Scenes from a weekend
How was your weekend friends?
On the surface, mine was all about getting things done: a trip to the post office to pick up parcels, planning a couple of photoshoots for the blog, getting colourful pots and plants for the terrace, and dealing with life admin I kept pushing back (like changing phone contracts, updating my budget, scheduling to get my new passport…)
If you looked closer though, something felt different this weekend. There was a strange calmness over my home and I think this sort of shows in the pictures I took, which have an almost still-life quality to them – can you see that too? So today I decided to write about something a little more personal.
For a while now, Rob had been keen to change jobs, to take a step up, and to get the opportunity to work on more exciting projects, for a bigger and more established company. As an aside, he has a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and about six years of solid experience, working both in-house and for agency studios.
Interestingly, before even applying to any jobs that caught his eye, he had to craft a portfolio of his entire body of work, professional and personal, with a blurb about each design’s intent and method, and rework and refine this anthology until it showed his career in a satisfactory light. I have to say I was surprised by this and in many ways, it reminded me of working on my Master’s thesis, of taking on an exciting but daunting task, a project which sheer size can overwhelm and cripple you because you may not know where to start, which timeline to set for yourself, and how to evaluate your progress. Isn’t it a little like… looking in a mirror?
All this recording and analysing of your thoughts, your method and output over a long period of time may reveal things about yourself that you have, consciously or not, avoided to face head-on.
In its very essence, building a portfolio is dissecting each of your past accomplishments, to question how and why you have succeeded in some endeavours and not others, to establish what was down to luck, commitment, collaborative effort? And if the latter, how much of that success was truly your own. And what of your failures, the work that you are less proud of? It’s to assess it cooly and decide whether there is something to be said for what it taught you and try to bend it into compliance, or discard it altogether. It’s not easy.
Or maybe I am that person who thinks too much about success and failure and constantly moving forward; I touched on that in my last post. Sometimes I can even be guilty of almost not doing something because I am scared of the outcome. I always shake it off of course and get out of my comfort zone and I’m always happy that I did but nevertheless, it can be a little paralysing. Are you like that too? What do you do to keep yourself in check?
Rob didn’t grapple with the implications of the exercise as much as I imagine I would have. He has a quiet confidence about him and always keeps a level head, I really admire that. He worked on his portfolio slowly but steadily and last week he was offered a great role with a great company. I think that is why this weekend it felt like something heavy had been lifted off our shoulders. I could literally see it on his face: the peace. I am so proud of him.
Side note: If you like the beautiful backgrounds I used in the pictures above, they’re all courtesy of Wallpapered. You can pick the size you need and they’re a really great quality, fabric-like and super light. I love the textured wallpapers in particular and if you fancy some samples, you can get 10% off by emailing Rachel and quoting “hecticophilia”. I think those are especially great for bloggers or makers styling lifestyle and product shoots, you’ll definitely see them pop up here and there as backgrounds.
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