becoming neon

becoming neon

i designed a calendar in 2020 that never got printed.

a year later, i updated the file and tried again. remembering my initial failure, i started doubting the direction i was flying.

you see failure is not something i handle well. in fact, failure was not something i've needed to "handle" at all. i didn't know how to fail. this f-word was not in my vocabulary.

2022 calendar

until March of 2020. the spring failure began chasing all of us.

fast-forward 21 months and my calendars started landed around the world [i'm allowed to say that because three went to Canada, right? ... f it.]

then someone pointed out a typo.

of course they did. of course the typo was on the first page.

thank you, january. hello 2022.

yet, for the first time – in a long time, i laughed and refused to panic. instead of ignoring my error, i drew attention to it. i didn't blame anyone. there was no one else to blame.

the irony is that i spelt the word "others" wrong! one former co-worker thought i had done it on purpose. "it's just too perfect," she said.

"those who bring sunshine to the lives of other(s!) cannot keep it from themselves." 

-J.M. Barrie

an even greater irony [am i even using that word correctly?,] is that 2022 is the year i planned NOT to focus on others. not to focus on silly typos.

so why highlight my failure here?because any of the managers or copy-writers, etc. i've flown beside in my 15-year career would have caught the mistake.

and maybe ... just maybe ... the calendar would have been perfect. but also... i wouldn't have learned anything. mistakes teach us to pivot. to improvise. to cringe & move on.

this time. this year. this trip around the sun. imperfection is precisely what i'm going for. failing & learning. experimenting & doodling. creating & connecting.

perfectionism enabled me to fly higher and higher in creative roles: freelance > intern > designer > sr. designer > supervisor > associate creative director > creative director > director, creative services > who knows where i could have flown.


perfectionism also kept me from spelling out the one title i've always wanted and was too afraid to say aloud [despite years of writing about it in my goals.]

--->>> i am an artist. <<<---

my brand (+ store to sell my art) is neon robin.

i'm rewriting my failures from 2021 (+ all the years prior) to be lessons.

some were captured in real time in my blog. i learned how i needed to fly on my own for a while – to create my brand alone when i failed to find "others" to help. i learned to stop taking on "other" clients and focus on my own biz. i'm still learning out how to create for "others" while starting to paint for myself for the first time in a decade.

above all, i learned to value the f-word that's been top of mind throughout this pandemic.

--->>> freedom <<<---

[hmmm.. what word did you think i meant? ... ok fine ... i've needed that one, too.]

i soared freely last year wherever the wind took me. up north to wisconsin. down south to tennessee. out west to the grand canyon and circled east all the way through niagara falls. each time landing back in my perch in st. louis to plot my next migration. it's no longer in one direction. i'm flying anywhere my (he)art desires.

i'm neon.

i follow the light. i highlight what matters.

i'm not afraid anymore.


the bird on the left changed everything – when i realized it existed – a pink robin.

the bird on the right CHaNgEs everything – when other options exist – a neon robin.

we stand out from ordinary robins.

we aren’t afraid of our brilliance.

we are bold & a little goofy.

[ok, really goofy]

we can fly.

we will fly.

we are flying.

thanks for flying with me. i'm releasing one "bird" at a time on the 13th of each month as an homage to my past ... while keeping a steady focus on the future. the fun part is that a "bird" can literally mean anything... one month it was a calendar. this month it was a vision board party. it's fun. i'm fun. let's have fun together.

sign-up to follow my neon flight HERE.

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