Remembering who I am

Every few months (or years) I find myself digging through old sketchbooks and dusty portfolios trying to remember something that meant something to me a some point.

As I flip through the drawings, I remember the sense of elation I had when I designed them. At the time the work seemed so prescient; it seemed so revelationary. Inevitably, these designs I find myself reviewing were done without a client. They were projects I completed in school, or as competitions, or as sporadic creative bursts of energy between working for paying clients. But, these are the projects I pull out again and again. As if I’m looking for something from them.

Were these client-less creative bursts somehow more “pure” than work I completed for paying clients? Were the ideas more clear? More true to my intent? Or was it just the act of self-motivated creativity that attracts me? Is the work that I do when no one is asking me to do anything somehow more worthy?

Why do I almost never review the work I completed while I was on the clock? Was it not as creative? Maybe the constant balancing of the complex (and often opposing) forces in all of my “real” projects removes some or most of the individual artist from the work… maybe.

So, as I’m flipping through my memories of work that never really existed…

Maybe I’m just trying to remember who I am.