Out of the fog forrest

Posted by Mystie Category: Musings

So much has been happening the past few…years.

I know…I know. I hardly know where to start, but today I’m going to attempt to swim through the thick brain fog and try to focus. That’s actually a decent metaphor for what I feel my life has been like (i.e. swimming around in a fog and getting lost in some vain attempt to focus).

I need and, more so, want to expand my workflow. One thing that has become clear over the years is that although I realize I often have to rely on others, sometimes I’m just stubborn, and I don’t want to! This is especially true if I reason that I have to stop or wait in order to reach the end of whatever project on which I am currently engrossed. A piece of advice that is commonly flung towards me when I try to do everything, is that I can’t do everything, and I should just focus on one. This advice, I believe, is part of the reason I’ve been meandering in various states of haze as I try to figure out where I want to focus and what my priorities should be. Therefore, I may focus on one project, but I neglect another. Then when I focus on the second, I neglect the first. This organizing becomes increasingly more complex with added interests. Sometimes I’m just impatient when I am forced to wait while I rely on someone else to help lead my passion project to fruition. Often times, a project is postponed due to financial concerns and/or constraints. For example, I can’t afford the price for someone who would make my project the main focus in a timely manner. Or I need to focus on earning money by focusing on one project so that I can later focus on the other. Other times still, my ego hinders my direction; I want to create my own stuff. That’s my thing, after all.

Rather than focus on one thing. I know need to focus on many things. In order to escape the proverbial fog,  I realize I need to be organized, and being organized has never been my forté (I’m more tidy-to-an-extent, let’s say). Now, I’m in the process of organizing my…process (so to speak). My first goal is to design an online venue where I can archive, showcase, and update my projects as well as provide information about myself in relation. From a design perspective, I have been able to create separate brand identities and customize website templates to fit my needs thus far. However, now I want to expand and be able to manage everything from one spot. This idea seems like an overly complex one when trying to force a template fit my needs. Instead, I think I need to create a customized framework.

I realize I have the perfect hodgepodged background.

When I was in college, I decided to join my love of music and love of visual art with a degree in Media Arts. To balance it out, I worked towards a minor in communication with an emphasis in Media Studies. I took some graphic design foundation courses, but I also lived with three graphic design majors, so I gleaned many skills. In fact, I absorbed experience in many ways. In Jr. High, I worked on the school newspaper staff. In high school, I worked on the yearbook, and in college, I worked at the newspaper again. I also assisted with the library’s web re-design. I even had a few passion projects on helping friends with their start-up entertainment blogs and/or ‘zines. In these instances, I worked in many roles such as journalist, writer, photographer, layout designer, graphic designer, researcher, and novice coder. I want to get back to those interdisciplinary, cross/trans/multi-media interests.

I’ve always had an interest in psychology. I took related courses in college, paying specific attention to behaviorism and identity with a focus in fandom. I even emailed Henry Jenkins after reading some of his work, and was tickled when he responded with, “[the field] needs people like you.” While this interest took somewhat of a backseat in my educational and career pursuits, it has remained as a solid part of my everyday experience in one way or another.

Music has always been a large part of my identity. Listening to music has been my sanctuary since I was young. I have fond memories of listening to my aunt’s 45s and whatever children records were available. The community I found in the music industry and the concert scene pulled me in during my teen years. I’ve always sung in the school choirs, church services (different churches depending on what was available at the time), and after-school activities. I took bass guitar lessons. I played clarinet and alto horn in the high-school band (although I use that verbiage loosely). I even taught myself some piano. However, it wasn’t until my post-college days when I challenged myself to learn some guitar basics that I really fell in love with the idea of being a singer-songwriter.

What do I do with this?

So how do I organize and prioritize all these interests? Well, since I already have a solid design background, I started looking into UI/UX Design and coding as my next logical endeavors to structure my interests (while serving as content for my overall work projects in some manner as well). These disciplines seem to encapsulate my overlapping interests in design, psychology, and technology. So far my research has consisted of watching videos and auditing some free online courses. However, while doing this, I’ve also veered away and audited some other disciplines such as music (composing and recording), writing (songs and stories), and art/design. These interests will serve more as the content to my passion projects.

At present, I’m finishing up cursory auditing the multitudes of the aforementioned courses. Likewise, I’ve looked into some front-end design boot-camp focusing on UI/UI and coding. Additionally, I’ve started researching my financial aid options. In doing so, I’ve reasoned that I’m going to first need a CV to show my past education, experience, and accomplishments as well as my future goals. This CV will have to convey my dedication, passion, and focus. Thus, I’m going to have to develop a current portfolio of work that does just that.

I’m going to start by reviewing some graphic design fundamentals to create a CV and brand identity design. Then, I’m going to use those fundamentals to lead to UI/UX design and create an online version of my CV and brand family. Next, I’m going to develop my prototypes created in the UI/UX stage. Finally, I can focus on the content creation of my various brands. Ultimately, my goal is to adapt and grow both in structure and content.

That’s a lot to take in (I know), but I feel like I’m at a clear, balanced starting place instead of dizzy in the fog. Wish me luck because I’m diving in!