Block 660: May 14, 2015


I woke up this morning and felt like I could take on the world. Despite a surprise sore throat.

Date: May 14, 2015

Crane: 660

Days Spent on Project: 814

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: Back in the late spring and/or early summer of 2013, I was scrounging for work from any source I could find it. One day, I got a call from my friend Sydney, who said she had given my name and number to an “acquaintance” who needed a shopper for a small commercial to be filmed soon.

I should have asked for more information.

I did get that phone call, and I did take the job because, Hey: work is work.

It was an interesting experience for a variety of reasons. The commercial was to be filmed somewhere “secret.” There was a major television star attached to it. It was going to be shown in South America… somewhere. It was for laundry detergent. One of my old boy-space-friends was cast in it.

I learned a lot about commercials. I didn’t end up working more than a day on the project. What was promised as an assistant position, turned out to be a shopper/wardrobe person that needed to be on call for 14 hours a day for a few days… for $100 total. I never got paid. I actually wasn’t that upset.

I was sent out every hour to shop for “new ideas.” I think I dropped several thousands of dollars at MACY’S, of all places, and then promptly returned it all an hour later. I did that several times that day. I had to source ascots; I went to my old neighborhood and promptly spent a few hundred dollars on a few, only to be told they weren’t right. They weren’t returnable.

Building, an ascot, due to this being so last minute, was out of the question.

I wish I remembered those people and their names. So, today, I’ll thank Generic Detergent People for the experience. Design by committee isn’t an easy process.

Music I listened to while sewing: I spent the night going through my Spotify favorites from 2013. Lots of pop music I haven’t listened to since.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: How do I say this?

In the end, this job- shop managing- is actually incredibly helpful for me. It’s been great to work consistently and frequently with a rotating series of designers. It’s good to see different processes. It’s good to learn that I do know enough to be a helpful manager, delegator, assistant, etc.

I’m not bad at this job at all.

I’m not bad as a designer, either.

I know I’m harping on the same narrative quite a bit now. But it’s something I wrestle with.

Have I given up? Have I left design behind? Have I settled? Is comfort better (or worse) that struggle? What am I working towards here?

Is my life really just about a paycheck now? Is my goal really just to pay off my student loans and credit card debt?

Gotta keep working. Gotta work harder if I’m supposed to do THIS job well, and figure out a way to make other projects and dreams happen.

Or maybe I don’t.

But I don’t want to NOT.

Okay, back to watching more of today’s tech rehearsal…

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