Monthly Archives: June 2011

On letting go

In my little vacation between school ending and internship beginning I took about 3 hours to read Tina Fey’s book.  I can relate to her because I’m brunette and my name is Tina (sorta) as well!  I joke, but seriously there’s a part where she’s talking about writing sketch comedy.   She basically explains that sometimes she was really proud of what she wrote, but sometimes it just wasn’t there.  The thing was that when you’re working on a deadline, you get to a point where, good or bad, you just need to let go.

While I was reading this section, I thought about studio deadlines.   I always get to a point in a project where love it or hate it, I know it’s time to just stop.  That’s not saying that I’m not trying to make it perfect, I think that’s just to say that I hit a point where I have to accept that continuing to try to make it perfect will mean I lose the chance to make it look complete.  It really bothers me when something looks incomplete.

So I guess this bit of reflection is about to lead me to a graphics rant.   I think a lot of students (and maybe even professionals?) struggle with the part of design where you feel like it could always be better (because it probably could.) The thing is,  if it looks incomplete to a client or reviewer they’re never going to notice that beautifully detailed carefully constructed plan or rendering or whatever it is you’re so proud of.  At least not before they notice that you misspelled multi-purpose (mulit-purpose), the images look really dark, a person in one of your renderings has no hands, and objects on your crooked boards aren’t lining up.  If you’re assembling a presentation, graphics are important!

At our final reviews, one of my friends was looking at my groups boards and commented that it looked complete, and lamented that he never felt like his group’s was more than 80% done.  The funny part was, the entire semester I had felt like his group was way ahead of mine, right down to the very end.  The only thing that made my work seem any more complete was the fact that I came to a point where, love it or hate it, I stopped adding new work and just focused on making what I had done look good.

I’m not saying that this is the best way to do it, but it works for me, and I think it’s something that’s worth trying.   Of course 9 times out of 10 we feel like the project is only 80% complete, but the thing is, that last 20% tends to be more difficult than the first 80%, and can usually be made up for in the presentation.  It’s important to recognize the point where you need to let go.