Just Make Stuff: Getting Creative with Side Projects | Jessica Walsh & Timothy Goodman ♥ | Skillshare

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Just Make Stuff: Getting Creative with Side Projects

teacher avatar Jessica Walsh & Timothy Goodman ♥, Designers

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Inspiration: 40 Days of Dating


    • 3.

      Inspiration: 12 Kinds of Kindness


    • 4.

      Inspiration: Quotes on Shit


    • 5.

      Selecting Your Object


    • 6.

      Writing Exercise


    • 7.



    • 8.



    • 9.

      Sharing Your Work


    • 10.



    • 11.

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About This Class

Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman have launched hit after hit in the design world, fueling incredible careers through creative side projects — and now they're sharing their secrets so you can do the same.

This fun 45-minute class from the creative minds behind 40 Days of Dating and 12 Kinds of Kindness explores what's worked in their careers (and why), ways to start your own side project, and even a demo of their popular lettering series Quotes on Shit.

You'll learn:

  • The "why" behind 3 of Jessica and Timothy's most shared projects
  • Tips for sketching, designing, and sharing your own passion project
  • How to tap into the resources you already have to bring projects to life

Plus, the lesson "Sharing Your Work" goes in-depth on ways to present, post about, and pitch your work to get that viral attention it deserves.

Creatives of all levels can jump right in and try their hand at a cleverly lettered object or share a personal passion project. You’ll walk away with inspiration to create — and a colorful artifact turned into art. 

Meet Your Teacher

Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman are the creators of the blog and book, 40 Days of Dating and the blog 12 Kinds of Kindness. They co-teach together at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and sometimes they put Quotes on Shit for fun. Recently, they made this voting initiative for the election.


Jessica Walsh is a designer, art director and partner at the full-service design studio Sagmeister & Walsh, working on brands such as Meetup, AIzone, Frooti, Jewish Museum, BMW, and Adobe.

Timothy Goodman is a designer, illustrator, and art director running his own studio working for clients such as Airbnb, Google, Ford, J.Crew, Samsung, Target, The New Yorker, and The New York Times.

See full profile

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1. Introduction: We're rolling, so far you can just go with that. Great. My name is Jessica Walsh and I'm an art director and designer in New York City. My name is Timothy Goodman and I'm a designer and illustrator based in New York City as well. So, we both have our own separate design studios and practices, but we also come together and work on a lot of personal projects together. Yeah, like 40 Days of Dating, and 12 Kinds of Kindness, and Quotes on Shit, which we'll be talking about today and our latest voting initiative, I'm With her Because He's Crazy. So today, we're going to talk about how to find your own voice. How to do some different lettering styles and also how to come up, more generally, with your ideas for your own personal projects. To do that, we're going to talk a little bit about our project, Quotes on Shit, and the inspiration behind that, and what led us to do it, and some of the process. Hopefully, you can make some of your own shit. I think, what fuels our side projects is really determination and a will to want to talk to an audience. One of the greatest joys of being a creative is making work that touches people, or connects to people in some way, or starts these dialogues, and I think that's the foundation of all the projects we do together. It's all a means to communicate to people and to be less lonely in the world. 2. Inspiration: 40 Days of Dating: So I guess most of our projects start by going out for drinks. The bar. Sitting down and just talking about life. What stimulates us. What are our interesting topics. Some personal struggles we're having about things. Frustration. Yes. Things we want to see in the world that don't exist. Things we think that could be better. It constantly comes back to that question of why that we talked about. Why is it like this? Why can't I do better? Why can other people do better? Why can't I change my behaviours? Why? Why? Why? So, Tim and I have been friends in the industry for four to five years. We always bonded over our mutual love of design and creativity but what we bonded over even more was our exact opposite relationship issues. Yes. I mean we would always tease each other about how different we were. We couldn't quite understand it and obviously we've come up in the design industry together and we're friends and respected each other's work. But the whole relationship thing really was what made our relationship unique. So, Yes. It started again with this question why. Why do we keep repeating the same mistakes and behaviours in relationships even though it's clearly not working for us? And is there anything we can do to make our dating lives better or to understand love a little more and we had the exact opposite relationship problems. He was more of a commitment fellow but I was a serial monogamist and we thought, could we meet each other in the middle somehow? And is there a way that we can take a certain amount of time out of our lives to explore love and dating and learn more about it. I think we had this idea that we wanted to explore these topics like love and dating but we weren't sure how to frame it and then this idea of 40 days came up because in a lot of different religions and cultures, they say that it takes 40 days to break a bad habit. So we said alright, what if we tried dating each other for 40 days as a way to overcome this. We dated each other for the 40 days. We kept separate diary entries about each date and then afterwards we created a website where we uploaded my diary entry on the left and his on the right and you could read what we thought of the same exact date side-by-side. And we didn't read each other's writing before it went live because we didn't want to edit it and have it be convoluted with that. We probably wouldn't have released the whole project if we had read each others entries. And we really wanted to company all the writing with illustrations. And use all our skills as designers and illustrators would animate gifs and the videos. All to really tell the complete robust story about what we were doing. It was a pretty unique situation because it kind of felt very timely. It was almost like, we either have to do this now or it's just never going to happen. What was so unique about 40 days too is I think that we really had nothing to play off in terms of reference. We felt like, "Wow, this had never been done before in any kind of similar way" so we really went into a blindfold that we didn't know exactly what we were doing and maybe that's why it was resonating with so many people is because it was so unique in that sense. We didn't know what we were doing. We didn't know what to compare it to. We decided we would do it and document it as we go and release it later, but we didn't even know if we were going to release it until after we really finished it. And even the idea of releasing it in the way we did a date for each day, it wasn't something that was really laboured over. It was just like alright, we either need to release this all at once, which might be really overwhelming for people to read, or we'll just do it daily. We didn't really know that will help it catch wind and go viral and all that stuff before we did it so it was really a complete learning process for us as well. We had no idea. I mean honestly I thought my mom and like an ex girlfriend would read it when we put it out. I think that's what made it so special too is that we didn't really know what we were doing or walking into. Boy were we in for a rude awakening. I think one of the biggest learning experiences we have from 40 days is the ability to communicate directly to an audience, through our work and through our vulnerabilities and through our fucked upness as humans and through our behaviours and how do we take that and share that with an audience. One of my favourite quotes that I always say is by Lena Dunham and she says something along the lines of sharing your personal stories is a sort of activism. By sharing what's personal to you, you're connecting to other lonely people in the world and so I think on the heels of 40 days, we realised wow, we can make these things and talk directly to people through ourselves and that's very powerful. I think one of the reasons that I got into design in the first place was because I had ideas and content that I wanted to put out in the world and design was really just the vessel to get it out there. And then I went to college and then I started working for clients and design became all about making other peoples stuff look good and packaging other peoples products. And I think 40 days was a kick in the ass that was like, "No, you know what, design can be a tool that we can use for our own content and our own thoughts and ideas and a way to start these dialogues that are important for us and it's something that really fuels everything we do now" so we try to set aside at least 25 to 50 percent of our time doing this kind of work. 3. Inspiration: 12 Kinds of Kindness: Well,12 Kinds of Kindness really started off the heels of 40 days of dating. We went through a lot of things together with our relationship and friendship because of that project, and it wasn't always in the greatest place, and so we took a step back and say, "Why is this happening? Why aren't we kinder to ourselves and each other?" and then that opened up the bigger question about what it means to be kind to people, and why sometimes we have preconceived opinions about people and the demons that we haven't let go of in our lives, so it really formed that way. As we were asking ourselves all those questions, it all kept coming back to this word empathy. We read a lot about what psychologists say can make you a kinder and more empathetic person. From there, we formed these 12 steps that we went through over the course of a year. Yeah. I mean, there's literally 138 12-step programs in the United States, or something like that. But what would it mean to create a 12-step program to work on your own apathy and selfishness? We felt that we wanted to use the similar format to what we did with 40 Days of Dating. Some sort of online blog that you follow and we use our tools, whether it's illustration, and GIFs, and videos, and writing all took help populate and tell that story. We really felt like, well, we'd already created that kind of format with 40 Days, and we felt like we own that in some way, and so we decided to do a similar format with 12 Kinds. I think once you have an idea and you're deciding what the best format is, you have to think about the tools that you have available and the resources you have. How much money can you spend on a project? Do you have friends that could help you in certain ways? Could you do a trade with a friend in another industry and you could design something for them in return for example. So many tools are accessible and cheap and affordable. There was someone that shot a great movie. I think one in the big film industry awards on their iPhone. It doesn't always have to be this huge masterpiece shot on these fancy cameras. If you have a great idea, just make it with the tools and resources you have available to you. Honestly a lot of the videos on 12 kinds of kindness, a big portion of them were shot with our iPhone. The last video for the build kindness not walls Trump protests that Trump Tower. Most of that video was all shot on our iPhone. And that was the most successful. Yes. If you can touch someone emotionally, I don't think the audience cares so much about how it looks all the time. I think why we always set these constraints, whether it's that we're doing these 12 steps, or we're going to be doing the dating over 40 days, is that we needed some constraint that helped guide our process, and that can be anything for you. It could mean that you're releasing an illustration once a day, or that once a month, you make a little film. But whatever that is, I think having note that constraint can really help hold you accountable and make sure you actually get things done. 4. Inspiration: Quotes on Shit: I think for Quotes on Shit, we were walking down the street one day and if you live in New York, you know that there's tons of trash lining the street. We started asking ourselves why, again, why do we all, we want shit, we buy shit, we save up for shit, we trade shit. So much of our lives is around these physical things that we want and obtain and then we throw them out, or someone passes away and all their stuff is left in a Goodwill store and we sort of feel bad for the stuff that once was loved and had a home and we started asking ourselves how could we give it a new life and a purpose and a voice. What better way to do that by using bad puns. I love bad puns. Just can I both do different kinds of work, and work for different kinds of clients? So, we're both able to bring those tools together to work with the visual kind of representation of what we do, whether it be something graphically like Quotes on Shit or something more robust like 40 days or 12 kinds. But I think what's so great about working with Jessica and what we both bring to the table that unifies us, is this idea of working with strong ideas. I mean I think the way we distribute tasks is often quite organic. I mean maybe. Yeah, it really is. You'll do the lettering because you're more experienced in that and I might handle the photography. I think working together it's gotten us experimenting and things that we didn't used to do before. Like I never used to do lettering but now I kind of like it and I did a lot of the lettering for Quotes on Shit as well. So, I think we've taught a lot it to each other in the process. One of the best things about personal projects is that you can experiment with different styles and techniques that you might not be doing in your day job or that you might not be known for. I think a lot of times as illustrators or designers, you can often get pegged into one style because clients see the work you've done in the past, and they just want the same exact thing. Because oftentimes clients aren't creative and they can't imagine things, and side projects are a really great opportunity to expand your skill sets and try out different styles or ideas, even different mediums altogether, and then clients can see that you can do those things and then you'll get hired for them. Guys, it never stops, it will never stop. Whether you're in school, whether you're 10 years in the game or 20 years, you're going to constantly want to redefine what you do and redefine yourself and you're always, if you're a maker, you're going to continue to make I think, and that's what we're in it for. Even now like I'm all the writing I do in Instagram, like I'm doing that because now I'm certain, now some of the clients are coming to me they're saying, "Hey we want you to do a mirror and we want you to write the content and we want to use your voice and how you see it." So, if you keep putting your stuff out there, I think it comes back. So, often I hear from designers that they're unhappy with their day job. If that's the case, make the time at night to do the projects you want to be making because people will see that and you'll get hired for the jobs you want to be making one day. Yeah and if it's too much find a collaborator, find many collaborators, reach out to people. I think once you put ideas out, you talk about them with more and more people, I think, then it starts to become more of a reality in your head. You say, "Oh what if I did do this or what if this person did help me and we started making these things?" So, yeah. So, moral of the story is a finer drinking buddy. Yes. Go to the bar, come up with good ideas and then make shit. So, guys, like my Uber driver told me the other day, we are like brands and just like McDonald's, you're going to McDonald's for a certain kind of a hamburger and a certain kind of a fry. Crispy fries. Crispy fries. So, you can't be mad that your clients are coming to you for one certain kind of a thing, so it's up to you to start to make that McPizza and put it out there and test it and get it some fillers and maybe eventually your clients will start coming to you for the McPizza and the burger and fries. I want burger and fries and pizza. So, advice from the Uber driver. 5. Selecting Your Object: So I'm going to take you through the steps of Quotes on Shit, and the first step is selecting your object. So a lot of the objects that we picked are things that people don't want anymore. Like, no one uses VHS tapes anymore. No one uses alarm clocks anymore because everyone just uses their iPhone. So these are specifically a lot of the objects that we were collecting, things that will never be used again. So, yeah. We would just find them on the side of the street, at a Goodwill, or a thrift store, and then we'd pick them out, and then spray-paint them, and then get out our sharpies and write on them. A driving force behind what we choose, obviously, is what we're going to write on and hide what we think that the voice of the object might be. We didn't want to just write typical quotes that you're used to seeing or inspirational quotes. We thought it was more interesting if it was as if the objects were speaking to people. A lot of places you can find objects, obviously, you can find them in the trash. Be careful especially if you live in a big city, we don't want anyone to get bedbugs. But, obviously, the trash, Goodwill, stores you know you can get cups for 50 cents, objects for a $1. A fun sentiment might be to take something that's in your mom's basement or something that's been in her attic or something. Maybe you want to spray-paint it and write something on it, and then give it to her as a gift. So then, all of a sudden, this object can become re-purposed again and can be used. It could also be an old childhood toy that yourself were going to throw out, but maybe you can now find a way to re-purpose it and make it something new again that you'd actually want out on your shelf. I think it's great when the objects are personal to you somehow or if the sentences you're writing have that personal point of view or angle, so they aren't just so generic, and also, it becomes something that you'll want to keep and has sentiment to you as well. Or if you want to write something personal for someone else or put someone's name on it in a way and then give it to them as a gift, then, all of a sudden, your work becomes a gift in this way, and I think that's really important as well. So along with the idea and the content of what we're going to draw on the object, a big practical thing you have to always concern yourself with when picking an object is the real estate and how accessible you can actually write on the objects. If you take something like this alarm clock, there's a lot of detail and buttons on here. So you have to think about, "Would I write it on here or would I write on here.?" A lot of objects you'll find aren't that easy. So you have to consider that with what objects you're picking. Also, the texture of the objects you pick should be flat, ideally. For example, we found some great teddy bears that were discarded on the side of the road, but you can't really spray-paint fur, or some objects that had a lot of ridges on them like a bell jar. We couldn't really use that because they would show through in the spray paint and you wouldn't be able to write over them. So objects that have flat surfaces that have a lot of real estate for writing are usually the best. You also want to consider, when picking an object, how big it is. If you're going too small even if it's a flat surface, what kind of marker are using on that? Can you even write that small? Is it going to even make an impact? Then, vice versa. If you picking something way too big, well, then, all of a sudden, how much spray paint is that going to take? How many coats? How big do you have to write it? So you have to consider the size as well. Also, when coming up with what you're going to write on the object, you should think about the length. Usually shorter phrases are better especially if your object is on the smaller side so that you can actually fit it in. We always kept in mind when picking them out what we were going to write on them and also what the size of the marker we're going to use. A smaller object, we might use a thinner marker, and then on a larger object, we might use one of these sticker sharpies. So our favorite spray paint is Montana spray paint. This is not an ad for them. We just really like the range of colors, and it also has a really nice matte finish, because a lot of the other brands are glossy which makes it harder to write on. But, of course, you can get spray paint in any local hardware store, or art store, and generally, a lot of the brands will have either semi-gloss or matte. So you want to consider that with how you want your object to look. Sometimes semi-gloss can come off too gaudy and too flashy. So we prefer the matte. I think Montana might be a little more expensive, a couple of dollars, so, obviously, work within your budget. You probably have to do about two or three coats depending on what the color of your object is underneath. When spray painting, you usually want to hold the spray paint about this far away. If you go too close, it often globs up. Yeah. If you're too far away, you're wasting a lot of the spray paint. So about this distance away is a good amount. So now that we have our objects all ready and spray painted, we're going to move on to the writing exercise. 6. Writing Exercise: So, of course, before we start lettering on the object, we need to know what we're going to write. In a lot of ways that's the most important part of this. So, we're going to start out with a little writing exercise on how to come up with ideas for what to write on your object. So, of course, it's important to think about your object what your object is? What it means? Maybe you want to do a little research of different idioms for your object, whether it's, if we take an ashtray other idioms about ashtrays or idioms about smoking. We also start off by making mind-maps of the words, like what are different things you associate with that word, what are different idioms that you could play off of. The personal stuff is often best, you don't want to just write a poem that everyone knows necessarily or a quote that everyone has heard a thousand times. It's often best when the line is something original from you. It's always important to use your own voice when thinking about this, and how to maybe take a cliche but flip it on its own and make it more memorable and more personal and to make someone thinks a little differently about something. It's going to make the final piece a lot better because when an audience sees it and it'll be surprising, more funny, or feel more fresh anyway. When we were coming up with what we want to write on the object, we often just were talking and bouncing ideas off each other, sometimes we'll be making mind-maps, sometimes we'll the research on the computer different idioms. There's dictionaries online for that. So, it can be a bunch of different ways. Oftentimes we'll have like 15 things written for each object and we'll kind of like play off with them, go back and forth and say, well what do you think about this one or maybe someone will love the line but tweak it a little bit. Obviously, going back to a point about length is really important as well sometimes if your object is too small, you might want to condense your writing and think about the impact that it will have on that object. If you're feeling stuck about what to write on your object, you can also pull from pop culture. One of our things that we really loved is we took a porcelain turtle and spray painted it and we wrote I'm a Ninja on it. Obviously, in relation to teenage mutant Ninja turtles and that was a lot of people really love that one and thought it was funny. Sometimes if you're stuck too, think about your object. Again, think about the words, like for instance we had a gravy bowl and we just simply wrote, "It's all gravy baby." So, don't be afraid to be corny too sometimes that's always very funny. Sometimes corny can be the source of humor. Yeah. If you're bold enough to get a very big object and you want to work with something with a lot of real estate and you want to spray paint that. Then obviously you have more room to maybe if we want to do, if you just want to simply do like song lyrics, if you want to do a poem, or something and maybe tweak it. Then it becomes more of a bigger art piece that could be a lot of fun as well. So, you guys it's always really important to share your ideas with people too. Obviously, you can have a collaborator to work with, you can bounce things off and you're not just working in a vacuum. Especially with things like writing, you want to know if it's resonating with someone or if you're making someone laugh and you're making something provocative that makes someone think differently about something. I want to encourage all of you as you're writing your lists to share it with friends or share if you're doing this together with people. Even your mom. I think sometimes when you share things with non-creative people, it's often good because they kind of resemble what a lot of the public will think when they see it. When you just ask creative people can sometimes gets stuck in your own little word. They want to make stuff that speaks to people universally. Sometimes things that you might think are funny or too personal, there's a spectrum. You have a one side to your far left or right the idea of cliche, right? And far to the other side the polar opposite is obscurity and what's in your head and it's just kind of lives in your own world. So, how do you find that middle balance of what you think, how do you take that cliche and just flip it a little bit or put your own little perspective and twist on it. Then I think that's where you create something really meaningful and powerful. If you want it to be personal, you don't want it to be something that everyone's heard a thousand times before. But at the same time you don't want it so personal that only you get the joke. Yeah. It has to relate to people on a more universal level. So, I decided to write on the wine glass. I'm cheaper than therapy, because sometimes a great glass of wine at the end of the day is easier and cheaper than going to a therapist. So, I decided to say you're an ashhole ashtray on my ashtray, because I just wanted to do a fun little twist on the word ashtray and also the fact that this poor little ashtray has been abandoned and this matter to you. So you are an ash hole. So with that being said, I think it's time for you guys to now go and take your objects and start making those lists, those mind-maps, and Googling and start figuring out what you want to write on your object. 7. Sketching: So, before going directly to your object and lettering on it, it's often helpful to start by practicing on paper. Yeah, you want to think about and explore all the different kinds of lettering styles that you might want to letter your quote with. You also want to think about the shape of your object and how the type will stack can and play with each other. One thing that we often found helpful was to trace your object with a pencil, so then you got the overall shape and you can explore lettering within that shape before going directly to the object. If you trace your object down on a piece of paper, one of my favorite hidden secrets is tracing paper. So, then you could put tracing paper over your drawn outline and keep and make 50 pieces of tracing paper with that, so then you can try all different. You can try them for 40 times if you want. To begin with, you want to try it on paper, and I think it's sometimes good just to dive in with your marker and start getting a feel for your marker, start playing with your marker, start thinking about all the tricks your marker can do, how big and think, thick and thin your brush strokes can go. So, sometimes I'd say go for it just on piece of paper and start playing with that. But I think before you go directly to the object it's helpful to trace first with a pencil. So, if you do make a mistake you can erase it and try again because you only get one shot with a Sharpie on the object. I think it's nice to explore different kinds of lettering styles that you can use and also keep in mind what your statement is. If it's something that is more like it's shouting, maybe you want to use bigger, bolder, blockier letters. Or if it's something that is-. More friendly and approachable maybe you want to do some bubble type or something. If it's more like you really just want it to be about the message and really want to hit someone over the head with it, maybe you just do really straight-forward type lettering. So, then people just read the message and it just is what it is. Then maybe if you have only one word, you can do something a little bit more elaborate, like a really nice script type that might have some ornaments around it. So, yeah, there's all different kinds of styles and it's fun to mix it up and experiment with them. Given the size of your piece obviously that will help dictate maybe what you want to do or not. As we said, if it's a bigger piece, you can maybe explore a little more with your lettering. If it's smaller, it might limit a little bit which isn't bad, it's just to say you should consider that. So, sometimes even with one phrase or sentence you can mix up different styles. The first word could be a really beautiful script that you're doing and then the second word could just be more straightforward sans lettering. I think because these objects are quite small, we have to go with something a little bit more simple and straightforward. Maybe on this one you could go a little bit bigger and blockier, maybe with one of the words. Yeah, I was thinking definitely with this probably all the same style, it could be blockier. Obviously, I only have limited space and size, so I might do more straightforward. I think with the wine glasses though maybe you could do if you had three or four words. They could maybe all be different styles possibly, or what you could have one call outward which is always fun. It's a lot of lettering though, I'm cheaper than therapy. So, on that kind of space to read from the front, I don't think we can go that crazy. You can try it out. We can try. Start with a, maybe make a template and do four or five. So, I'm just trying out some different lettering styles. So now, I can do a quick little outline but I'm not entirely happy with the placement, so I'm going to trace back over it. Still using a pencil. Obviously, it's really important to consider the tool, an old teacher of mine used to always say, "If you want to change your look, then you change your tool.". It's always good to consider what marker you're going to use. We have Sharpie here, the thinner ones as well as the thicker ones. I also really like a Tombow calligraphy markers. Yeah, for brush tip markers, the Sharpie is really great. These are paint markers, so these are wildly different than the brush tip. So, the paint markers are usually oil-based, can't wash them off of water. It's a little more durable with your object and last longer so. You can also get more thicks and thins with thicker ones or the brush tip, where the more traditional tip is more just a single regular line that you would get. Originally, we're going to do you're an ashole, but we needed another word to fill out the space so. It's always important to improvise. Yeah, we came up with you a giant ashole. But I don't think I'm going to make it overly complicated, I think I'm going to just a square type. I'm just really drive home the message. Plus we don't have a ton of room so, I just want to make sure it looks good so. I think you just go until you feel it's something that you're happy with, and that could be two attempts or that could be 10 attempts. I want to think about this, just really approach these things really as a design. So, it's how is it placed on the object? Well, how is the lettering? What's the relationship between the lettering? What's the relationship between the lettering and the object? Does it fit directly on so I can see right away. So, think about it compositionally as well. I think for this one, we have a couple of different options now, right? We could do it in this kind of sense it's two lines. Yeah. We could also do stacked. Do you have that still? Definitely not that, it's just your arm right there. I think this is nice. So, it seems that we've decided and we've sketched out what we're going to do or how we're going to, what kind of styles we're going to put on this cup considering the size and the markers and everything we've used. So, now it's just about going to the next step and laying this stuff on the objects. 8. Lettering: I used to paint homes in my early 20s and they would say, "90 percent of all this a lot of times it's preparation." So, as I said, if you think about it as design almost in your composition, in your size and how that lettering is really going to lay out, I think you're going to find that it's going to be a lot easier and a lot more successful for you. Carpenters, they say measure twice, cut once. So, really figure out the whole composition and exactly what you're going to do before you do it. So, now, we're going to take our sketches and trace them with pencil first to make sure we get it right and then all looks good stuff, and then we'll go back over them with marker. So, obviously you have to keep in mind your object and when you actually start applying on the object how the size of the object and the texture might change the way you planned. So, you have to improvise. So, for instance we were writing therapy, the way we originally sketched on paper, but it didn't turn out the way we thought it was because the glass narrow. So, now always have an eraser around because one of the great things about doing this pencil, is that you can just erase it. So, we've just erased therapy and we're going to reapply and see if we can make it work. I'm just going to start. So, we ended up changing the line because of the space. So, we were going to do, I'm your therapy, but realize that we might not have enough real estate, so we change it to my therapy, and one thing that you'll find when you do these two is that how important sometimes that textures you can add to it to really make it feel complete. It will be nice to just finish it often. Do some decorations on there as well. Sometimes you just want to think about how you package your output completely whether it's adding textures or details or patterns around the quote. Then, sometimes you can think about now that I've done it, do I want to fill in the type? Do I want it to pop more or not? So, there's always room to adjust as well because what you'll find is that obviously it's two-dimensional when I share it on Instagram, but if it's something that I'm giving to someone as a gift or if I'm putting it on my shelf and it lives in my life, then it's a 3-dimensional objects. So, you might want to consider the entire package and whether that's putting more lettering on it or just using patterns or decorations around, you can decide. I'm going to be careful when you're writing is as your hand moves around holding the object, you don't want to smudge the Sharpie before it's dry, so just be careful with that. It's important to note that neither of us really fancy ourselves as letterers. Sure, we do a lot of different things in our client work and with our personal stuff, but for us it's all about the message and the meaning behind it and the idea, and so really a lot of times, it's about getting to that idea in its most immediate way possible, and sometimes by doing that it's just better to be simple with your message in your lettering, and really just let it come through intuition rather than trying to make it ultra fancy or something. I mean even for croissant shit, it was less about the individual objects themselves for us and more about this whole idea of recycling things that are just thrown out, instead of just trying things out how can you turn it into something new. Obviously, if you're looking for a bigger deep dive into calligraphy and hand lettering, you should definitely pursue our friends who have done Skillshare classes such as Erik Marinovich and Kate Bingaman-Burt. Jessica Hishche. Or if you want to do great patterns, V-shaped, just check out Julia Rothman's class, did much better than us. Yeah, they're real letterers. Yeah. I think a lot of times understanding when you're done is this understanding when you might just screw up everything, and so it's better just to be safe. Like I really want to try to fill this in right now because I'm not completely happy with the way the lettering turned out here. I want to fill in some of these stems here on the letters, but I feel like if I do that it might make it worse. It might just feel blotchy and unconsidered. So, I think I'm just going to leave it. There's always I think as creative people we always have a tendency to want to keep adding and and reworking what we've done. We never feel like it's finished or complete, but I think it's obviously, especially with self-initiated projects, it's important to stop yourself because unlike clients where you have deadlines that stop you a lot of times with this stuff, you can just keep going on and on, and you can completely ruin it. So, whether you're making a personal or you just want to have fun and be witty on an object, or you want to take a pawn and twist it, there's a lot of different ways you can explore this and have fun with it. 9. Sharing Your Work: So, obviously the reason we set out to do this project was to take trash and turn it into something that people would want again. So, in order to do that, we want to be able to share it with the public. Yes. We feel as graphic designers, as visual communicators, it's our role to share our work with people. I don't think anybody wants to make work in a dark closet, in a vacuum. We want to share it, we want to communicate with an audience through our work. So, for Quotes on Shit we decided to post them mostly to Instagram, but we also created a little Tumblr page with a slightly customized template, where we had them all as well. Tumblr is cool because people can easily reshare them, or pull the images and share them on other platforms. I think no matter what, it's always important to make some sort of hub, some sort of site for your projects to live on, especially if there's a lot of different pieces, becomes a gallery for people to see. And you can go on Tumblr and get an easy templar, or something like squarespace, or our friend has a company called Peaky, which is great to use. They're just very simple formats that you can share your work on. You can also create a unique Instagram page for your project and have that be the gallery. Of course, all social media is very important these days, when we post something like this, it's going on our Instagram's, it's going on our Facebook, it's going on Twitter, maybe it's a bit of oversaturation, but, I think it's kind of necessary as well. You have different audiences for every platform you're on. So, it's important to kind of share that with everyone. Moving on to project we started by putting out five or 10 of them, so people could get an overview of the project and understand what we're doing. Then we kind of rolled a couple hours every week from there on for about two months. It's been fun to see other people do their own version of the project, and make their own Quotes on Shit and it's always nice when people either tag us or use the #quotesonshit, because then we can find them and re-post some of our favorites. For a lot of these kind of side projects you'll find that, there's a lot of elements to it, meaning like whether it's Quotes on Shit, where there's 100 different objects we've done, or where Jessica hitches daily dropcap, or my friend Erik Moorenovich who did all the envelopes that he lettered on, which are really beautiful. And they kind of roll them out during the course of time, so people kind of stay in tune, catches the wind a little, bit that's always a lot of fun to do. Because if you put out like 100 pieces at once. It's too much for people. Yes. It could be beautiful, but it can be too much. And you want to keep people's interest as well with it. You see it's much harder to get your work out there and get noticed, and share what you're making, in the past, you used to need to rely on award shows, or design annuals, with a jury who will decide what is best, but these days what's amazing is that with blogs and social media you can get your work noticed super-quickly. Go on different websites or blogs that you really like, and find their contact info and write to them, and say," Hey! I started this project, think you might like it, would love to hear your thoughts. "And attach a couple of pictures and the link to the project, and if it's a good piece, usually at least one or two we'll get back to you and feature it. So, with a lot of these websites you'll find like designmilk and designboom. Notcot. Yes. Like you can go right on the website, there's a submission form, you can upload the images, and you can write in the description and send it right to them. Don't be discouraged if they don't post it first, you try some other sites, try another project and try again. Keep making stuff and keep sending it to people, and keep sharing your work in your name with people as much as possible. Get feedback, find out what the public, your followers, your friends, what they think of the project, what they think could be improved, and then take all that feedback and take it into account for your next project. So the first time I got a lot of press on a project, was a thing I did as a student with a couple of my friends, called urban curators. We basically just spray painted a lot of frames gold, and sort of hanging them up all over the city, on decaying walls that might have had an interesting composition and color, or moments on a street, or a sticker that was put on a wall that we thought was beautiful and wanted to call attention to, and then we marked them all with numbers and created a website with all the pieces that we had found. The idea was just to call attention to beauty in unexpected places, and our teachers thought that it was a really awesome idea and something that can spread to other cities. So, yes, I just started researching different online press sources that I thought might be interested in covering it, emailing them all, and it got picked up by Metropolis and a bunch of other art and graffiti magazines and kind of spread and then people started opening their own chapters in different cities all around the world, so it's pretty cool to see that happen. So for me, the first little bit of press I got, I was about two or three years out of school, I was just a traditional graphic designer at that point, working at a branding firm. I got the opportunity to do a mural at the Ace Hotel here in New York City. I basically locked myself in this room for three days, and drew everything I loved about New York City that could be passed to the common tours. I'd never done anything like that before, and I just kind of have decided to use a sharpie paint marker, not really knowing what that might lead to, or there was no real strategy behind it with that. So, I did it and I just thought it was kind of cool and some friends thought it was kind of cool, and so I just started shooting emails to people, different contacts I've had, I sent that to a couple of blogs, and they picked it up and tweeted about it, and so on and so forth, so, you'll be surprised to find how many other people want to help you and share your work with other people. So, I think when you're reaching out to people it's good to be concise, a lot of these press people they're super busy, just write the highlights of the project, attach a couple images at most, some of your strongest pieces. That's it. Really, a lot of times as long as you stay concise and short, that's about the best you can do, sometimes there's no real formula, when it works for one thing and then you try it for something else and it doesn't work, sometimes there's no real wrong or right way, it's just about, I think the one thing we'd encourage is to always be short and concise with your emails. Don't try to be overly fancy. I see people trying to describe their projects in these super fancy art speak to make it seem somehow bigger than it is in a way, but I think often that confuses people. And people don't want to read five paragraphs about something, they just want to get to the point, and oftentimes the best work just speaks for itself, you don't need to go into five paragraphs about what it is. So for this project, because all of the pieces were so colorful, we decided to shoot them on white, to keep it clean, because there was already so much going on with the objects, we didn't want it to be too distracting with the backdrop that it was on. But you can easily decided to shoot them on color as well, you might want to do a couple of sample tests, to see like, if you're shooting this green, do you want to keep the monotone and shoot on a dark green, or you want to think about, if you shoot it on pink, but maybe that's too guardian, and doesn't let the art sing. So, you might want to do some tests like with your camera, or your phone, or however you are shooting it, and just to kind of get an idea for what works best for you. I think oftentimes when you're using color and shooting on color, it's nice to shoot on a complementary color. So if you have an object that's blue, I would probably shoot this on a blue, or maybe a red, or an orangish red. Yes. You don't even need to worry about having a fancy photo studio to shoot your work, I think even an iPhone these days takes pretty good photos. And oftentimes if you don't have the right lighting setup, I would say just try to rely on natural light, shoot it near a window somehow, just get a nice big piece of colored paper or a white paper, and then have the light beyond to the object. If you're fancy enough, you could always shoot this on white, bringing it into Photoshop, and if you want to cut it out, and cut the white out behind and try different colors. Or as we were saying before, you can always do trades with people, maybe you have a photographer friend that needs a business card that you can design for them, and in return they'll shoot your project for you. 10. Conclusion: So, that's it, folks. Thank you so much for being a part of this class with us. So, now, we took you through the process of Quotes on Shit, and we'd love to see what you come up with. Yeah. Please upload to the gallery. Also, if you're going to share it on social, use the hashtag "#QUOTESONSHIT" and tag us so that we can find you and your work, and we might be reposting some of our favorites. Yeah, we'd love to share it. Even though, we ran you through this one project, I think what we really want you to get out of this is the idea of creating your own personal projects and how to come up with those ideas, and we hope this inspires you to make stuff. Yeah. Keep making stuff and sharing it with everyone. 11. More Creative Classes on Skillshare: