I'm better than I know. (or: that time my teacher made me cry, I took down my website, and quit freelancing)

13 May 2011

Last weekend I decided to take down my design site, AdorkableDesign.com.  I still own it, and may use it again in the future.  But for the time being, dork design is gone… and well, I won’t be doing much, if any, freelance design work either*.

It wasn’t a rash decision.  I was actually acting on advice from one of my instructors.  She own her own firm, has worked in the industry for a while, and does some pretty awesome work.  Though she even says herself that she’s still learning, she knows what she’s talking about.  And recently she gave me some really harsh truth.

I’m not at the level where I should be concerned with freelance work.  I can’t earn the money it’d be worth absorbing my energies in such freelance work.  At this point, it’s really not going to benefit me.  The only good thing would be that I would be doing more work — one of the things we’re told over and over again: keep producing work.  It doesn’t have to be the best ever, just keep producing more and more work.  But taking away my focus from my school work isn’t worth any of this.  Hearing that was hard.

I call myself a rock star because it reminds me that I can and will be absolutely amazing.  I will be a damn good designer, and one day, an even better art director.  I’m at school because I’m not at the level I need to be, or even want to be.  Not currently.  But I will be.  I’ll be the person that companies like Leo Burnett or Ogilvy will seek out to work with.  I have the drive and passion, I’m just not there yet otherwise.

My instructor lent that book to me, It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be.  And yes, it’s on my birthday wish list.  It’s a good reminder that no matter how hard some of this seems — no matter how down I get, how frustrated I am at my executions, or how hurt I get from criticism — it’s my drive and passion and love for this that will keep me going.  I am going to be a stronger person.  I’ve got a lot of ideas and even more potential.  And I look forward to seeing how far I’ll go.

Of course, I have to remind you that I can’t get there without help — click here to do so.  $64 keeps me in school for the day, and gets me one step closer to my dream.  I might even become a human billboard for you each day you support me.  Just saying.

*I’ll still be doing some freelance web work.  Coding and consultation — I’ll help you set up your blog or site, and even integrate it with your social media. (And if you’re my classmate, I can do some minor tutoring in the adobe programs and even social media…)

  • firstly, love the tee. did you wear that on purpose? 😉

    secondly, can’t lie. my heart skipped a beat when i saw “quit freelancing”. you were (are) the first person on my list to ask about designing our business’s site. your instructor’s right though; you need all your creative mojo focused on school

    thirdly, you’re definitely on your way to being super fabulous (you’re already pretty fabulous). your creativity was one of the things that drew me in to your blog. i have no doubt you will do big and amazing things 🙂

    • Erini

      yep. the “born to blog” shirt has been adapted into my house-wear, and now, pjs. so I wear it ALL the time. but I love that it says “born to” on the front. gives me sooo many options. 🙂

      and THANK YOU. You go all out in your love and support for something, and it’s always 100% honest and 100% Michelle. I love that about you. And I am unbelievably gratefully to have received such support from you! Seriously girl. Thank you thank you thank you. I’ll be back freelancing hopefully very soon, once I get all my schooling done. 🙂

  • howie

    sounds like she views you as competition and doesn’t want to take the chance that you might get work she might otherwise get. you shouldn’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something or aren’t ready to do it. you know your capabilities and you know your strengths and weaknesses. i say: put your website back up and let the world know you are open for business. you may get offers that are beyond your skill level at this point and which you will have to turn down, but you will have made a contact that you can get back in touch with eventually to offer your services. you already have skills that you can market now. do you really want to limit yourself?

    • Erini

      I wish she viewed me as competition. She’s good. Really good. 🙂

      A lot of it is just so I can direct all my focus on school. Another part is that I own 3 domains, and so that got a little confusing. For the time being, adorkabledesign.com will stay down until I get back into freelancing. I’m trying to set up my original site, erinichristine.com so that people can get familiar with me and hopefully continue to support me (and others) through school. (I’m attempting to start up a scholarship fund for the school since the *only* financial aid they offer is this high interest loan from SallieMae.)

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