Oh man. So much has happened in the past month, and so many things I’m not even going to mention in this post!
First off, I finally bit the bullet and started using my twitter. follow @danielevangarza if you’d like to read stupid things I say more often than when I post them on facebook. I also started using Dribbble. Follow me there if you do that sort of thing.
Mid July, my buddy justin from CU’s Program council asked me to design their giveaway tees which has been our deal for the past three years. Justin’s pretty much the best guy and gave me creative license, so I made these awesome boombox bruiser guys. It was a great time for everyone, but I was kinda unsatisfied. See, sometimes when I design something for shirts, I wish it was for print so I could max out the colors. This was one of those times.
So. I made a poster. A really, really cool poster that I thought Program Council & the bands (and subsequent management) would really enjoy. Lets go ahead and fast forward to when I send the poster to the management of the bands (under a bcc no less) as a gift with print files and everything.
This was my mistake. This was my stupid, stupid mistake.
I’m sure in college they tell all the students to respect branding guidelines, event coordinators, maybe even to “dumb down” a design to fit mass appeal. I have never been told that. Unfortunately my naivety came to fruition when I received a reply from one of the promoters. They were unhappy and they were panicking. See, when you bcc your recipients with your content, they don’t see how many people it goes to. In their heads my 5 recipient email was a thousand person email-blast. That’s not good. This is when this turns into a learning experience.
Let me say that I don’t make too many mistakes. I make very, very calculated decisions so that I don’t appear like the self taught newb that I feel like I am. So when I’ve suddenly angered the biggest client of my friend at CU with a well-intentioned, but stupid gesture, I have no experience with damage control. I have no idea how to fix this.
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I’d like to pause here and recall a moment of anger I had with my good friend Luca Venter. Luca had graciously filmed an acoustic take-away show of my band, and (much like me in my recent ‘mistake’) had been well intentioned with his gift, but didn’t “give it to me the right way.” I got upset at him for not listening not following branding things or chatting with me before launching, or whatever (i can’t really remember now), but the point is that getting upset with him for not giving me something the “right way” was stupid and callous of me.
When someone gives you something, it means they used their abilities to benefit you. If it’s a high-schooler that made a 72dpi flyer for your upcoming show, or a friend who made you ugly business cards to help your new business out, they tried to help. And therein lies what I learned from making a mistake:Sometimes the desire to appear like we’ve “got it all together” gets in the way of recognizing that some people care about you, and are trying to help.
When we use the opinions or requirements of others to justify being ungrateful to people who are trying to hook us up, we get callous. A simple “thank you, but we’ve already got this covered” makes all the difference for the newbs (like myself) that are just trying to figure out how this all works.
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The end of the story is that my friend Justin stepped in and resolved everything with grace, and taught me how to handle big-kid mistakes.
At the end of the day, I made a poster that wasn’t in their guidelines, and used a bcc to freak them out, neither of which I will ever do again. I will also never again get upset with someone for not helping me the “right way.”