Let's Start Unlearning
So what I want to talk about I'm gonna give you a little kind of 10 minute kind of upfront. Say, listen, these are the things that we're gonna talk about, and then and then we'll get into it, okay? And I find through teaching, I find that I do a significant amount of unti ching of unlearning because even as Children were given rules things we can and can't do, I have his crazy story. Hey, this amazing assistant, Amazing intern this summer, And I won't tell you where she is. Brahman Ward and her name. Is there anything? Because it's not important? But she told me the story about when she was a kid. She wanted to be an artist. She wanted to be a designer. So what she did was in her room, on the wall. She drew the most beautiful picture she could of her parents. She wanted to show them how much she loved them. And she wanted to show them her craft. She brought her parents in and guess what they did. They freaked out. They freaked out. You did what? On my what, Brian, could you imagine tha...
t if you guys hadn't had any experiences like this been told, you can't be creative. Be told, Don't do that even professionally. Mawr, right. Crazy to have your dreams squashed right in front of you. Right? So we have to unlearn all that stuff because we have to take chances. We want to make beautiful things and there's all these rules out there. Um, if it seems like I'm reading or checking my notes is because I'm reading and checking my notes because there's a lot of stuff we want to talk about, and I can't possibly memorize it all. Okay, but one of the things that I found in this kind of this topic of unlearning, you know, if it's crazy, I will get more comfortable. But I'm, like, glued to this point. It's crazy. I know they can't. You know, camera guys were cool. I could walk over here saying, he's got what's going on giving. It was. But if I got there is like marks on the floor and I'm wearing this weird this crest put this weird belt on me before. If I walk too close to this is Scott. It was like an invisible fence. They didn't. They took I told him they couldn't put the barking collar on me that was like that, like That's just too much. So what was I saying? So what my process has been is that I found that over the years I'm doing a lot of un teaching a lot of untrained ing from really bad habits. He's learned un creative safe habits, and the other part is in school. Say you guys went to university to study design or to study harder to study whatever, Um, or you go into the business where there are a lot of rules. You know, one of the things that we talk about professionally is, you know, we're we're graphic designers. We have an objective, every project we dio a website, a poster, anything has an objective, right, and the objective is, get butts in the seats. Celtic. It's the objective is, uh, sell more socks. The objective is, get more Twitter followers. The objective is right. When you guys tell me what if some process jobs that you've worked on, that I had specific objectives to get people to act, get people to push a button, get people to reply all that kind of stuff That's the objective, and we learn that. And that's great. That's doing our job. But we don't learn the subjective. That's important. And the subjective is how you do it. The objective is Get people to push a button, get people to buy socks. The subjective is how you do it. You do it with poetry. You do with sex appeal. You do with humor. Empathy right is what it's what it's what I call it's not what you do. It's the way what you do it right. This is from a distance from an old jazz song, he says. Ain't what you do. It's the way to do it. You know, it's not what you do, it's how you do it, and that's really important. That's the subjective part. We don't learn that it is not coaxed. It is not endorsed. You know, clients want you to do the job, do the objective, love it. I will always do that. But I always feel free to put in the subjective, and that's what we're going to talk about. You know, um, the subjective part is difficult and the subject of part is difficult because it involves you. You have to do it. Quite frankly, no one's gonna ask you to, and that's scary. No one's gonna ask you. You're just gonna feel free to put empathy into the thing. And there in lies the problem, right? So what's the problem? The problem is a number of things. The problem is you don't get to make work that makes you happy because you're so concerned about the objective. And no one's asking for the subject of right. Is anybody here like that? Anybody here have in a burgeoning career? And then you're like I went to the university. I got good grades. I made everybody happy can. Now I've got a job and I sit on a typewriter and watch TV all day like that. That process is not exciting. Anybody in this situation a couple of hands outside contains 1234 million Crazy right? Not making work that makes you happy. I've been there. I'm transitory. I've been there. It's okay. The other part is working life. The balance. You know how many people here have a 9 to 5 job that kind of squeaks into dying to 79 to 10 9 to 11 9 to next frickin morning. Nine to I keep close at work, right? That kind of stuff that happens. And we have to be concerned about that. No one's gonna ask you, you know, we got this letter the other day from some guy who's like, who is like It was about one of the burning questions and he was like, I'm supposed to leave it for on Friday, its contractual. But everybody's days till six, you know, What do I do when I'm like here, Nick? Because, you know, you're giving away a lot of time and energy and money or and I know 80 here has had has a new baby in the house. My wife is pregnant. We're gonna have a baby in the house, you know, like, you know, I know a lot of designers who have to choose between whether they goto work really early in the morning and miss the morning and so they can come back and possibly have dinner or do the other you know, cheating both things. That's tough. That's a problem seeking permission. That's crazy. That's a problem. This is a huge part of actually in burning questions. This is a Siris of the bulk of the questions that we get the work life bounds, seeking permission, you know, they you we we want to be free. But we're waiting for someone to tell us we can, right? The other last part is fear and self doubt. Fear and self doubt are the greatest detractors of success the greatest detractors of of greatness. And we all have it. Remember Raven scared shitless. That's how it works. So what do we dio? There are three things that I want to accomplish while we're here. And one is to make you question your ideas about graphic design about your industry graph Resign post design Web design. Question your ideas about it, How you think about it. Question your role in this business. You know, Are you just a cog? You just show up and do your thing and you know, is it a creative field that you got into or are you there to get a paycheck, right? Is that what life is about? And here's the biggest part is to make you question yourself, making question who you are, who you were born to be and are you doing it? That's important and a crazy idea. So how are we gonna do this? What are some specific lessons? There's no these. We're kind of like when I was when I was preparing for this, there were like, James, you have to say, What's the problem? How are you going to solve it? What are the tangible takeaways? You know, it's like, Ah, so these are these are them. This is This is my contractual duty. Feeling my obligations tick that one off So specific lessons we're gonna be talking about some really practical in interesting stuff, like answering the brief like clients, the cliche that tools when distractions, things like this, you know, it's funny. I was at dinner the other night and they said, Listen, we're gonna talk about clients. We're gonna tell people how to, you know, work with clients and get along. And I'm like, Yeah, kind of. But again, that's the objective. What's the subjective the subject of is, if you didn't have to worry about money or failure, what would you be doing? Also known as what do you cry about in the shower? Because I know you. Do you know why you do you know why I know you do, because I do. I do, because it called in the particular lies, the universal. That's something we're gonna talk about a lot here. Okay, that is a squirrel. We're gonna talk about the new tools, possibly give you some new techniques. Obvious. Obviously, there's no idiot boxes in here now. There's no computers. I can't help you with computers. Computers are awesome. Oh, my gosh. Internet woo. Whatever. I'm sorry. Online, guys. You rock. You are so sweet. So we're gonna talk about tools. We're going talk about the truth, and it'll come up when we're doing in the crit. When we're creating the first assignment. The truth, that's important. Um, better access to ideas, idea, generation Moto, important new freedom to create and play. We all seek freedom. Everybody, everybody. On day three, you will also learn that James likes Helvetica a wider perspective of what this business is and your relationship to it. Take the blinders off a little bit, give you something to renewed thunder, right? And a new freedom to create and play. This is extremely important. I love my job. I take it seriously, but I play for a living. I have to. I have to, because if I'm not, then it just looks like work. And it smells like work. And when you put it on paper, people gonna go home. It's work, right? Also, what we're doing is on Day three, after this very important share your new found information with your friends, your job, your boss, your clients. Because you guys are heroes. You guys are the leaders. And what a hero's do. After the quest, they bring information home and share it with the tribe. Why? To set the world on fire. I love my job. I love the power that we're capable of with ink on paper, It's crazy. It's crazy what you can do. It's crazy the life that my work has taken on by itself. I see in other people's work, it's nuts. We can set the world on fire. And, of course, the last thing was like, Why me? Why James Victoria's teaching this thing right? Um, I'm in an interesting point In my career, I've realized I'm a pretty good graphic designer. At least the Museum of Modern Art thinks so. Right? But what I've learned is I'm a much better teacher. You know I had a book come out a bunch of years ago. I don't have to. I don't have to tell you. You got it for Christmas, right? $40 in the bookstore. 95 on amazon amazon dot com. I think the way the U R l is coming up soon. James Door, Who died and made you boss. Um, where where? My, um um So the book came out. I was blessed to go on a book to her. I was everywhere from from Cape Town, South Africa. Shout out to Cape Town to Anchorage, Alaska Shoutout, Anchorage, Alaska. Um and I spoke with designers and architects and writers and creatives literally all around the world. And the level of victimhood in our conversations was astounding. And from that point on, I have kind of changed my career. I am, I am still a designer. I'm still in this business, but I need to be the teacher. I need to be doing this unlearning because you get out of school or you get into this business and you think it's creative and it's just it's This is just not inherently. There are great jobs out there I love my own. My clients. I love all the jobs that we do, but it's just not inherently creative and well paying. And we can fix that. You convicts that for yourselves because no one else is going to do it. Right. Um, one of things that we have to understand when we're going through this is, um what graphic design the rial meat of what we're talking about? I went to school, Actually, I actually went to to unify, actually fail out of two universities. I failed out of a real university after high school. And then I went to New York to study the School of Visual Arts and I was asked to leave, right? And then I went and taught there for 20 years. Um but what I learned is when I left school is I learned all of sudden, I had a fire under my butt, right? I'm like, Oh, now what do I dio? Right? I still want to be a designer, but what do I do? I don't have an education, so I have to go out and educate myself. And I did it by riding the subway. I didn't buy riding the subway and looking at the posters and go Oh, that sucks. Khuda Bux believes this. Who wrote that crap? Right? I still do that constantly. Actually, I But I have a I have. Ah, year old son Luca Luca. You do? It's dead. Um, he's awesome, but we go when we go to hotels, you know they have TV. We don't keep TV at home. As we go to hotels. There's a TV, and it's like he he's like, Dad, we can't watch TV. He doesn't wanna watch TV with me, you know? Why adds? Because I just started yelling at the TV. He's like, Dad's an ad like, Yeah, but look what they're teaching. This is important. Look, listen to me, Right? Conspiracy theory, dude. Um, but what I learned, but looking to the subway posters and looking at ads and understanding how they work and what their languages and stuff is, You know, we learned graph design and we learned the tools and we're so busy almost to this point of distraction learning photo shop and learning how to do all this Like now, as a designer, we have two were is responsible for all the lettering tightening these little spaces between them and were responsible for, like, color, correcting and all the stuff that I am an idiot about that stuff. I don't know what how that stuff works, and that's all important. But the meat of what we're doing is sociology, psychology, Anthropologie. Because our audience are just human beings and we have to figure out who they are, what interests them, why they're so similar to me. And it's just like when I said earlier that you are the important part is the mawr honest? You can be with yourself, the more authentic your communication is gonna be. You know? Why me? Because I'm fearless and I'm fearless because I'm willing to take risks. And I'm willing to fail. And I want you to do that cause that's the only way you know what they say. The only way the only way out is through. And this is important. You know. I want you to be fearless. I want you to be willing to take chances. I also want to inspire greatness in you. Of course. That's kind of my job. You know, I'm I'm I'm now not just a teacher. I'm a cheerleader. That's cool. I like school colors. I can Herkie, you know I don't want to inspire you. But remember, here's the rule. Inspiration without action is Bolshoi, right? You have to do something. You have to act. That's what I'm I'm designing that button for you today that But I want you to push it act.