experience. But I do understand the basic tenets of good design and I can walk you through those and if that's all we do in this hour and that helps you move forward somehow maybe even hiring me, then would you like to have an hour consultation.
At least set it up or you can say, I may not have done this for 15 or 20 years or whatever. But if you're willing I can assess what I see and maybe bring some suggestions to the table. And again if you think that's valuable I'm willing to make those edits to that piece for you or that set of pieces or whatever.
[00:31:25] If not, I hope for the hour that you paid me for I leave you with. Some information that you can hand off to somebody else and that desire may be an in-house designer for example can take that work or that that stuff that information. I gave you that feedback and they can apply that and it's a really I think a very healthy way to approach a consultancy whether you're super experienced or you're not because the motivation is the same that I want to offer some feedback that I'm going to do everything.
[00:31:55] I can to give you the most useful feedback we can in the time allotted. Again, what I said, [00:32:00] there's really important. I think it's great to say to people in that situation. I'm going to give you a document at the end of this hour after I've compiled our notes and I'm going to you know, of course nicely designed this document for you, you know and give it back to you about going to give you a document that says here's what I usually learn in that hour or two or whatever it was and tell them up front.
[00:32:19] But goal of that document is to give you information that you can take forward from that conversation. Whether it's me doing it, which would be great. I'd love to be that guy or if not, tell them up front. If not, you should be I should write this in a way and communicate this information in a way that you can hand it off to another designer dude.
[00:32:39] I can't think of a better value statement to give to a potential client than that because you're not trying to be a greedy able you're just saying I'm truly trying to give you communication information that you can use. Doesn't all of that you know, so it's a suggestion but I had these that several times and it's a very effective way of [00:33:00] helping someone see that it's not just about me doing work.
[00:33:02] It's about me trying to help you have the information you need to move forward in some way. Yeah, I guess that's more of a selling point. Then it's asking a lot of questions then that then we'll find out what's going to happen with the design. Yeah, let's get it as either I'm interested in how is the military affected your process if anything or like giving the day-to-day life?
[00:33:24] Well, basically it's people outside my proposal I shop at the house. I put my boot in the neck. What? Okay, honestly, dude, I can be a remarkably undisciplined person for the former Marine title that I can claim. Yeah, that's the truth of it. Right? There's no there's no magic there to tell you the truth.
[00:33:49] I'm deeply grateful for my time in the Marine Corps. I wouldn't trade it for the world. I saw some things there and did some things that I will never be able to do again, [00:34:00] but. I don't know that it I think the one way that it informs me now still all these years later as I look back and realize. I'm really grateful to be doing what I do now to sit at a desk or stand in front of somebody's wall and their space and draw on their walls versus pumping the pack through a field or you know, I never saw combat, but everybody knows the same thing you that that is part of your reality when you sign up.
[00:34:36] Sweet and short I mean, I live a Charmed Life. I'm very aware of that and I deep while I'm deeply grateful for my time in the service. I don't miss it. I like what I'm doing. Yeah, that's cool. Okay. I don't deny that. It's wondered if. Drawing from your ads to my inspiration as I was going to go to next the video you did for [00:35:00] nudge on Egypt thing about four-minute clip is really really good.
[00:35:04] Peace out into me back a bit when you said about inspiration is so much only so much value you can get from looking at other peoples work then yeah outside and you got to go and do stuff. We talked about a little bit last time. Could you touch me again about. Getting out there and she's like how bike cycling and running a bike frees your mind up because I got the same situation with football, but I'm not thinking about work and it just allows me to step away and step into something life is great.
[00:35:33] Yeah, there's a couple of size of that that you're describing. What is like a football there's a there's a healthy. Thing they're just physical activity that contributes to brain activity. You know, that study after study that I can't quote because I'm not a scientist and never will but there's but there's a pot.
[00:35:53] We I think any sane person would agree. There's a there's an absolute benefit to getting outside which is the bicycling thing for me football for [00:36:00] you bicycling is just this amazing simple exercise. And it's the movement of it is the freedom of it. I can go on and on but yeah, it's I do so much creative thinking on my bicycle and I'm not even trying to and I hope that people here at podcast like this and thinking and what's that activity for Me?
[00:36:19] Maybe? I don't even know maybe I've never explored and then they would explore but the other side of it is the creative inspiration thing and I still feel the same way about that as I did when Charles and Jason and I film that piece here a couple years back. That Pinterest is not going to help you Pinterest Pinterest has got worse actually since we did that I've looked yeah and so many more ads now and and I don't think they're effective.
[00:36:46] Yeah. It's a it's a loaded topic that I feel very strongly about so I'm causing a bit here to have some restraint but I think there's on a positive note. I hope that people would realize that these [00:37:00] pre-baked things on our devices are just not serving as well. I know with the gray hair. It sounds like he's the old guy.
[00:37:06] He's just bitter or whatever. I just know the pleasure that I have from going to the art museum or observing things in real life drawing people in real life or animals in real life again, so many activities around that kind of thing that just good for your brain good for your hands good for your muscle memory that I would encourage people to just try it the filter on all that is.
[00:37:32] Click this thing down because it's just pretty big stuff that somebody else already thought through why will that help you but I know the answer because I'm guilty of it too. I get lazy and I start you know, and never all the good ideas. I've had in the last three and a half years and mangas design have never none of them have come from tangents of somebody else's creative work.
[00:37:57] It's always about a notebook or sitting there with [00:38:00] procreate. And just doodling and writing down questions in a notebook. Sometimes just getting away from creative work all together again a variety of ways that they're not complicated but none of them revolve around sitting there and looking at Pinterest or dribble or any of those sources ever because I know that that's not an effective way to find a creative solution in a real original idea that's going to effectively serve a client and their.
[00:38:27] Yeah, yeah interbred. Nice kid. I'm so glad it's important to talk about it because it for two talking about it and it might make a change in someone's life like one person listening to this. So you never know. I think it's I hope so. Yeah, yeah. I like it. So what other Japanese more examples like get how much I get people to relate to the what you're talking about?
[00:38:50] Because if they if you keep mentioning stuff that might be relevant and might pick up on something that they think that and thought of you instead of just going on to other design websites looking inspiration design [00:39:00] from other designers that's already been done and you don't try and copy them how you taking inspiration from physical things.
[00:39:05] How are you storing that in your memory and then it coming out later on in? Subconscious there's two of the things that come to mind and I know I've mentioned one of these couple times and different podcast but one of them is travel, it sounds so horribly obvious. But let's be honest the reality is and you I don't think you're guilty of this but a lot of people are just get out of your conditioned environment.
[00:39:28] Whatever that typical thing is your city or country, whatever you've got to open up your head to new experiences new smells and cultures. And I'm not suggesting that that means everything has to be this Exotic Travel thing. I happen to be in a place in life where I can do that and I'm grateful for it deeply grateful for it and I got some stuff coming up this year that is kind of mind-boggling actually what we're going to take on in terms of that, but just getting out of the town then your own State here in the US [00:40:00] or traveling to different than the u.s.
[00:40:01] Remarkably diverse country in terms of environment landscape culture. That I would I would offer that a cross-country trip or a multi-state trip is not a complicated thing to pull off. If you got a couple three days. Yeah for a little longer for cross-country course, but it'll peel your head open as far as what you see.
[00:40:21] So that's that's one way to do it locally. So like travel I mean part of that travel experience. This wonderful is opening up yourself to conversations with strangers. Can be really fascinating things what you learn. You know, what you fucking do before you have that conversation and now you're walking away with what really that's cool.
[00:40:38] But locally speaking. Another suggestion would be by a by someone coffee someone that you trust a colleague a friend that you know will give you honest feedback. But sit down with that person buy him a cup of coffee buying lunch and say I'm bouncing a couple things around here and set the agenda, you know, they'll blindsided with it.
[00:40:55] But say hey, could you need for coffee? Because I've got this project coming up. And I feel [00:41:00] like I'm just a little stuck. Would you be willing to take a look at a couple of things it just give me the raw feedback man. Good bad or ugly. I always say thank good bad or ugly. Tell me what you think of this and like I said earlier in the podcast people love to speak and be heard.
[00:41:16] And that's think about think about internet forms. It's why they're so wildly popular is because it's me being a bug in my opinion and if you're wrong 10,000 people will call you on it. But in the case of that intimate local conversation, you're asking someone to be an expert to share feedback who wouldn't want to do that.
[00:41:34] And I mean or at least give you some type of feedback. They don't have to claim to be an expert to say well, okay, you said you're trying to achieve this. Based on what you showed me. I think this really does a good job of that. Here's why I think that is that right is that we write it's a conversation, you know, but all the say just like looking at unique inspirational sources for creativity or just like traveling [00:42:00] outside of your comfort zone physically where you live every day and walk every day and drive it all that everyday that conversation may just simply and a half an hour an hour.
[00:42:09] Trigger something Janet. For example, my wife is so good at this with me. I come to her and I say here's I'm trying to achieve here's a couple of things. What do you think of it? And if anybody in my life will give me honest feedback. It starts should be like, okay, like I did a poster last year. I should have had it here from whatever its.
[00:42:28] It was a poster for a brewery. I couldn't come up with an idea because there was just nothing to draw from the brewery was called. The fear was called motorbreath for a local Brewery here called for strength and I was told make a poster for motorbreath. And I looked at their current branding and it had skulls was the current thing.
[00:42:50] That's why I picked that one. Yeah skull sweets I said, is there anything else? I need to know what ask some questions, you know tell me about [00:43:00] background and there's nothing just do whatever you want with the skull head. Oh, I'm sorry critical things. She was born with ram horns because I thought that would look cool and unique and eye-catching.
[00:43:09] So motorbreath the kitten born with ram horns. Sitting in this GTO now dead with motorbreath coming up the word motorbreath coming up and out of her skull that was my weird idea that this I wanted to you know, come up with this crazy character behind motorbreath the people go what did they can look twice?
[00:43:28] I showed the Janet and she goes okay, you know, I don't even know how to respond to that. It's so weird honey. It's just it's too weird. I'll tell you man. I was kind of on a timeline and I taking this pretty far before I showed it to her big mistake, right? Nobody should do that, but I did and I decided to roll with it and even though.
[00:43:49] I just received probably really good advice, which was this is too dark too weird to tent to out there and we printed the poster with my friend Justin shot here. Upright prescient here at the Fort where [00:44:00] I work. We printed it and sales were okay, but just okay because I think people looked at and they were like do it this, you know, anyway tangent there.
[00:44:10] But yeah, I think it definitely was thinking of a way you could do. In take inspiration from even if you design for alcohol beverage company, the beers that are doing have a drink of them to see if they taste like so you got the how they make you feel are they smooth Biz maybe do something soft and you have a bit packaging that's like one of the main things you shouldn't do rather than going Pinterest looking up their packaging another other Brewery logos and stuff like that.
[00:44:39] Just go and have a drink I think about what how actually makes you feel I guess. It's quite easy for food. Wow, but maybe look at the product. So looking at the service that they do and how to make you feel is a good bit of advice. That's a great. It's a great idea. So that goes back to that emotional issue
[00:44:56] yeah, because you know, like you said the word [00:45:00] feeling right? So between trying to find a feeling or an emotion attached to that and then maybe even behind that as a story that drives that emotion or that feeling, you know, the reason that we don't see a lot of that stuff is because it's so doggone hard to get there.
[00:45:13] You know, it's a fine. Come up to cover the original story. Even when sometimes it's too far out there like I did but an original story that create some kind of emotion that that is so incredibly hard to do. So a lot of us designers. I've been guilty of it too. We just kind of cop out when we make that pretty looking design.
[00:45:33] And yes, it looks nice and people go out, you know, the your fan called be like, hey, that's great. I love it. I can't wait to wear it and that's sweet. But you know, and I know that down Ernie. It was just a nice design. Yeah, man. That's that's the hard part. That's why this is work. Yeah. Well, you'll cool values this because I want to ask.
[00:45:54] Yeah, I think that's an interesting question. You always look these for these like deep. I got some morphine in a [00:46:00] minute. I figured you would my core values have changed over time. Even in the last time I'm always trying to evaluate the sentence should say always but I can take consistently evaluate those things and that's heavy stuff.
[00:46:13] I'll cut to the chase my core value is I want to be a follower of Jesus and man. I just read this book called not a fan by Kyle you hear that? Kyle was his last day of you. Look I'm not a fan and first in Kyle and papa. It's a great book because he unpacks this idea that a lot of people myself included call ourselves fans of Jesus.
[00:46:43] But following is a radically different thing. It was a sobering book and it really hit me. I'm just finishing it this week and so I could just stop there and say that's my core value because there's so much attached to that. And so much challenge attached to that [00:47:00] in this crazy culture that we live in and with my own Brokenness and you know all the all that stuff that's so hard to unpack and deal with that.
[00:47:10] That alone is my true core. On a lighter note in terms of design the other core value that mentioned throughout this podcast is that I will always come to a project always bring an idea to a project and I hopefully I can execute that in a way that is that shows the hand of the maker behind that in other words not just some cookie cutter.
[00:47:37] Executioner, you know vinyl application of wall. Nothing wrong. Sometimes final has good reason but a lot of the work that I do clients hire me for it because they can when their clients their customers are walking through that space or they're seeing that thing to realize that was actually done truly done by a human.
[00:47:53] I know that robots are programmable to do things that were very hand-drawn that that's scary. We won't talk about it anymore. You'll [00:48:00] make me cry but um, but that's a court. That's a core value. Is that how about I brought an original idea to this? Yeah, that's good. Chi Chi Master rabbit one.
[00:48:09] That's just how you live is. Yeah. What's something that you do on a daily basis that other people should do me and you swap with these questions work in this like I'm just like the interesting questions like you find out who you are as a person. Yes. There's a lot I think that has been valuable to like in the past several years.
[00:48:31] I try to eat more plants. I'm not going to say the V word. I'm not going to do it. Don't say it. But sorry, but gentle are trying to eat more plants all the time. And it's been a pretty radical change my health. So that's that's a really great thing and right in line with that that we also do together as much as we can as just exercise, you know, just work your body and I say this as an older guy now that I look back on years of neglecting it and [00:49:00] pretending that I'll make make up that time at some point and you
[00:49:04] mmm, I love it's so boring to but I love looking at our there's a one verse that says we're not promised tomorrow. That's powerful, you know, and I was thinking about this the other day and how there's a song up there like Live Like You Were Dying or some country song or you know, something like that and I think you can you can hear those kind of tenants or those to hear those kind of songs and.
[00:49:29] Pretend that you could actually apply that on a daily basis in live this hyper-intense the last day on Earth kind of thing every day. Well, that's not reality. You know, you have a bill or to pay or you have whatever, you know common things to get done in a given day yet. There's. There's something powerful about keeping that kind of thing in mind that I'm not promised tomorrow.
[00:49:52] And so one of the actually other core value that comes to mind in the light of that. I know how badly that is. How can I play serve [00:50:00] somebody besides me today? I just found or especially the last several years last few years, especially that if I keep applying that towards it then the daily way I wake up and go.
[00:50:10] Okay, God who can I who can I serve today? It's remarkable how that will play out in your life. If you keep that in mind first thing in the morning remind yourself up into the whether it's a alarm with pops up. You know, who am I serving today? Maybe that's the way you ask the question, you know because I've done it that way too because often the answer comes back to me right?
[00:50:28] I'm getting mine. Do I got to do Survivor on tip T at the end of the day when every day is stacked up like that serve yourself. So on my best days, I can look back and go. And we did something great for that person even see what feels like a small thing. You realize had a tremendous could have a tremendous impact on them and may you and maybe you'll never know the impact because it's not about all look at all the great things.
[00:50:52] I did is just like again apply yourself and serve that person well, whatever that looks like and then walk away from. Because it's [00:51:00] not your responsibility to receive praise from that just do it. Let it be and move on, you know, and that's a good day. So we'll start like like client work or is it like a bum people coffee or buying people who drink or meeting people saying thank-yous people.
[00:51:14] Yeah that just that write a simple, please and thank you are simple how many years of my life of our forgotten to just take a moment in a day and say somebody something some kind of encouragement that's specific to them. That's some token thing where I'm really wanting to get something back from them or you know some no can I really objectively just tell that person this thing you've done here's what here's what not to say.
[00:51:36] That's a great job of say, you know, I see a b and c in this whatever those things. Are. You already know that because you made it but I just want you to know as an outsider that I really. Love what I'm seeing here because of that and I hope hope you can you know, just take that with you today for my benefit or because I always thank you.
[00:51:56] It's like you just want to save or run away, you know, and [00:52:00] but but finding those opportunities get starts with some mental shift right up asking yourself and it's good. It's like that's kind of how I pray and on a good day or my head in the right places. Okay, you know show me those people that I can I can help today or serve and to your point whether it's a thank you or just being polite only the door.
[00:52:18] Those are easy are easy things. But the harder stuff is make the harder stuff especially being in an urban environment is the homeless population which here in Columbus isn't isn't bad at all really compared to places like LA right hele issues. Pele is if people hearing this have never been to LA and they think they have a homeless problem.
[00:52:38] Go to La you'll see the reality the darkest reality of what homeless situation looks like and I'm not I haven't been in it yet. I understand that when they kept that'll make Elliott pale in comparison. But anyway, we have our share of here and so. I'm always wrestling with what kind of addiction is driving.
[00:52:55] This guy's behavior in my serving a dictionary will actually be able to help in some way [00:53:00] the course of my busy day all the things that I have to get done. You know, it's that kind of stuff on a human level outside of client work and you know spending time with my wife things like that. So I guess being more human rather than just going through it like a robot wolf.
[00:53:12] Well, I was back to my core value. The hardest challenge for me is I like to be remembered as someone who follow Jesus well and what scares me is that people will remember me as a as a guy who designed one which in a worldly way is obviously very rewarding for human price standpoint and a copy not culturally and financially and all that but just doesn't have the kind of impact that the first one does being able to wrestle with that and pursue that.
[00:53:44] I know it's not part of your podcast, but that's the honest answer. That's that's what I'm really trying to get after and yeah, it's it will be a challenge every hour that I have. Yeah. Nice try. I was talking to Jeremy about it. I try to get my head around it. Yeah that why [00:54:00] certain thing like we talked about earlier on why certain things happen at certain times?
[00:54:03] Yeah crazy. Things trying to understand and it's just something that you like Saul goes beyond the human brain. Like you can't fully get your head around this huge thing that's happening. But yes, it's one that I'm going to keep trying to plug away at and try and get understand more of yeah, you can change the challenges like it may be for you to is like we're just we're so inundated with information and media and things that we think are important in a given day.
[00:54:30] Let's get out. That's where I'm I'm guilty. It's like I'm I read this book on addiction last year and I got to a chapter. He breaks down multiple lines of addiction which he starts with things that you expect, you know substance abuse, right and then he starts to get into some other areas. You don't think about as as being addictive and I got to this chapter that just was called stress.
[00:54:53] And based on the book how the pattern is gone so far. I knew exactly what that chapter was about which was that we can be [00:55:00] addicted to being stressed out the addiction to urgency for the addiction and the addiction to tension, you know, because it makes us feel important. Right and I put off reading that chapter for a while because I'm like, oh man, this is going to nail me to the wall, you know, so.
[00:55:20] Oh, yeah, and I'm still there I still struggle with that to be really stacked up on the schedule makes me feel important and the reality is if that intensity is making me miss out on things that are more important because I'm too blind and stupid to pay attention to the cues. And pay attention to that addiction to being that self-importance being busy.
[00:55:45] I'm just on the wrong track. Yeah, they feel really good though. A few life had a really productive day. If you done lots of stuff this way, we were designed to work not as a bad thing. But if you believe you know in that in that story, [00:56:00] you know how to Bible setups like we're we were designed to be.
[00:56:03] Caretakers of this Earth in a good and positive way before the fall of Man before we decided that exercise our Free Will and break away from the Premier League. Oh, you know later, you know, that's the reality of it. So, yeah. It's into to have this this work thing is a good and healthy thing might just get over index on it and pretend that you know, a 12-hour day is normal.
[00:56:25] It's not you know, I mean it shouldn't be. Yeah, but that's not a client head around because it's like yep if you're enjoying it and it's all going well, and they may be a bit too stressed but like getting that good feeding out of and I then it comes back that addiction again, doesn't it? If you getting a good feeling out of it and it's going to keep happening you wanting to do it either they is yeah
[00:56:48] Bowser Genesis balances is think she's right. It's very hard. Mmm. Especially when it if you want to get somewhere if you got Ambitions and you want [00:57:00] to do something, yes. Yeah, you're everything on it everything or nothing sort of thing. That mentality. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you very much for doing this again.
[00:57:08] I appreciate it. Where can people find you and. Say hello to your social media still on Instagram at instagram.com language design and still on Twitter saying handle make this design of course menges dot design on the web. Awesome. Thank you so much. Thank you Mark. Thank you very much for listening to this episode of the critical for polka dots really hope you enjoy the show as much as I did.
[00:57:31] This chap was really invaluable to me. I really learned a lot from them. It's great to explore the world consulting which I haven't done much research into the sea. This week's lesson of the week is Chris Bliss. Thank you very much Chris. He's
[00:57:42] actually been on the podcast before as well father's listeners.
[00:57:44] It's a great story about how we met run the jewels and illustrates the poster for the if you want to be next week's lesson of the week. Please do leave a little review on iTunes for the podcast creative or podcast that be amazing. Thank you very much and have a great day.
[00:58:00] [00:58:01] I'll see you next episode.