November 4, 2006

A Victory

Yesterday I sent to a printer the formatted copy of the program for a Toastmasters conference. The job is the first I’ve taken on since the stroke and I’m pretty pleased with the results. Actually, since I just wanted to see if I could deal with a formal project with deadlines and expectations, I would have been happy if I just shipped a job to a printer on time. It’s a bonus that I’m really happy with the results.

I had to deal with the usual frustrations (customer doesn’t specify what he wants, customer delivers copy late, customer delays and forces last-minute changes) and the stroke created some other problems (having only one hand to type with, wandering attention, fatigue, coordinating my scheduling requirements and abilities with the requirements of the people who are helping me).

It’s interesting to me that the job didn’t really come together for me until I watched a totally unrelated movie. I had done three designs and didn’t like any of them. Then I spent some time with Shakespeare’s Richard III starring Ian McKellan. I don’t think the movie was really successful, but I stuck the whole thing out because it is Shakespeare and the cast was full of people I recognized. I liked the way the movie credits were laid out and decided to see if I could adapt the style for the program. It turned out that the layout worked, and I redesigned the whole program around this and the musical connotations of the conference theme, Mardi Gras.

My idea going into this was see how it felt and how the job turned out, and then to see if it was time to do some stringing for my old day job. I’ll probably talk to them this week.