When it comes to things I do not stress about, hair loss easily makes the list. That could be true until I visited the other side of the creative continuum, the dark abyss filled with rolled eyes, snarky comments and a preponderance of perplexing looks for those who somehow do not get the vision, the dream, and the perfection that is our creative concept. On the other side, known as being the client, I found myself (almost) literally tearing my hair out (which my husband didn’t understand since he tries to keep as many follicles for himself as possible).
A few months ago we started working on logos for Selfspiration. Selfspiration is an organization I started that works to end child sexual abuse through legislative and social change. I knew that the process involved creating a visual identity that looks and feels just right. I’d been through this before, but as we started working through it, I realized that creating a logo for a business (as near and dear to your heart and wallet as it may be) did not compare with trying to find perfection for something you feel so passionate about and want to resonate with others on so many levels. We wanted something to appeal to child and adult survivors, girls, boys, men and women, and people at all socioeconomic levels, since child sexual abuse does not discriminate. And it needed to be something to symbolize struggle and strength, pain and the persistence to preserve.
We did a creative brief (which I labored over), and I probably got my email flagged as spam when I would think of something more to tell Sara (ADwërks Art Director) as she worked on the design. For this, it needed to be just right.
When on the client side, I used to pride myself on my ability to be ruthless and to make a quick decision. But with Selfspiration, I struggled (and Jim and Sara who helped with this project remained steadfastly patient!). I liked something about every option. I laid out the different designs all over our house, carried the stack of pristine white printouts in my purse until they become dingy with lip gloss, protein shake powder and some weird green stuff that makes you wonder what you put in your bag.
Finally, I needed to make a decision. I put everything out in front of me, took a deep breath and just listened to my gut, but even more, to my heart. We went with a design that I think symbolizes the tears and the hurt that can come from abuse, but the ability for survivors to move forward and create something beautiful in their lives.
And just last week we held our first Selfspiration day camp with teenage girls who survived sexual abuse. Several of the girls, and the adult survivors working as volunteers, saw the logo and talked about how “cool” and “awesome” it was. When you hear words like that, a few bald patches make it well worth it.