I saw this video years ago and have been thinking about it a lot lately. “The Gap” is a quote by Ira Glass. It’s the idea that when you’re just starting out, there’s a big gap between what you want to create vs. what you actually create. As you master your craft, the gap becomes smaller. Ideally, you want the gap to be as close to zero as can be. (Zero would equal perfection, which does not exist.)
Let’s go back eight years ago to when I started this blog: I felt like a major beginner, which I may add, often feels like being an incompetent loser. The world of Flickr was alive and well. I loved looking at the beautiful photographs of portraits, cities, and still lifes I posted as inspiration on my blog (before Pinterest existed). I was 14 and in my freshman year of high school. The high school I went to was well-ranking and therefore focused more on math and science than the arts. I spent the majority of my weekdays in classrooms, only to come home to hours upon hours of homework. I’m not the type of person who sacrifices sleep, so without pulling all-nighters, I didn’t have any time to pursue my creative interests.
I lasted through my first year of high school, then I switched to independent study, which offered a much more flexible program. I went to school 1-2 days a week for two hours for each class where I listened to lectures, took tests, and handed in homework. During class, I received a week’s worth of assignments, and I did all my work at home. Independent study isn’t 100% of peachy cheery overachievers. Let me tell you—there were a fair number of “wrong crowd” kids who got in trouble, kicked out of regular school, and plopped into independent study as a last resort. But the school did a good job at separating the overachievers from the chain gang. The other students that were in my classes were just incredible people to surround myself with. There was an aspiring actress who divided her time between SF and LA, a swimmer training for the Olympics, and a few who danced in the SF Ballet. The flexible school schedule enabled me to pursue photography. I took some headshots of Kelcie, the aspiring actress in my class, which formed the bones of my portfolio. I then took my portfolio to a few modeling agencies in San Francisco and began testing with their new face models. I pursued fashion photography on the side for the rest of high school and first few years of college. (You can see some of my fashion photography here under “Photography.”)
As seasons of life change, I’m studying graphic design at SCAD via their online program, and I’ve since switched my gears to focus on graphic design. And this blog. This blog is the only thing that’s remained constant during my creative pursuits. I love wearing fun clothes and taking outfit pictures. And I still take pictures. A lot. Now more than ever for Drifter Organics. (Side note: I never thought I’d get into holistic health and wellness and start an all-natural skincare line with my mom, but you never know where life will take you.) We shot our Fall Winter 2016/17 lookbook last week and I’m working on the final edits to launch on our website November 15th. I worked with a model friend of mine and organizing the entire photo shoot made me realize how much I absolutely LOVE photography—even more so than graphic design. And to be honest, I think I’m more talented in photography than in graphic design. But I still think it’s important to have a degree in graphic design to serve as a good foundation for knowing how to communicate visually across all creative platforms.
What’s the point of this post? Basically to get some thoughts out there into the world. There’s still a huuuuuuuge gap between where I am and where I want to be (I want to graduate SCAD, make Drifter Organics successful, get into videography, do freelance creative directing, maintain this blog and grow my readership, write a book, and heal my leaky gut) but when I think of how far I’ve come, I realize I’ve already closed the gap a lot. For all you who are feeling sorry for yourself because you’re not where you want to be, just think of how far you’ve come. And remember, the more you practice, the luckier you get (I’m not sure who said that—I think it was either Gary Player or Arnold Palmer but Google’s showing me conflicting results). I love writing these types of blog posts because it serves as therapy for me. I hope reading this helps you, too. But definitely, if you haven’t watched that video, you should. If you don’t want to watch the video, you should at least read the quote here. It’s one of my absolute favorites.