Do a Lot of Work… Wait, Really?

What really got me in this kinetic typography piece was that part about what Iyou’re making isn’t so good and actually knowing it’s not that good. I’ve been at this video editing and motion design thing for a few years now and I believe I am pretty good at what I do, but I know I can be a lot better. Especially when I compare my work with some of the elite editors and designers in the industry, my work is far from the best. And it’s not because I don’t work my butt off, believe me I do, but just as Ira states, my taste exceeds my current skill.

I have a generally good idea of what’s good. I could see it playing in my mind and I could I see it in other people’s work. So why do I think my own work at times doesn’t meet my own standards?

For me it boils down to 2 reasons. Number 1 – I’m very ambitious, sometimes too ambitious for my own good. When I’m given a project, I immediately think of making it the best thing I’ve ever created. I do my research, I look around for inspiration, and I come to work ready to kill it (in a good way…you know, like how those cool young-uns say it). I pitch those ideas with high hopes – only to get shot down. Budgetary reasons and/or clients who would rather play it safe; these are some of the hindrances I’ve experienced in my career thus far. I take their feedback and still create the best I could from what they’ve asked, but I know deep down, it’s not as good as it could’ve been.

Number 2 – I haven’t done enough of it. I need to do more work. I’m not talking about staying at work just for the sake of it. I’m talking about going home and creating stuff I am actually interested in, even if it’s not for a client – actually ESPECIALLY if it’s not for a client.

As a guitar player I liken it to my early days of learning to play the instrument. When I first picked up the guitar, I sucked. After a couple more months of playing I still sucked, but I was getting better. I never had any formal training, instead I found songs I wanted to learn how to play. Over the years I can safely say that I’ve progressed as a guitar player, though I know I still have much to learn.

Just as playing guitar, I need to work on something that I actually want to do. And if it’s not at work, then I have to create my own work. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the work I have created is garbage, I’m rather satisfied with my work, but I know I could be better. Much better. And to get better I need to do more work, not just any work, but work I really want to do, the kind that keeps me from going to bed early because I actually want to work on it. And that, my figuratively numerous readers, I believe is the best way to learn and get better.


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