I’m typing this up on the train back to Bristol, after hearing the magazine design genius Matt Willey talk about his work at the latest London TypoCircle event. It was incredible, and even though we’re down to the wire with this issue’s print deadline (that is, tonight), I’ve got a replenished belly full of fire to carry on making Computer Arts the best mag it can be. I’m excited about its future, so stick around!
But as great as it was to hear Matt, I felt there was something missing. I was waiting to hear about the times that he couldn’t create a masterwork in an evening (he really can, it’s silly); the times he couldn’t stop questioning his own integrity; the dark times that no one can control.
That’s no judgement on Matt, of course: he’s a genius, a lovely guy, and it was a great talk. But having pored over Tom May’s incredibly revealing feature on mental health in the creative industry, over on page 64, I can’t shake the feeling that so much goes unsaid.
It seems so many people in design are striving for perfection, trying to be the best they can, while also trying to manage self-doubt, anxiety and stress. Obviously, if this doesn’t describe you, that’s fantastic. But I think there are many that will relate.
Anyway, it got me thinking – this industry is filled with generous and supportive people, but we’re often our own worst enemies. With all the expectations and stress we pile on ourselves, it’s essential we step back, and give ourselves a break from time to time. Being the best creative you can be means you must also take care of yourself so you can enjoy what you do. Perfection can wait.