Think Less, Create More | Dirty Work Designs

Today I have something special for you... a guest post by Tasha Ruocco of Dirty Work Designs. I've been following Tasha's work for years and even carry some of her goodies in my shop. Her Instagram is my absolute fav! Such a unique mix of botanical illustrations, glossy lifestyle photos, and sassy inspiration. Tasha's here today to discuss her current mantra: Think Less, Create More. 


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Think less, create more became my unintentional mantra this year. To me, it means devoting less brain power comparing myself to others and worrying about people think of my work. It means creating work in-spite of my insecurities about it. Despite being prevalent in creative communities I do not think that ‘imposter-syndrome’ or ‘self-doubt’  solely exist in the creative sphere: they exist in almost every industry and profession. And that’s kind of terrifying.

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Social media is the best thing ever while simultaneously also being the worst thing ever. The creative sharing, blossoming of sub-cultures and positive collaborations are undeniably out there for the taking. Never before have we all been able to be more authentic in our passions and interests. If you think you’re the only one to have niche love of something it’ll take a few searches on Instagram to find hoards of people who totally get you. That being said, social media serves up a unique ability for every user to highly curate their work leaving on-lookers feeling inadequate or untalented. It is a rare person that has never thought ‘i’m not good enough’ when scrolling the galleries of the talented on Instagram. While occasionally feeling inadequate may be the secret sauce needed to inspire you to keep practising I have a feeling for many people it’s the catalyst for crippling perfectionism. 

The trouble is perfectionism doesn’t advance anything. You can spend years perfecting a drawing and at the end of the day, you’ve still completed one drawing. There has to be give and take, an understanding of when something is finished. What does ‘finished’ mean anyway? Perfection is a synonym for over-thinking: it is when your mind busies itself with thinking about every element of a piece of work in order to avoid the inevitable, the sharing of that idea. What if people don’t like it? What if the world rejects my work? Or worst of all, what if no one says anything? This internal monologue and neurosis has shut down more ideas than it’s created (I doubt it’s ever sparked an idea) and allows us to avoid facing our worst fears of rejection.

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Creating and moving on has to be the talent I most greatly admire and envy. People who can put up work regularly, consistently and not constantly question whether it’s ‘good enough’ are my idols. Some genuinely don’t give a f**k, others question their skills temporarily but have the strength to share their work regardless. After all, the moment when a piece of work receives adoration or fails to launch is so fleeting. A successful creative is already working on the next project, unconcerned about the reaction - after all, it might be the next piece of work that really blows up their opportunities. That scenario sounds a lot healthier to me and a path I encourage myself to take on a daily basis.

So this year think less, create more became a sort of mantra to me. Something to chant to myself when I find myself knee-deep in someone’s 2014 posts trying to understand how they honed their talent so that I can switch off insta and get busy creating things that further my own development. That’s not to say I don’t still regularly get caught up in all that anxious energy, I do, but it’s the first step.

-Tasha Ruocco


Be sure to visit dirty-work.co.uk for sassy and inspiring stationery + home products. 

All photos in this post property of Dirty Work, used with permission.