Creative + Co-Pilot

What I've Learned From Teaching as an Adjunct Professor This Year

Put on your big-kid britches!

I'm feeling fortunate this week after a trip to San Francisco. I'm thankful professionally and personally for the opportunity to not only help bring a large branding project to a close but to introduce my lady to friends in California and show her why part of my heart is still there. It was an experience I won't soon forget, but I was nervous as shit the whole time. Some people are fearless and plow through creative/entrepreneurial projects with no worries, but I'm too wired and I'm just not one of those people. 

I've been working on branding a wine bar for a long-time friend in San Francisco over the last couple of years. I remember the whispers of intent on his part when I was crashing in his spare room and looking for a place to live during my internship. I remember bringing it up in conversation to friends and colleagues throughout the past couple years and wondered if it would ever be completed. It nearly is.

We've developed together a logo, business cards, website, menu, signage for the storefront and a 16' x 9' mural within an interior wall in the bar. Honestly this is the first full suite of branded work I've ever completed by myself. I knew going into the project the scale of work and what a project of this magnitude could do to help push my career, but that long process and the mural in particular were scary as hell. The thought of blowing an opportunity like that did it's number on me on a few occasions. 

 Luckily I didn't blow it!

Luckily I didn't blow it!

I get so caught up in the grind of contracts, strategy and my own personal endeavors that I've become worried most about creating the actual work. That first step of putting pencil to paper, or that last stretch when something is coming together but I haven't nailed it all down yet are two of the scariest times. I worry sometimes to the point my gut turns and I think that breakfast burrito I gobbled up before work is trying to make an early exit.

Fear of failure is a powerful antagonist. That fear can cripple a creative mind, but if you put on your big-kid britches and figure it out as you go, you commit that new thing you've learned to your tool belt and sometimes you get paid for it! There's also no better way to build confidence and a healthy sense of achievement. So don't be a bitch in the face of fear! DO that thing you're scared of! Write that first line of the novel you've been putting off, take that trip  to Spain, and open that online shop. In closing I leave you with my favorite quote from Tottenham legend Bill Nicholson.

'It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And we of Spurs have set our sights very high, so high in fact that even failure will have in it an echo of glory.'



Stephen Jones