There comes a point in every person's life where they hit a wall or come to a plateau. We can grow tremendously in a very small amount of time, but there will always be a moment where you stop growing- whether this pause is brief or prolonged, no one can tell. When you get to this point, you might feel lost and dissuaded to continue your growth. At this point, many people will give up chasing their dreams because it is too hard to overcome this plateau.
Or is it?
How to grow and bypass roadblocks
So how does this all relate back to my logo? The answer is simple. After the doodling and brainstorming of my logo took place, I had to distinct ideas to choose from (I'll get into that in a bit). My inability to decide on which logo to choose was hampering my progress, not unlike what I talked about earlier. When this happens, I find that it is easy to get lost and wander around in circles chasing your tail, never able to finish your project or grow further. This plateau, wall or whatever you like to call it is something all people are familiar with, but there is a way out of this. Artists are intimately familiar with it. It is called constructive criticism.
It might sound scary at first but criticism is one of, if not the most important aspect of being a creative person. For all of you non-creative people, it can be a great way to learn if you're doing anything wrong and can help you grow. Generally, people are averse to receiving criticism. Why put yourself out there only to be told you're doing something wrong? The answer is simple: If you find yourself at a point where you've hit a wall, getting constructive criticism can open your mind to doing things differently. In changing your habits, or revisiting the weaker parts of your work or character, you give yourself space to grow and break down the walls that have blocked you.
I've written about this before:
Essentially, when you want to make something good or grow faster, you must 'Kill your babies'. I'll translate it so it sounds less macabre.
In order to create better art, or to grow as an individual, you must be willing to toss out old ideas that do not work that you may have gotten attached to.
Being able to take criticism and use it to improve upon yourself is the mark of a master. Learning not to take critique personally is also very important, and can be the biggest wall to your growth and progress as a person/artist/whatever. It's easy to feel like you're being attacked when you're receiving criticism (constructive or otherwise), but sometimes in order to make something better, you have to tear it to the ground.
How to make the most out of people tearing your work into pieces
So you've decided to get criticism from someone. They gave you their opinion and it hurt. You're all done. Except you're not.
I don't believe it is enough to just get one opinion when you want a critique. Perhaps I'm a bit of a masochist, but I like getting several critiques while also personally attempting to raze my work into the ground. The reason I feel it's important to get multiple views, is that each individual has their own preference. Some may see things about your work that may have gone unnoticed and others might have a similar view to your own, except hearing it from another person may help you see your work differently. Variety is the spice of life, so getting a bunch of different critiques can really help bring about a thorough report on what you're lacking and how to make your ideas/self better.
When I looked for critiques, I went to four of my friends. Essentially I set up a small committee of people who I went to school with and asked for their opinions. When looking for criticism, I believe it is best to find people you can trust because they'll have your best interests at heart, and will give you a more thorough criticism besides 'I don't like it'. I also isolated them from each other so their opinions wouldn't be influenced outside of what their personal beliefs were.
After having them give me their opinions, I would share what the others thought to each one to see if their opinions would change or if they could offer some more ideas on how to improve. Also, feel free to pick and choose which criticisms to listen to. Not all ideas are created equally, so it would be silly to address every single criticism, because you'll never make everyone happy. It's important to separate the signal from the noise and to keep yourself moving and not get too carried away.
Lastly, these four have helped me work on this logo, and 'Quiet'. Hopefully, they can continue to help me grow as an artist, and I would love to return the favor when the time comes.
Mo' criticism, mo' problems
One of the important aspects of this preliminary stage is to realize once the critique was done, I should still seek to get more criticism as the project progressed. It's not enough to get a couple criticisms, you need to be critiqued as often as possible to continue growing.
Critiquing at this stage was all about tackling the core concept and idea of what I wanted the logo to be so I could finally put it into illustrator to make it. Once I have a finished looking version of the logo in illustrator, I would have passed it on for some more criticisms and continue to iterate on the concept until I've got something I'm completely content with that addresses the critiques I thought were more poignant.
Progress with the logo
As far as the content of the critiques, I wanted to know which one my friends preferred: The idea of the 'key' or the idea of the 'ticket'.
Just to refresh, here's the two logos
It was fairly split, with some of my friends liking the 'key' idea, and others preferring the 'ticket'. I had been told that both ideas were equally interesting as well. I also remember some comments saying I should work on both even more. I didn't listen to those comments due to the fact that I couldn’t realistically work on two logos at the time, so I decided to choose one, keeping in mind the strengths and weaknesses of both ideas. What convinced me to go with the 'ticket' idea was that I thought it would be more enjoyable for someone to come to my website and see imagery that reminded them of fun and entertainment. I still love the idea of the key, but the 'ticket' idea just seemed like it would be more appealing in general.
The next and last blog about the logo will be on how I brought the doodles to life, and touching up the concepts until I landed on the logo that you see today. See you there!