You know you’re getting better when…

10. When you look back on old pieces, that at the time you thought were amazing, and now they just look a hot mess.

9. When in the middle of class critiques, you can name all of the typefaces the person used.

8. When you use the word “typefaces” instead of “fonts“.

7. When people ask for your opinion on their work.

6. When you finally understand what all the hype is about over HELVETICA, and you like it.

5. When grocery shopping is never the same again…packaging woot woot.

4. When you can finish something on a deadline, and don’t think it’s witchcraft or that hell froze over.

3. When you know who Doyald Young is.

2. When you understand the difference between designing and decorating.

1. When you are 100% happy with your work…and so is everyone else.

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Constructive Criticism

This week I got constructive criticism on a piece of work that I was extremely proud of.

The class was packaging and the assignment was a matchbook re-design.  The client I chose was the Beauty Bar and I created a matchbook in the shape of a compact mirror with my idea being that when women smoke in the bar, they mess up their lipstick, so there’s a mirror inside with the handy-dandy matches.  I was really proud of my design/ idea/concept and I worked really hard on it, 3 weeks total.  I was so excited to get my grade back only to find that I had earned a 79% on the project. Wah wah wah wahhhhhhhh

With the stress of everything that was going on at the time, I got so overwhelmed and just broke down…in front of the teacher.  Not to say that I was sobbing hysterically, but my no good lousy stupid tears wouldn’t stay in my eyeballs. Once I got myself together, I asked for her reasoning behind the grade.  Basically to sum it up she explained to me that had she given me an A I wouldn’t have gone back and fixed it up for my portfolio.  She said she loved my project, but the functionality of it wasn’t all there. (Couldn’t close it properly, and the matches were hard to get out, also my color scheme was horrendous).   She said it was innovative and inventive but the grading scale/curriculum doesn’t take that into consideration.

She is giving the class 5 weeks to perfect/tweak our designs and get better grades on them.  Her giving me that miserable grade was the best gift I’ve been given (or lesson I have learned), at the time I was simply too emotional to see it. I would rather have someone tell me the truth, that my work could be better, than lie and say it looks great.  That 79 is fueling me to work harder, smarter, until my matchbook is truly worthy of an A+.

Ten Ways to Procrastinate

A few tips that can help you avoid getting shit done.  Or it you want to look at it from a different perspective: What Not To Do.  

10. Put on The Newsroom.  After awhile, you won’t even remember where you are, or that there’s a pile of homework awaiting.

9. Make lists, like this very one you’re reading.  The time it took me to write this, I could have my algebra finished…

8. Twiddle your thumbs. Hey, this counts as exercise!

7. Walk the dog. It may be 110° outside, there’s a good chance you’ll melt, and Fido may give you the evil eye all day long, but hey the dog’s not going to walk himself.  Don’t have a dog?  Borrow your neighbor’s.  Procrastinating means being resourceful!

6. Eat stuff. Preferably food, it’s up to you really, as to what you put in your mouth.

5. Make a cape out of your favorite blanket. Then parade around the house in it, feeling so accomplished.

4. Kern. Now that I can kern like there’s no tomorrow, I like to do it to pass the time.  There’s that handy dandy little kerning game that I enjoy so much.

3. Contemplate the meaning of life. Why are we here?  What is our purpose?  What does it even mean?  Why do I have a massive cowlick in my hair?

2. Fall into Facebook. It really is like falling down a deep well, with no stepping-stones to climb out, and no one hears your screaming.  Maybe it’s not that dramatic, but when you look at the clock next you wonder how six hours went by.

1. Look at something shiny. Sometimes you just can’t help your-

…self from looking.

Back from Summer Break…wait that was the break?!

Hey good lookin,

It feels like forever and a half since I last “blogged”  and by blog I mean not social network like my life depended on it.  Basically I had my finals for last quarter, final grades scored all A’s and a B (damn you Copywriting, why did you have to be so early?!?!).

Summer break (three weeks) consisted of me working and zoning out in front of the tube watching True Blood (or should I say drooling over the viking sex god vampire Eric Northman) and Game of Thrones marathons.  Pro: I am all caught up on my HBO, Con: now I have to wait for each episode to air like the rest of the world.  I don’t know how I will go on.

I also made a 300 page yoga manual, complete with illustrations and nifty layouts.  Had my first experience with a large print document and learned that master pages are your friend when doing manuals.  Also learned to make friends with local printers.  Kinko’s/FedEx wanted $150 per bound manual, the client’s friend who just so happened to own a printing press, only charged $50.  Kissing-ass is now on my to-do list.

Hmm what else has happened?  The other night my totally sober friends decided that mini golf in the street was essential to the evening, followed by pushing me in the pool wearing my socks.  I have the nicest pals.

My first business cards for a client were sent off and printed.  Most stressful day of my life, no joke.  They came out pretty snazzy thank heavens.  Whew.

 

I finished branding two three clients, one of them being myself.  Decided that “Kerning Kelsey” will be my brand of everything and how I present myself at graduation.  Having to design your own brand is like having an identity crisis.  At first I thought that having my blog persona as my brand would be cheesy, but having three teachers agree that it works, I’m so thankful.

Also, I have replaced my inconvenient copywriting with college algebra…or as I like to call it: suicide wishing, thoughts of jumping off bridges, complete with a weekly panic attack, seventh dimension of hell.  I hate math, if you didn’t notice.  I am directing a photo shoot this Thursday, so that should be lots of fun.  My client even asked me to be in a few of the shots, which was the most flattering compliment ever 🙂

Well I think I have procrastinated long enough on my Cajun cookbook.  Back to work.  Toodles.

How Marilyn changed my life

I was 9 years old when I first encountered Marilyn Monroe.  I don’t remember how this happened, I just know that it did.  I was in the 3rd grade, and was assigned by my teacher, a research project about any famous person of our choosing.  Being that it was the 90’s, most of my fellow classmates were doing Mariah Carey or the members of Backstreet Boys.  I chose to do Marilyn.  A little back story: I wasn’t influenced by my parents.  She’s not exactly the sort of topic that we discussed in length over pork chops at dinner.

Suffice it to say, I loved everything about her.  She was the most radiant, beautiful, charismatic, person I had ever seen.  She had a dazzling smile that I could never imitate quite right in the mirror.  Anybody that could have that much of an impact on culture long after, was important indeed.

Over the years, I’ve kept her in mind.  She helped me discover my confidence when I was feeling down, proving that you don’t have to be a size 2 to be beautiful.  I watched her on-screen, and she taught me something important: never take yourself too seriously.  Life is too short and Marilyn tried to live hers to the fullest.  I idolize her to this day, and always ask myself: what would Marilyn do?

Happy Birthday Marilyn, and thank you for the lessons you have taught me.

To Kern or not to Kern, that is the question.

Starting my Saturday off with a little Shakespeare butchering. Whoo AHHAHHA.  So as you may or may not have noticed, I am in love with typography, but there is a minor inconsistency to that truth….I still sorta suck at kerning. *Flinches.  Please save throwing your tomatoes at my face till after reading my post.

I have been practicing my posterior (I have wanted to use that freaking word ALL week) off, even found a spiffy kerning game to practice with.  I have been improving, and by improving I mean sucking less.

I kern almost as well as a squirrel

That’s not to say that I haven’t been trying, but for a few days I was at my wits end and wanted to hire an assistant, whose sole purpose would be to follow me and kern my every sentence. Tempting, but not…morally right. Or so the angel on my left shoulder tells me.

I can’t live a lie, and that is exactly what I would be doing…even though I did have someone take me up on that offer because I think my absurd thoughts out loud. That person whose name will remain anon, is beyond magnificent!

In my search for the gleaming golden glorious secret to kerning, I have come to this conclusion: Kerning was creating for only the most anal-retentive-OCD-examine-every-detail-with-a-magnifying-glass-kind-of-person.  I am not such a person, which makes no sense seeing as I am a freaking Capricorn and we’re supposed to have that ingrained in our eyeballs.

My summer break will consist of me on a quest to find the unknown secret to kerning.  I am sure danger and intrigue will follow me every waking moment of the adventure, and there may even be pirates involved, I don’t know.

What I do know is, come next quarter this wench will be kerning like her blog so rightly deserves.