Believe me, I’ve had a few and I’m sure most designers do too. Most of you know me from Instagram - a place where our best work is displayed, giving an impression that you’re a perfect professional. A place where all your favourite artists seem to be the coolest people in the world who don’t make mistakes. I promise you, all your favourite people have made mistakes that have made their soul shiver in a moment of pure cringe. I am no different, as I’ve made countless mistakes, both embarrassing and sometimes not so embarrassing. Everyone needs to realise that if you don’t make mistakes, you don’t learn and in turn - you haven’t evolved. I’m on a endless mission to be the very best worker I can be, little by little if need be. So here are 3 of my most cringe moments as a graphic designer.
1. When I first started Judy is Punk ® I had my head on a fucking swivel. I was all over the place, doing any client work I could get, doing social media and website stuff. Before I tell you this moment of pure cringe, its important to know that I graduated with a major of ‘Pre-Press,’ so in other words - it was instilled in us the importance of getting things ready for print and we were very proficient with the ‘nuts and bolts’ side of design. So in my mind, this was like second nature and most likely made me cocky in the process and in turn, I fucked up.
I was getting my business cards ready for print - which was a letter press job and I got a call from my printer bless his soul telling me I sent him deliverables in RGB. It was super cringe and I was incredibly embarrassed considering my background as a student and in print (I’m also a qualified print machinist as I did an apprenticeship as well). Anyway, we had a laugh about it and had a chat about print in general which was really cool. What I learnt from this was to never overlook anything in your process. Always have a psychotic attention to detail because it can bight you in the ass later - lucky for me, it was my business cards and not a client, but fuck now you know.
2. Another bad one was the time I met with a client and straight up blacked out (not literally) and completely fucked up my speech. I had rehearsed it, felt confident as I knew the client prior to doing business. When I arrived, we said hello and I went on to listen to the story behind the brand and what was needed on my end. Little did I know I developed a fucking speech impediment for a fucking half hour and could barely finish a sentence with words like ‘ahhhhh’ and ‘ya know.’ Luckily for me, the client was an experienced businessman and I could tell he knew I was just having a weak moment and saw the value in my work to still trust me with his deliverables. The job actually went great and the next time we met and I presented my work, things went very smoothly.
I guess the lesson learned here is to expect to fuck up and to continuously get comfortable with being uncomfortable as I believe this helps tremendously with your confidence.
3. This one is similar to number two except it was via email and ended much more tragically. I was creating a flyer for a client when I first started as I fancied myself pretty good at laying out type as this was something I really liked doing while at uni. I proceeded to send the client my idea for a flyer (which admittedly was probably too minimalist for her brand) and her response was both shit and kind of funny. She proceeded to tell me that what I had done was terrible and although she wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed herself, I was terribly embarrassed and cut. I thought the work I did was really cool but she had other plans. I proceeded to recreate the flyer with all the bells and whistles she wanted (lame) and that was that.
A few weeks later, she enquired how much I would do another job for and I politely declined. The moral of this story is - go with your gut and if you believe the person you’re working for is a pure-bred twat, cut it short.
As mentioned earlier, I’ve had countless embarrassing moments and although these are the worst, never be embarrassed to make mistakes. The best of the best will tell you the made and make so many mistakes all the time. Its what you learn from these that counts and shapes you to be who you want to become.
Words - John Bresciani
Instagram - @judyispunkco
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