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+.


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.