June is going to be crazy. My brother is getting married and so I will be across the country for a good third of the days that I have to work on Monthly Brand. I’m still not fully out of the hole from my extended vacation way back in December. I’m working hard though, and surprisingly learning a lot. I do wish I could buckle down to the regularity I had last autumn, where I could really invest in each fictional client to the nines, from sketches on napkins, to translating to trace, to tracing in Illustrator, to polishing up photos, to exploring color palettes and packaging and collateral… But things add up. These clients that are getting the sweet treatment are, after all, fictitious. One can only invest so much in them without return. That’s probably the weak point of Monthly Brand, but in the end, as I’ve always said, it doesn’t really matter as much as learning and growing as a designer matters. That, for sure, I am feeling successful at so far.
With how busy June is going to be though, I’ve thought about how best to handle times in one’s career when vacation is critical, or injuries take you out of the match, or side projects skew your regular schedule, or even changes in your employment and how all these things throw wrenches in the machine that is your life. Well, a family wedding shouldn’t be considered a wrench, so I’m going to look at it as an opportunity, not a problem.
Not long ago I purchased my own iPad 2. I was unsure exactly how a tablet would work out for my needs, but after long deliberation and daydreaming, I went ahead and invested. So far, I have been very impressed. Not just with the design of the product (I expect nothing less from Apple these days), but impressed with how many ways I’m using it. I’m actually not really without it very often, always having it on me for many reasons. I’ve invested in a few apps that are great for sketching, I got a stylus that I find works rather well, I can seamlessly blend my research between regular blog digging, image archives, twitter and online magazines, etc. There are many ways it has worked out for me. Certainly it is no Photoshop or Illustrator, but as a research and brainstorming tool, I find it to be quite useful, and what’s probably the most important part about it is that it is lighter than a frisbee and incredibly simple to open and close. I might use the word “jottable.”
So the idea for June is focus on the iPad. I’m going to use the opportunity of being away from my desk to utilize the iPad as a research and sketching tool for the next brand. I can foresee this might be very difficult with the way I enjoy collage and type digging, etc, but since I’ll be on the west coast, I also thought that some “field research” would be a nice little refreshing change to the process. That’s right, June is going to be half Monthly Brand and half beach vacation. There’s nothing better than getting to know your client, right? So if the client happens to be an expert in relaxation and fun, whatever can we do but sink our teeth in client research?
I’ll be diving into the specifics of the client later, as this is all an idea formulating as I write, but I can’t keep letting vacations and other hiccups in my schedule set me back. Nay, I shall use a hiatus to my advantage. Sure, this means I’m doing work while on vacation, but Monthly Brand isn’t work. So there you have it.