On My Mind: Let It Go

Listening to: “Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin 

Sometimes, hopefully not often, you’ll have a day where the client rips apart your work, makes horrible art direction decisions, and overall misses the concept entirely. Unfortunately for me, today was one of those days.

I am an incredibly passionate person but I like to think that I don’t take negative critique of my work to heart, but what I really get heated about is feedback based off zero marketing evidence and solely from a subjective personal taste.

How do you let it go? Everyone says the customer/client is always right and I say that’s B.S. The client doesn’t have a degree in design. The client doesn’t understand the principles of user experience, color theory, balance, composition, contrast or any of that “stuff” that I live and breathe by and have spent the last 6 years filling my head with.

But I digress.. My original question was “how do you let it go?”

Rant aside, this is an important topic. One of which I feel probably hits home to most creatives at one point in their career. There isn’t one answer on how to handle bad decisions, other than to “let it go” and move on. I tried to address what was really upsetting me, and the only thing I could come up with was that the design would no longer be “portfolio worthy”, even though I could easily just show my original concept before it was destroyed. Seriously though, don’t let your work upset you and ruin your day. It’s just work. It’s great to be proud of something, and it’s great to be passionate, but at the end of the day, it’s exhausting to be angry all the time.

 Here are a few things that help me de-stress before I walk in the door:

Putting on happy music helps a lot. Instantly I think of “Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin and I remember that the design I just spent the last 7 days revising only to have it revised again isn’t mine. It’s theirs and if they want to ignore my suggestions, art direct it Into P.O.S oblivion, then fine… let them live in mediocre land as I move on to the next opportunity that won’t waste my time.

Exercising, meditating or doing yoga helps you let your anger out in a healthy manner. Go for a run as soon as you get home and by the time you get back, you’ll be too tired to be angry.

Keep personal projects. If you hate what you do at work, then do something amazing at home to ignite that passion that has been chipped away at during the day.

Vent it out! Share your stories with other creatives! (Even me!). You can add your story to Clients From Hell if you think it’s worthy of a face palm. I called my mom the other day to vent about a client and just letting it out took my anger away.

Find a new job.If your job is consistently causing your soul to die a little inside every day, then DO something about it and end it. Move on, find someone who will appreciate your expertise, and you’ll feel so much better about yours

These are just some of the ways you can keep from bringing your work stress and frustrations from poisoning your home life. What do you do to “let it go”? I’d love to hear about any tactics or strategies you have in your arsenal.




  • Wonderful post!
    The only thing I’d change is the line, “Rant aside, this is an important topic. One of which I feel probably hits home to most creatives at one point in their career. ” -as I’m sure it’ll come up more than once!

    13 November, 2012 at 6:46 pm