Roughly a week ago, one of my bosses gave me a briefing on the next website to be designed. And for some odd reason he suddenly began giving me design guidelines, i.e. what I should do. Now, I am the designer, that is my job and that is the subject I know about and I do take pride in doing a good job. My boss is not a designer. And, as I had been producing one “winner” after the other over the course of the past few months, I was startled that he suddenly was telling me how and what to design.
Perplexed I asked him if I need to follow his suggestions, if that is what the client wants. His reaction was:
“no, not at all and you can do what you want, it’s just easier to start with something there than to only get a white, blank sheet of paper”.
My truly spontaneous reaction was to blurt out, “oh, don’t worry, I am past that phase”.
And after I said it, it hit me: this is truly so.
Over the course of maybe 2 or 3 weeks I had to whip out 5 completely different design for websites as different as a millwork; a dating site, a wholesale appliance seller, a real estate service company and a barbeque specialty shop. On top of it I created a new identity for a credit union. Yes, you can say it loud, it was really busy.
I remember well the blankness of a white sheet of paper. It strongly influenced and strangled me when I was at High School and I recall only too well these feelings of emptiness and pressure when I should create something but all I could do is see my mental space contract.
Not that I think these past few weeks have whipped out these moments. But these weeks have built up to give me this sudden realization that, “wow, I am really past that fear, when did THAT happen?”. Now, it makes me smile and it invites me to a game and freedom to create something that wasn’t there before.
What does white do to you?