You’re not very good at this…
I walk into my interview with a pathetic representation of my work, a little nervous because this was the first time I’d ever shown it to anybody. I wanted so badly to become a working artist and this was my opportunity.
I shake hands leaving a wet reminder of the greeting on his hand from my sweaty palm, we exchange pleasantries, and I lower myself into the seat all the while gripping my three ring notebook folder. I hand over my future to the man sitting across from me and watch his eyes glaze over turning the pages. All of a sudden he looks up at me; eyes wide and says, This is the most amazing work I’ve ever seen, Corey! How have you not been scooped up by cutting edge agencies? You’ve got to start right away! I know you are applying for an entry level position but with work like this… You’re senior designer material. Can you start out at making $100,000 a year? I snap back into reality with the the sound of his voice… I had been day dreaming about a miracle that I was hoping for but instead I get:
“You’re not very good at this. Make sure that you’re gifted in this and are not just in love with the idea of doing it.”
It look me a second to process what had just happened. I had been flying high on hopes and dreams and a meteor shower of reality hammered me back down to earth. I was crushed… I can only imagine the site of me sitting across the table. I had no idea what to say. I just wanted to get out of there as fast as I could and begin to nurse my wounds.
As do most doses of reality go, you’re left with two choices: lower your head and give up, OR Lower your head and push through.
I’d like to say that this was the only experience of hearing that I wasn’t qualified or good enough for a specific job, but each time I used it as fuel to dig in and become better at my trade. Here’s the take away: Remain a student to your craft. Be a problem solver. Become better with every critique. Learn to accept critiques and not puff up like a blowfish when you hear negative remarks towards your work. You may not be everyone’s cup of tea, ya know?! And that’s ok.
What can you learn today to make you better for tomorrow?
-I’m sure someone famous has said that before.
It took some time of me improving, but eventually I started receiving phone calls from this man’s office to do work for them.