Challenges for a Smoother Form

Supplies for Creative Workshop book by David Sherwin

Every craft beckons to the disciplined or completely devoid of all other life purposes. Although the latter’s more inspiring, they often seem unreal like an alien or a machine and live a certain lifestyle only few can maintain before getting distracted by some shiny object or a new obsession. If you’re like me and enjoy many aspects of life, then the former has more appeal to you.

Disciplined Practices

Discipline requires a lot of self-awareness. You can’t make plans in the future without having a good sense of who you’ll be tomorrow. I’ve read that discipline requires pushing yourself no matter how you feel mentally, emotionally, or physically.

I disagree.

I rarely do something when I’m not in the mood for it. Being in the wrong mental or emotional state for working on something can be more harmful than good, especially if you’re not able to forgive your shortcomings. If you’re feeling particularly down on yourself and do a shit job, you’ll find yourself more discouraged and in a perpetual cycle of unmotivated.

Instead, you need to get yourself in the right mental and emotional state for the actions that need to be done. Forcing yourself to work despite a bad mindset or not feeling emotionally up for it is like running on a sprained ankle. Yes, you could do it but the chances of loses interest in running will go up drastically. One is more likely to forget why love the craft when effort is used to compensate for interest.

Challenges Await

Whether work’s dried up or you find yourself doing the same sort of projects, you’ll want to find new ways to challenge yourself to continue evolving your abilities. In my efforts to do so, I will be going through the practices of David’s Sherwin’s Creative Workshop. It’s a book that’s sat in my parent’s guest room’s closet for over three years. Thanks to a visit home for Christmas, I rediscovered it. A concoction of the new year and a feeling of stagnation has given me the impetus to lift the book’s dusty cover and ready to pick up where I left off.


I ordered the recommended supplies from Amazon and will be getting to work January 6th (the day my supplies get in):

Production tools:

  • Black Marker
  • Colored Markers and pencils
  • Colored paper
  • Craft knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Glue
  • Needle and thread*
  • Pencils
  • Rulers (12″ and 6″)
  • Tracing paper
  • Transparent tape

Digital tools:

  • Sony a6000 digital camera
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • DJI Air 2s drone

Completed Graphic Design Challenges

Return weekly to see the in-process and completed challenge results.

Challenge #1 – Hello, My Name Is…

For this challenge, I needed to make a logo for myself. At first, I was pretty stumped. As the head of marketing at a solar company, I hadn’t worked with a clean white page in a few years. I appreciated the “DESIGNRANDOMIZER” David Sherwin provides. It helped get my creative juices flowing. That and the questions to ask myself like, “What’re your three strengths as a graphic designer? weaknesses?” My responses were:

Strengths: Adaptable, Playful, Communicator

Weaknesses: Not exact, silly, overly simple

Favorite color: Blue

I played around with a few ideas, but the one that stuck in my head was the idea of having a bit of the rough draft coloring in the logo. I’ve always loved the way the bright blue makes the black of the final draft pop:

I like the double lettering with the forward slant. The crummy smiley face in the finished black is kind of ironic against the more polished draft blue ink.

Other Projects of Mine