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Octo Designer

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Recently, our Creative Director, Trey, wrote a piece on Medium about the urge and obstacles of finding creative satisfaction through new channels of art and expression. You can find the article below…


How have I become just like that mysterious deep sea creature, the octopus? It seems I have grown tentacles in place of my arms, and with them I reach out towards all kinds of art and design projects simultaneously. There is this desire to experiment with various techniques, styles, mediums and forms of art. An urge to find creative satisfaction through new and exciting channels.

When I see a piece of art that impresses or strikes a chord with me, this inner monster wants to learn how to devour that skill. Not to copy or steal another artist’s hard work, but rather to unlock the process and how to apply that knowledge to my own work. Today we have so many incredible ways to learn how to achieve a specific skill. Long ago a trade had to be passed on through an apprenticeship, but now we can simply hop online and consume these skills/trades through video tutorials and step-by-step articles. Plus there are still the more traditional learning methods, like college, internships or workshops. With all these options we are truly spoiled.

In my personal journey as an artist, I have searched for fulfillment in screen-printing, apparel design, icons, packaging, web/print work, illustration, hand-lettering, photography and probably more that I can even recall. One of the things I love most about this life is the massive amount of options that are available for the creative soul. There are seemingly infinite paths that can be taken. I have so much respect for many different expressions of art, and therein lies the challenge.

How do I choose? This is the question I have had on my mind lately. Most folks will tell you to experiment and absorb as much as you can until you naturally gravitate towards what makes sense for you. Perhaps this makes sense in the beginning of our careers, but eventually there must be a way to find clarity. A simplified approach to making money for ourselves, and at the same time gaining the necessary creative satisfaction. Speaking from personal experience, I have discovered that it is possible to juggle entirely too much at once. The quality of my work is diminished when I try to do too many different things, like butter spread too thin.

I believe the answer (for me, at least) is to be more selective about what I am pursuing. If I can just learn to filter out the distractions and truly focus on fewer pursuits at once, better results should follow. Let’s say, for example, that you want to give hand-lettering a chance. Immerse yourself in that process and establish a routine. Soak in as much as you can while also preventing other forms of art from creeping in to your time that should be devoted to that subject. I know this sounds simple, but for me it is such a challenge. By no means have I got this thing figured out. We are all searching for creative fulfillment, and my hope is that this will help somebody out there who is in the same place as I am. You are not alone.

Original article on Medium

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