Creative Recharge

Whew!  I have had a BUSY bunch of weeks at work recently.  My company is going to a large tradeshow in London next month – which always means there is a LOT of design work to be done beforehand.

I went to school for Graphic Design, but I am currently employed as a “web developer”.  While I still get work on design projects, large chunks of my time are spent writing code, which results in a lot of work that you can’t really see.  Developing is challenging and, in turn, very rewarding – but sometimes I crave the creative [and more fun] design work.

my desk

This is where the magic happens. All the essentials are here: an amazing monitor, my tea mug, some gum and a couple of creatures to keep me company.

Whelp – after wrapping up 3 BIG design projects, it’s safe to say I got my fill!  I designed a large backdrop for our booth at the tradeshow, a lengthy & animated presentation in prezi – and most importantly, a whole new brand identity for our product line.  That last one is HUGE.  That’s the kind of project I’ve dreamed of doing.  Talk about a design challenge: the opportunity to update the visual representation of who we are/what our product does, but without completely torching our branding that’s existed for 10+ years….HUGE.   So huge, it’s going to have to it’s own post.

The fact that all 3 of these projects occurred simultaneously was a challenge in itself.  Early in the week that everything was due, I came across freelance artist Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s blog (check her out, she’s awesome).  I’ll be honest…it was a little tough to discover this super creative artist while I was grinding away at my  40  50 hour/week job.  Then again, I was getting to spend all those hours in Photoshop & Illustrator, tackling a dream project, so I couldn’t quite throw myself a pity party.  But, it made me realize that I did crave a different kind of creativity.  I just wanted to create for FUN.  I wanted to play around, get messy and not worry about deadlines or feedback.  So I did:

Fun with gelli plates!

I spent 2 or 3 evenings making colorful, layered, crazy prints with my gelli plate, and it felt GREAT. I didn’t think about what would look best or “right”.  I just kept layering colors and patterns and letting the goodness emerge on it’s own.  It really helped relieve some stress and clear my mind to help me tackle the more demanding creative projects I had at work.

Gelli prints

Not familiar with what a gelli plate is?  It’s tough to explain and better to show, so here’s a short tutorial, but be warned – gelli plate videos are strangely mesmerizing.  They are the reason I bought a gelli plate this past summer.  In short: it’s just a really fun way to make prints full of color, texture and depth.

Gelli prints

And the creative recharge continues, because I actually am playing hookie from work today!  Once I hit “Publish”, I will be up in my craft room for the entire day!  These colorful prints are actually going to be part of a bigger project which I’ll share in an upcoming post (update: check out the bigger project!).  I also hope to share the work projects at some point.  Until then – thanks for stopping by :)


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