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Reflective articles on lettering, creativity and life.

2016, It's Go Time

It's been a few weeks since I wrote in my blog. Now that we are a couple weeks into 2016, I am excited to share a few big updates and things I've learned while building Efdot Studio.

As if 2015 wasn't epic enough, this year going to be HUGE. Here's what's going on:
 

Sharing more in 2016

A few months into blogging regularly, I began to notice that the time spent writing and editing these posts was significantly cutting into my time spent making new lettering pieces. Another result was that I lost track of why I started blogging in the first place.

Once again, I had taken on way too much. From the full time agency job to the occasional freelance gig, personal project series, launching an online store, I found myself losing sleep over whether I would be able to finish my weekly blog post in time. That wasn't how I wanted to run things, so I stopped.

It was the best decision I could have made, because it gave me a clear head, and it enabled me to reevaluate what mattered. Going through this break, I regained clear focus again on what my goals were. Thanks to a special 12-week coaching program called SightShift, I am now ready to get back on track with where I left off.

I also learned that it's impossible to focus on what matters if you are constantly busy doing tasks, trying to catch up to where you wanted to be. 


Taking the Leap

It's not something I talk about very much, but for the last year and a half I have been working 50+ hours/week at a marketing agency in New York. I originally took this job when I needed some stability after losing my apartment in 2014, but as time went on I was able to save up enough money to leave and go back out on my own.

I'm very grateful for my time spent there, and I learned as much as I could. In December I resigned from MKG to spend more time on Efdot Studio.


The Why

Efdot Studio exists to help ambitious companies strengthen their brand and leave a lasting impression with their audience.

I also want to inspire others along the way to improve their lettering skills and create like they never thought they could.


The How

Client Work, Products, Teaching. These are the three areas that I am focusing on this year.

  • Selective Client Work - Custom lettering and logos for brands that give a damn
  • Physical Products - More high quality prints (and soon, t-shirts!) surrounding the Optimist project
  • Teaching Lettering - Videos, Online courses, workshops, and yes – much more blogging

Speaking of teaching, I gave a beginner lettering workshop to a bunch of 8th graders last week! It was really interesting to spend time with young people who had very little preconceived notions of what was right or wrong in terms of design.

 

Seeing the World

One of my favorite things about working freelance is the flexibility to work from almost anywhere. Curiosity has always been in my blood, and I don't plan to keep it all saved for later.

I've made it a goal to create 6 murals this year, in different cities across the world. This goal was inspired by a collaboration I did last month in New Delhi, India. I have a lot more to share on that story but I am going to save it for the next post. Here's a little sneak peak of that project.

 


No More Waiting

I'm sure there are some things you are looking forward to doing in 2016. A new year is a chance for a fresh start. A clean slate.

The funny thing is, when the year changes, your habits won't change all of a sudden. You are still the same person you were yesterday. If you want to change, it takes hard work, planning and incremental baby steps.

Just like you may have been waiting for 2016 to start, maybe you are now waiting for something else.

"I'm waiting for the right client to come to me with a good brief."
"I don't have the right tools or circumstances to make my best work."
"I can't work on my passion because I have a day job and it takes up all of my time and energy. When I leave the job, THEN I will be able to focus."

Can you feel that tension between where you are right now and where you want to be?

Me too... It can feel impossible sometimes.

The truth is, there will never be a perfect moment to start becoming who you want to be and building the thing you want to be known for. You will only find the right circumstances when you make time for yourself every day.


What You Can Expect Going Forward

It's been an incredible ride so far and I'm thankful for every opportunity I have been given. I realize that a good portion of it would not have been possible if I had not started this newsletter, so I am starting it back up, on a slightly looser schedule.

I am committing to showing up each week with new content, but it will be more based on the timing with my freelance projects. Regardless, I appreciate you sticking with me and I look forward to sharing more with you soon.

See you next week!
-Eric

Eric Friedensohn