Look at Your Old Work

Due to some technical difficulties I am substituting today's Podcast for a written piece based on the outline I had put together. I will still be doing the Thursday blog post, so that means you get 2 written pieces from me this week! How fun! The Designsbyhall Podcast will return next Monday, October 27.

So  I recently upgraded the operating system on my Mac, and the last few years I have taken this opportunity to do a cleaning. I'm very particular about how I arrange my files to be easy as possible to find. Sometimes during these clean-ups I come across something from years ago that I had forgotten about. Usually it's something somewhat endearing, but this year I came across something not so cute...

Floppy Disk.png

This is an actual piece of work I did, created on August 26, 2012. Right off the bat, I can tell you everything that I did wrong. While I got the shapes right, there's a clear lack of depth to the entire composition. The shadows are too soft, edges are poorly defined, and oh boy that...handwriting? It was probably the best I could do at the time, but boy is it sad looking.

Back in June, I published a piece called Learn, Don't Envy in which I wrote about comparing your own work to the work of someone you look up to in your field. I wished for "an easy, magical fix that I could share with you", and while I still believe there isn't one, I think I found the closest thing to it. 

Thanks to that floppy disk, I've discovered that looking at your old work can be a very grounding experience. It can be overwhelming to look at how far you have yet to go, but it's very motivating to see how far you've already gone. In this case, my work today is literally leagues ahead of anything I was doing at that time. 

I did mention looking at old work in passing in that other post, but I don't think I made a big enough deal about it at the time. I was never one to consciously save my work and organize it in a way that I could come back to later. I didn't place on it the level of importance I should have. If you're just starting out, don't do what I did. I really encourage you to keep an accessible archive of your work to look back on later if you're ever feeling discouraged.

In the podcast this is the point where I'd turn the conversation over to you. If you'd like you can send me an email or a Tweet with your thoughts. I will go over feedback at the end of the next Podcast.