We sent our friend Amanda Cordsen to hear Sean Adams of AdamsMorioka speak last night as part of AIGA’s speaker series. Here’s what she thought.
Failure. No ideas. Criticism. Change. Bad clients. No clients. Scared yet?
What is the thing that frightens you the most? For Sean Adams of AdamsMorioka, it’s ending up in a shanty in the desert. But what Sean shared last night was this: instead of running from our boogey-men, we need to trust ourselves as designers to make good decisions and do kick-ass work.
It’s always a little reassuring to find out the guy who garners so much admiration and fuels more than his share of self-doubt among young designers has the same feelings about others. That he, too, wakes up sometimes without an idea in his head, no matter how hard he tries. And he even has doubts and worries about criticism. Hurray! It’s not just me.
Most of the time, when we see the work of others on display, we see the polished successes that make us quake in our little designer booties. Along with some amazing work, Sean shared a few of his disappointments as well, including a slew of struggles to find the right direction for Sundance Film Festival.
The best part (at least, in my eyes) was finding out he liberally quotes Rogers and Hammerstein’s musicals. Some of Sean’s life mantras are pulled from classics like The Sound of Music, Carousel, South Pacific, and Oklahoma.
For those of you who think this in some way should affect some of his credibility, never fear. The albums were driven into his brain through years of childhood torture. Ok, not torture, but let’s say there was little to chose from at his grandparents’ home in terms of music – and an annoying poodle wasn’t good at providing entertainment for long. Nonetheless, the quotes he shared were true and rather inspirational, albeit a little on the mushy side.
Here are a couple that really spoke volumes:
“Try not to be scared of people not liking you, just you try liking them. And just keep your faith, and your courage, and you’ll turn out all right.”
“The world belongs to you as much as to the next fella, so don’t give it up.”
For the president of an organization that has had its usefulness questioned by many Denver-area designers recently, he’s definitely a guy worth learning a little about and spending some time with. Who knows, you may decide to join this organization. And judging from Sean’s talk, I’d say we’re in for a great year with the rest of AIGA Colorado’s events. Felix Sockwell is next, so mark your calendars.