In this week’s episode we chat about the challenges of learning new creative skills, specifically Dustin’s been trying his hand at illustrations but running into some road blocks with the new process. If you’re considering trying a new creative skill on for size, but you’re scared of becoming a novice again in the new area, then this episode is for you.

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Show Notes for This Episode:

[1:00] This week we’re talking about Dustin’s challenges of learning a new skill – illustrations
[2:00] Dustin is inspired by Lisa and Ian’s work and has wanted to get into illustration for some time
[3:00] He hopes he’ll enjoy illustrating and wishes to create something he’s proud of
[4:00] Wanting to enjoy a new skill and getting better at it at the same time can cause a bit of friction
[4:40] Dustin started by recreating things he likes and drawing objects from his everyday life
[5:10] He limits his drawing space to yellow post-it notes
[5:40] Ian suggests that Dustin should create a separate social media channel for his illustrations and publish one post-it note every day
[6:40] Ian thinks self-critique is most important and the feed will show the work progression and will help Dustin improve his skills
[7:30] People love seeing the process, so this will be encouraging and helpful for them as well
[8:40] Dustin asks how much time should he spend each day on the post-it note illustrations
[9:30] He also asks Ian if he felt any pressure when he first started doing lettering
[10:20] Ian is finding the pressure more recently with his latte art and mentions it can go both up and down
[10:50] He uses Instagram stories to promote his latte art to keep them separate from the lettering work
[11:20] Tom thinks Dustin should create an Instagram feed for his illustrations and suggests he should show his personality and create a narrative around the work
[12:30] A good idea would be to give the illustration a character or link it to a relatable everyday topic
[13:00] This reminds Dustin of comedian Demetri Martin’s illustrations
[13:40] Ian suggests that once Dustin published 365 illustratd post-it notes he should compile them in a book at the end of the year
[14:15] The example of Bob Ewing doing 365 days of lettering and getting very good at it
[15:30] Tom likes the idea of capturing the moments in a journal type way
[16:20] Dustin find it hard to separate Retro Supply from his new illustrations and wonders if these will affect the company’s reputation
[16:50] People usually appreciate it when someone they love starts doing something new
[17:20] The hosts were impressed by Dustin’s illustrations and think he has a great style
[17:50] Lisa’s suggestion to Dustin is to focus on the process rather than on the end design
[18:40] This will help ease some of the pressure that Dustin is putting on himself
[19:30] Rather than focusing on getting better, Dustin should think of developing his style
[20:00] Having a body of work and showing consistency is what makes your work special
[20:30] Lisa ask Dustin what is his main struggle when it comes to illustrations
[21:00] Dustin doesn’t like the process of mapping his design – he would rather just take his pen and do it
[21:50] Lisa confirms it’s okay to draw in pen and advices Dustin to ditch the pencil
[23:10] Dustin finds it hard starting out again, especially since he’s been there before with Retro Supply
[23:40] Tom also found this when he started doing his Instagram videos
[24:40] The buildup is worse than the actual act – you just have to do it
[25:10] The other hosts are very excited for Dustin and they’re supporting him
[26:00] Dustin has a process in place for Retro Supply and he would like to have one for his illustration work too
[26:30] Tom suggests not turning the illustrations into a second business, forget the process and just enjoy it
[27:50] The hosts agree and reveal how much they miss that part of their work when they could just do it for fun
[28:15] When a hobby becomes your full time work it completely changes your mind set
[30:00] Tom remembers the art room from school and thinks that would be a great thing for designers to allow them to escape their work
[31:00] Dustin used to spend his afternoons at school doing art
[32:00] Tom also misses the time when he could create and not be graded or judged for his work
[33:00] Lisa’s biggest challenge has been removing her brain from the process
[34:00] Dustin adds that another challenge is teaching yourself to enjoy something
[35:00] You need to give allow yourself time, as the process will come with its highs and lows
[35:40] Your work and consistency will inspire others as well
[37:50] When Dustin first started Retro Supply he knew he needed to put work out there so he didn’t have any time to critique it
[38:50] The hosts reiterate that the best way to alleviate the pressure is to try and find your style rather than trying to be good at it
[39:30] Ian prefers smaller projects to big ones is not interested in doing a full typeface with lots of weights
[41:00] Lisa remembers the amount of time it took to do the Personalised Portrait Creator Update
[42:30] Certain things must be learned well from the beginning, and Tom gives the example of him being a self-taught guitar player and not knowing the right theory
[43:10] Dustin gives Kurt Cobain’s example of guitar playing style
[44:00] It’s your style that defines you not how perfect your creations are
[45:00] Today’s episode reminds the hosts of the chats they had even before the Honest Designers Show came to life
[46:00] The hosts give Dustin a final push to create an Instagram profile and share his illustrations
[46:30] Thank you for listening to this week’s episode

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