Tuesday, May 26, 2009

cultivating talent

I hope I take a photo as beautiful as this one day.
Image Source: Clione's Flickr photostream.

I am a designer. I design for print, web, video, etc. I have been doing this type of work for 8 years and you would think it would come pretty naturally to me at this point in my life. No. Not the case. Actually, I don't think it has ever felt "easy"to me. Today I sat for hours in front of the computer and attempted to design a new website. It just didn't happen. I couldn't design a single thing. Nothing. So this got me thinking...why? What is the deal? When I couldn't come up with a logical answer my mind went to thoughts that actually made sense to me....."you suck" and "you are a phony"and "you should be ashamed of yourself"...rational solutions right?? And then, like always, I ended up thinking back to the amazing designers that I have had the opportunity to work around in the past and began the whole "you will never be as good as them so you might as well just quit now."

This happens often. It sucks.

Literally moments - not minutes, but moments - after beating myself to a pulp with my brain the DailyOM appeared in my inbox and had this to say......

"Throughout our lives, we glimpse only the outer hull of others’ life experiences, so it’s tempting to presuppose that the abundance they enjoy is the result of luck rather than diligent effort. In a small number of cases, our assumptions may mirror reality. But very few people “have it easy.” Everyone must overcome difficulties and everyone has been granted a distinctive set of talents with which to do so. An individual who is highly gifted may nonetheless have to practice industriously and correct themselves repeatedly in order to cultivate their talents. Their myriad accomplishments are more likely than not the result of ongoing hard work and sacrifice. You, no doubt, have natural abilities that you have nurtured and your gifts may be the very reason you strive as tirelessly as you do. Yet others see only the outcome of your efforts and not the efforts themselves"

Clearly the Universe had something to say to me today.

The whole article was amazing, click here if you want to read it.

p.s. The image in this post has no correlation to the words. I just thought it was too beautiful not to share with my friends.


  1. Thank you for the link to the article and for sharing your thoughts! It was a good reminder. I so often think just like you did. :-)

  2. Don't be so hard on yourself! You do good work. And thanks for the link to DailyOM, I'm going to sign up!

  3. Your honesty is so refreshing! You rock!
    What you and the DailyOm are saying reminds me of a book I read a while ago called "Talent is Overrated" by Geoff Colvin -basically showing up for the daily grind eventually adds up.
    Keep going honey -and give yourself time limits on the self bashing sessions!!!

  4. Wow. Great post and great reminder. Thank you for sharing. I struggle with these same thoughts very often. You are very talented and an inspiration to me! :)

  5. I needed this same reminder today, this week,this month... maybe longer.
    Thank you :) Kristin (eklektick)

  6. your honesty is so refreshing. i don't know much about you except what I've read here, but what I see is a very talented individual. Don't be so hard on yourself. I too felt like I was a phony when I was a marketing assistant. My duties ranged across the board including creating brochures and advertisements. So many times I felt uninspired (I was working for a bank so there's only so much inspiration to go around). I think it's easy to get stuck sometimes but you've got to push through it to get to the next mile(stone). I wanted to share this blog post from ali edwards entitled working through your creative fear.



  7. Thank you so much for sharing this - this is exactly how I am feeling today. I think we can all certainly talk ourselves down in a way that creates a negative energy and unproductiveness.

  8. Isn't it amazing how quickly we run to our self-doubts....I do it more often than I would like! Love what you posted...both the excerpt from the DailyOM & the photo (which is beautiful!). What is also amazing to me are the words that will come to us...just when we need them. I remember a VERY trying morning two and a half years ago...I was exhausted, depleted, and just trying to get a grip to go through the rest of the day. Then I went to get the mail. There was a card from my Mom and inside of it was a little printed poem that my grandmother had cut out over fifteen years ago and written a note to me on the back (before she had passed away). Mom said she comes accross things from her mother when her words seem to be needed, so she put it into the mail to me....just in case it might be the same for me. How little did she know! I needed those words that day, that moment. Isn't it amazing what will arrive on our doorstep, just when we need it?!