Where to even begin... Lauren Hom is a design goddess. I am so obsessed with everything she does and just when I think she can't get any more amazing, she does something even more completely amazing.
Her work was first introduced to me a few years ago by my fave design mentor, Emily. (I've mentioned her before! :) ) I immediately connected with Lauren's work and over time have come to feel like I know her personally (even though I totally don't). She is so real and transparent via Instagram and gives incredible advice to the creative community. She's doing a million things like her Homwork assignments every week (if you don't subscribe to this you absolutely should - so many gems!), her online classes, her IGTV Q&A's... Just amazing – she's doing so many things to give back to the design community and I admire that.
I enrolled in the first round of her online course, Passion to Paid, a couple years ago (I think 2017?) and it was probably the best thing I could have done for myself at the time. I had graduated college and was in the same boat as most recent grads like, "OMG NOW WHAT I HAVE A DEGREE NO ONE PREPARED ME FOR THIS." And it was pretty hard. I have a difficult time with huge adjustments. I'm not as go with the flow as I would like to be.
I had an internship and I had also taken a part-time job at a local church doing random design type things that they needed every week. I was looking for a full-time design position, but nothing local was popping up and I got to be discouraged which leads to being creatively drained.
Between my two jobs, I was basically doing all the design work on my own without any collaboration from anyone and that was creatively draining as well. Being a fresh graduate, I felt like I still had so much to learn. Hell, I always have stuff to learn! As my grandfather would say...
If you stop learning, you are dead.
And I stand firmly by those words.
My biggest goal in life is to always always always be learning. Because no one knows everything and the design industry changes so fast that no one even has time to know everything!
So between being creatively drained and always wanting to learn, I enrolled in Lauren Hom's course and it was awesome. She goes through her whole process of how she forms and launches her own passion projects (see here and here for her early passion projects). She gives you the tools to launch your creative career to the next level. She is so kind, inspirational and is chock full of advice and generosity. Lauren says:
I truly believe that every creative person has a brilliant idea for a passion project hidden inside of them, and it would be an honor to help you discover yours.
Lauren, you are my hero.
I have been able to launch my business, Wonderful Wild Souls, because of the tools learned in this online course.
I learned how to dig into my thoughts/feelings/personality/experiences/memories and pull inspiration from all of them to create a really neat idea.
I learned how to stay motivated and draw inspiration from unlikely places.
I learned how to leverage social media and design blogs to get noticed.
She even goes into business basics and how to find an agent.
Wonderful Wild Souls was not the project I launched at the time though. I started The Traveling Tabbies from Lauren's online course which combined my love of bright colors, cats, traveling and my family. It was a sweet project and I'm glad I did it, but I couldn't keep up with creating new content at the time.
I was experiencing a major creative rut after being thrown into limbo post-graduation and not knowing when I would have a full time job or if I would ever have one in my field. (Dramatic, I know, but it me.)
When I did finally land a full-time job a year after graduation, I was exhausted from adulting. Trying to get into the groove of working 8-5, tied to a desk all day and staring at a computer screen and then going home, attempting to have even more energy and brain power to work on my own passion projects, stare at another computer screen for even more hours??? Nah, I was super not into that. It was tiring me out.
It took me a long time to adjust (knowing my history with big changes - not great). Adjustment periods for me last foreverrrr.
My energy in the evening now comes from my passion for what I do. I love these creatures and I love illustrating. I am driven by my ideas on how to make my business better, new products I can add and my bright, beautiful mark I plan to make on the world.
My Wonderful Wild Souls are what give me life.
So for those of you stuck in a creative rut... I know how that feels and I know how frustrating it can be. But there will be an end and the tides will turn in your favor.