"No" Doesn't Scare Me.
Updated: Nov 5, 2018
You ever think about how scary it is when someone asks you to put some music on? I've seen it so many times. A flicker of fear in the eyes, hesitation, a few questions to dodge the command. Something like "Well, what type of music do you like?"
No one reacts that way when you ask them about their favorite food. Mine is steak if you were wondering.
To like a song is to like the rhythm, the beat, the lyrics, the way it makes you feel and the memories it conjures. It's deeply personal and ridiculously emotional. Letting someone else hear your music is like letting them read your diary and you know that if someone doesn't feel the same way you do about a song, it'll hurt.
All art is deeply personal. Even more so when you're the actual artist. And for a while, when clients told me they didn't like my work, or they wanted something tweaked, it felt personal and it brought forth fears. "What if they don't like anything else I create?" "Am I going to be able to give them something they'll like?"
But none of that was ever true. No doesn't mean "your work sucks, and I never want to see anything like it again." No doesn't signal incompetence. No means "that's not right for me, but I like you, so work with me to create something that suits my needs a little better."
Collaboration is a scary thing in its own right - I've had requests at the beginning of projects that I was worried I wouldn't be able to fulfill.
"Incorporate an African symbol into my logo." "Give me a variation that includes a checkered pattern." "Don't use any color." But in the end, the challenges my clients gave were crazy fun and the end result was an insanely unique logo that they were extremely happy about and personal growth for me as a designer.
Below are three of my favorite logo designs from their inception to their final revisions. Some changed more than others.
The ask: Something very unique that conveys love without using hearts. Simple enough to be altered while retaining its original essence. Must be unisex.
The challenge: Incorporate checkerboard and/or plaid
Designed for: Clothing line
2) NuGrowth Essentials
The ask: Create something afrocentric that conveys naturalness
The challenge: Find a way to incorporate Adinkra (symbols of the Ashanti tribe)
Designed for: Natural hair products formulated specifically for locs
3) Woke Mama Box
The ask: Needs to be VERY simple, with an edge. Perhaps with a hippie vibe.
The challenge: Use as few colors as possible.
Designed for: A website
About the Author: Katria Farmer is a freelance communications consultant in Wilson, NC specializing in copywriting and graphic design. Her B.A. is in communication studies and her M.A. is in strategic communications. She serves Wilson, Rocky Mount, Raleigh, Chapel Hill and surrounding areas. Learn more about working with her: https://www.katriafarmer.com/about