Everyone Gets Heard...
I spent this past weekend at a design conference in Columbus, GA called Creative South. One of my goals this year was to attend a major design conference, and this was the one I chose. I had an amazing time! Not only did I meet a lot of awesome designers/creatives, but I got the chance to meet some of my design heroes/heroines, including Allan Peters, Justin Mezzell, Danielle Evans, and Mary Kate McDevitt, to name a few! Collectively, they shared a lot of great work, and even wiser words. With any conference there are common threads that seem to flow through the presentations. Two words came up probably more than any other were "fear" and "failure." As artists, we are often faced with the pressure failing and the fear of not being of not being "liked" enough. They provided a lot of suggestions to break through those.
There was one word that came up from a seemingly unlikely source for me (primarily because I didn't know of him before this weekend). It was from the last performer of the conference, Doc Waller. The word was "trust." Doc started off by performing a poem, then breaking it down for us. He uttered one phrase, that I think will stick with me for a while:
"Everyone gets heard. Just trust that you have an audience"
Something clicked from me right there. As a young designer/artist, you can't help but have the feeling that you are just too small to ever get noticed. With so many incredible designers above you, it feels like you have too soft of a voice in too loud of a room. That you are "standing in the middle of a crowded room screaming at the top of [your] lungs and no one even looks up" (Titanic reference). But this phrase put it all into perspective for me. Maybe I don't need to be heard by the whole room. Maybe, just maybe, I only need to be heard by the people standing in the circle I am trying to talk to. It's trusting that you do have an audience, and they want to hear what you have to say! We all have an audience. Some big, some small, but knowing and trusting that you do have one out there makes all the difference. It might be small now, but It will grow exponentially as you do!
Creative South was an awesome experience. I implore all of my fellow creatives to attend next year!
A few more wise words from them conference:
"Dream big, dream often, but don't forget to wake up." - Justin Mezzell
"The world is full of little cracks, you just have to stop and look into them" - Alonzo Felix
"The future isn't going anywhere" -Allan Peters
"Share your heart with people, not the ideas." - Nathan Yoder
"Welcome the challenge of the confines." - Jacqui Oakley + Jamie Lawson