Hello lurking friends,
How have you been? I’ve been well. Right now it is 3 in the morning as I write this down, here in the land of wooden shoes. It has gotten a tad colder, which isn’t surprising since we do live in November. My fingers are cold, so I figured to put them to work on my qwerty keyboard in the hopes to warm ‘m up. Here’s some incoherent ramblings of the day by yours truly.
The crap designers go through….
Speaking of work. Every now and then I get paid to design promotional materials. Mostly flyers, logo’s and stuff to share online like banners and such. Because I don’t have an official business, I usually just ask a small fee.
The fun side about designing stuff for others is the creative process. Making something out of absolutely nothing. I prefer to make everything by myself. Even if it’s just a dot. When it comes to designing a flyer or a logo, I prefer simple designs. Less is more, you know?
The down side is that you shouldn’t look at the design with your own eyes, but with the eyes of the client. It doesn’t matter if you think a polar bear with a red background looks odd, if the client wants to pay for that crap then it’s their choice. Even it means having to chuck your own wonderful ideas and design in the forgotten bin.
I’ve also been doing some designer work for church for about a year now. Because it’s for church, I charge even less than usual. Actually, I don’t charge the church anything. But they always feel obligated to slip me some cash for my work.
Christmas is coming up and I’ve been asked to design a flyer for this event for Church. Of course I asked my pastor if he had an idea of what kind of flyer he’d like. He said I was free to design whatever I pleased. “Oh wow” I thought, “I can actually make something I like this time”. And so I made this “Silent Night” themed flyer; a warm colored starry night, Joseph, Maria and baby Jesus in a manger shrouded with light from the brightest star. I don’t feel like putting it up here now, but I can tell you that everyone seemed to like the design. All the young people from my church liked the design.
But what the “youngsters” like, is totally the opposite of what my pastor likes. He looked at my “Silent Night” design last night and today he finally came to the conclusion that he preferred this older flyer I designed last year. I hated that design by the way; It’s a white Christmas tree surrounded by a border of red flowers covered with snowflakes and sparkles everywhere. There’s just too much going on on that flyer… But they wanted it that way last year, so I went with it. And it appears they still want it that way this year. As soon as the pastor said he preferred the older flyer, everyone else suddenly wanted that old flyer too.
On the plus side it means I don’t have to do much. I’ll just change the date and that’s it. But now I have yet another design to add to the forgotten bin… The next time my pastor, or any other customer for that matter, tells me I can design whatever I please I’ll just have to remember myself once again “It’s not what I want, it’s what they want.”
Lately I’ve been reading a bunch of blogs by professional graphic designers on websites such as theoatmeal.com and clientsfromhell.net just to name a few. I could relate to their stories about the weird stuff clients ask a designer to create. Quite a fun read. As a designer you do have a certain level of crap you go through. But hey; It still beats doing work on an assembly line or stalking random customers by phone with ridiculous questions.
Aside from having to chuck my new flyer design into the bin and retouching the old flyer for Christmas, I’ve had quite an interesting long day of birthdays and band practice to survive. My Indonesian/Dutch church loves to party. Whenever there is a birthday or a funeral; they are there to bring the cake, the music and last but not least of course an uplifting and inspirational short bible study. And yes, there’s always way too much Indonesian food to share with one another.
The husband of the birthday girl made this gorgeous caramel cake. I am still on a diet, but that cake was worth making an exception for. Thank God that the house was so crowded and that nobody noticed how I inhaled the cake… Thank God for a sibling who points and laughs while inhaling the cake. Thank God they served wine at the party too.
Gatherings like these is what makes me love this church even more. Even if you don’t know the person who’s throwing the party, if one person of the church is invited we are all invited to come too. My sibling used to despise going to church, but because of the warm and homey attitude they all have towards everyone, even my sibling feels right at home.
The only thing that kind of sucks is the language. Because they speak Indonesian most of the time and neither my sibling nor I can speak that language well. I usually just sit there, smile and nod hoping I didn’t nod to something that I shouldn’t have nodded to. But it goes both ways. Because when I speak in my own language to the Indonesian church goers, they tend to laugh, nod and smile too while they usually only understand half of what I say. Ah yes, communication is fun when you barely understand one another.
God is funny, isn’t He? He leads me to an Indonesian church, where I spontaneously enroll as Worship Leader; where I have to sing Indonesian praise and worship songs, while my grasp of this language is just as good as my Simlish.
As a child I wasn’t permitted to learn the Indonesian language. My Dutch father figured; You are born in the land of wooden shoes and learning anything other than Dutch and English is more than enough. But now that I go to this Indonesian church, I am forced to learn. I enjoy it very much, even though the learning progress so far has been quite slow. But who knows, maybe next year I’ll be able to write an entire blog entry in Bahasa Indonesia. Would be nifty.
Well… My fingers are warm and I’m actually feeling tired.
Have a good day my lurking friend.