Refreshingly candid, and if I may add, prone to swearing which I love, James Victore discussed his career and what he does to stay on top of his creativity. From Picture Wars with his son, Coffee Notes with his wife and continuously learning and forcing himself outside of his boundaries, his creativity is always being exercised. His biggest hurdle is himself; “[he is] the weakest link”. He has a book of his career thus far coming out soon called Badass which is all black except for a deep pink ribbon bookmark which he refers to as “Darth Vader’s lingerie”.
The key thing that struck me tonight would be the fact that James had a plan. He came to New York when he was 20 and he had a 15 year plan. Wow. 15 years. That is quite impressive especially since he was 20. I certainly was not that pulled together at that age. But having made a few plans in the past few years I will agree it’s certainly the best way to do it. When you go on vacation you usually plan. The plane tickets, getting to the hotel from the airport, maybe a few activities during the week you know you’ll take part in. Sure sometimes you wing it but generally, there is a plan. The bigger picture decided, you then take smaller steps to get to the markers.
I confess to still wrangling with a plan for my career. My personal life in the past year has been progressing nicely thanks to planning so I know I can follow a plan, it’s just a question of coming up with on. There seem to be so many avenues in web design and development which is awesome and frustrating at the same time. I definitely enjoy what I do but I want to do more with it. There are so many amazing sites and technologies out there I just don’t know where to start.
James Victore reached a similar point between 35 and 40. He was floundering, as he put it. And he realized it was because he didn’t have a plan anymore. His plan went to 35 and then what? So he had to stop and put a new one together to get him to 70, which made everyone chuckle. That was reassuring that such a popular and accomplished designer would struggle. He seemed so self assured up there on that stage and has such a diverse array of accomplishments it was hard to believe that there was ever a point where he didn’t know what he was doing. It’s not that I go around thinking designers never struggle or have insecure moments but sometimes when I attend events or gatherings everyone seems so confident and hey, I’m doing great but I guess as Carolyn Burnham and Buddy Kane in American Beauty agreed “in order to be successful you have to project an image of success”.