The Naked Mind & The Allure of the Pit Stain (2 Minutes)


I tweeted about this yesterday, but I’ve decided to let this train of thought travel a little further. Just a little.

One of our greatest strengths and weaknesses as designers and/or artists is that we love to bring our creations to the closest iteration to perfection as we possibly can before eyes ever behold them; it’s incomplete unless it’s captured the precise vision intended. Unfortunately, this mentality sometimes makes its way into our sketchbooks and our journals; the sacred places where ideas are birthed, concepts are brought to life, and fear of the blank page is conquered over and over again. I thought about this when looking through the book Typography Sketchbooks (edited by Steven Heller and Lita Talarico) and noticing how some of the sketches resembled nothing of what we typically see from these designers—nothing polished and pretty, no finished product. What I saw in this book was more than a collection of doodles. This book was comprised of pages and pages of vulnerability, fearless ink that flowed with no hindrance driven by the outside world.

See, what I think we do is we draw and write in hopes that someone, somewhere, someday is going to find this thing and will somehow be significant enough to publish. “Forget that!” I say. Forget trying to impress! I admire the fact that these people have courageously made the mistakes needed to come to the beautiful pieces of work that it results in. I don’t ever want to be afraid of sweating to get to where I need to get to, even if it may be embarrassing if someone ever sees the process. Go ahead; let people see those pit stains. It’s the “embarrassing” sweaty times that chisel the body.

Point is this: we to be way more transparent with ourselves, even and especially in our own “private” spaces, if we really want to produce our best.