I’m stuck. Now what?
I had an assignment: create a one-sheet that a client can use to sell their product. No problem. As a designer and writer, I’ve created thousands of sell sheets over the span of my (very long) career.
Well, no problem until I sat down to actually do it. Uncharacteristically, I couldn’t even come up with the first word. So I placed their logo on a blank InDesign document – and while I would never start a project like this at design, I thought it would somehow jumpstart my brain into action. Yeah. Not so much.
More coffee. Maybe I just needed more morning coffee. This was clearly just a stall tactic. Next.
Inspiration. Yes, that was it. And what better place than my Twitter feed? Someone is always posting cool stuff there. I did find a few articles that I read with great interest. I retweeted several things that fall into the “inspirational” category. And tweeted this as a bit of an apology to my followers for the inspiration-overload so early in the morning:
— suzanne deveney (@soozed) July 17, 2014
Deep down, I knew the only thing that would help. But I have so many deadlines, how could I stop and go for a bike ride? The question really was: how could I not?
So, of course, I did.
I was immediately in my favorite spot: my bike saddle. Did you know that it’s a scientific fact that it takes exactly 63 pedal strokes to clear your mind of clutter?
Before long, I started to see words and images that while not exactly translatable to my current project, spark ideas. Type, color, people, impressions – all these city images that have helped me solve creative problems over the years – surrounded me.
The sign, posted above, caught my eye. There was a word there that I didn’t understand in this context: “drainage”?? But it must mean something to their customer. It’s not a fancy, professionally produced sign, but it must work for them. And as any good marketer knows, that’s exactly what matters.
There’s a stretch of Clark Street where small shops sell purses, jewelry, and really, really tight, stretchy, brightly colored pants. And there’s a woman who’s out there every day, selling refreshments from her cart. Why choose this location? She must know that these bargain-hunters will need something to quench their thirst after an intense shopping spree.
When I returned home, I discovered that a friend had brought me some old black-and-white film. Score! I quickly dug out my old Minolta from the back of my closet. I haven’t shot film in such a long time. I no longer have access to a dark room, so I’ll have to patiently wait to see what develops (pun intended).
I wonder how he knew I needed that film yesterday? The universe certainly works in mysterious ways.