The Procrastinating Fear of Getting Started



The principles office

I'm addicted to branding, it's a great way to get excited about a project. I can dive right in and avoid the fear of starting something new. An example is the opening of our collaborative art studio at cSPACE King Edward, a creative hub in a renovated old sandstone school in Calgary, Canada. For the branding of our studio I started by identify names that would describe it. The room number was an obvious choice. But while it would work fine as a wayfinder it didn't describe what we do. 



A place to exercise the mind

I tried other identities such as Home Room, Detention Room, or Loiter's Club — how better to describe artists but as unkept self aware delinquents hanging out, but perhaps that's a little too much truth? The next idea was calling it Art's Gym. This could have been fun and we were modeling the studio concept on a gym – but ours would be a gym to exercise the mind! However there was already an Art Gym elsewhere and it still didn't really reflect the character of our studio, which was a traditional classroom setting.




If only I had done my homework

Luckily others had done their homework and I learned that our room had been used as the principal's office since the 1960's. In keeping with the character of the building I next worked with old school decorative lettering and tried a modern derivative of the style. I enjoyed the process and the look of the lettering but it still wasn't quite right.



Sketchbook to the rescue

This is where daily sketch booking helped out.  I try to draw in my sketchbook without any preconceived ideas of what I'm going to draw, I just put pen to paper and see where it leads. I had previously drawn some dimensional text for another word and figured I should try it out here. Sure enough it felt just right!



Years of tears

When we first learned that our room was the Principal's office, Renata wasn't sure it was a good name. She imagined all the years of young childhood tears that flowed from students being sent to the Principal. Even I had a couple of trips down to the Principal, one vividly involving a strap, but thanks to the sanitizing wash of time I now feel an almost sentimental nostalgia — but just in case I changed the spelling to give it an alternative meaning.