Trusting the Process, Like Kacey

Trusting the Process, Like Kacey
I am wrapping up a large branding and site design project for a local Jacksonville neighborhood association. I am sooooo proud of the work.

To be dramatic about it, it feels like my magnum opus, and I can't wait to share it. But, it was also a project that pushed me creatively in ways that I haven't felt before.

The branding went through several iterations before we found the right feel. We toiled over taglines. I pored over (literally) thousands of typefaces to find just the right ones that feel vintage-yet-modern, easily-readable-but-a-bit-imperfect. I illustrated countless versions of a neighborhood map that accurately reflected the neighborhood's vibrancy, grit and offbeat spirit.

For awhile, I was worried that the collaborative, iterative, ever-evolving nature of the work meant I was doing it wrong. I was scared because I wasn't nailing it the first time like I usually do.

But then, I stumbled on this video of Kacey Musgraves talking through her writing process and inspiration behind the song Dinner with Friends. Once I got past the blatant Amex sponsorship elements, listening to another creative talk through the deliberate, calculated thinking that goes into each line felt really validating.

Similarly, I absolutely adore the podcast Switched on Pop. The hosts breakdown the meaning and making of pop music, and listening to them talk for ages about just one particular downbeat, or the over-my-head intricacies of how melodies and harmonies — not just the lyrics — reveal the meaning of a record is so fascinating.

Both of these examples from the music world reminded me that iterating, caring about every little detail, creating meaning in everything, and gathering inspiration from broad and diverse sources means you are doing it really, really right.

In the end, our neighborhood branding project is so much stronger, richer, and full of depth, texture and meaning, because of the process and commitment to exploring it all.

The process is the art.

Can't wait to share this project, and more learnings, with you all soon!


P.S. Speaking of Kacey Musgraves, I cannot stop listening to the song Anime Eyes. It's gorgeous and a little weird and has this fun spoken word thing happening near the end. If you are a Kacey fan, it's like all the best parts of Golden Hour. *insert anime eyes here*