Emily, a recent college grad and working designer, first wrote to us back in September to share about how TGD has encouraged her to not give up when “the going gets tough as a young designer”. With her permission, we’re sharing Emily’s initial message to us and a brief update from her. We hope this inspires you:
After reading your “Year One Retrospective” today, I was encouraged to pass you both a note congratulating you and thanking you for providing such useful and inspiring information to the creative community. Every Tuesday, I look forward to spending my night curled up with my laptop, getting a glimpse into the lives of some of those creatives that I really admire and learning about ones I may never have known of.
As I embark on my sophomore year of life (second year out of design/art school), I can’t tell you how much TGD has done for me. I consider myself lucky to have landed a creative job right out of college. But after a stressful day of creating things I don’t necessarily believe in at work, as a youngin’, I start questioning my abilities, tastes, and overall career choice. But then I remember TGD and am constantly reminded to question my creative satisfaction and to not give up when the going gets tough as a young designer. I love that you two ask your interviewees about their creative satisfaction because it’s one that really hits home for me. Though my desk job is creative, it isn’t necessarily the creative satisfaction I need to survive and thus, I’ve embarked on other side projects thanks to the information you’ve passed on.
You both are truly great messengers to the community and I can’t thank you enough for engaging me every Tuesday.
An update from Emily: Since I wrote you last, I actually have taken a new day job that offers much more creative freedom than my last. It’s now nice to get that satisfaction not only during the day, but at night as well.
Congrats on the new job, Emily! We wish you the best.
Gabriela recently wrote us to share about how TGD inspired her to make some important decisions about her career and future. With her permission, we’re sharing her words:
I don’t know how I fell into your website, The Great Discontent, but I consider myself very lucky for that. The articles I’ve read with the interviews of hand-picked artists came to me in a moment that I really needed to listen to what they had to say.
As a designer, right now I’m living in this tough situation of choosing between “joining the navy or being a pirate”. For a year, I’ve been working in-house for a web agency, mass-producing websites for hundreds of clients and that is slowly killing my creative soul. Like Jessica Walsh said in her interview, “If it feels like work, then you probably don’t want to spend the majority of your adult life doing it.” I have to agree completely.
It made me rethink my possibilities. I am now exactly like Jason Santa Maria said—”too comfortable and complacent creatively” and I’m motivated enough to shake things up, like he did.
So, I wanted to thank you guys for this inspiring project and please keep interviewing those amazing artists.
Gabriela, we’re excited about the possibilities that lie ahead for you and we hope that you find something that you love so much that it doesn’t feel like work!
Robert first reached out to us on Twitter to ask if we had any TGD shirts for purchase. We didn’t, but we offered to send him some other TGD swag. He emailed us with his mailing address and a small note about what TGD has meant to him. We were moved by his words and with his permission, we’re sharing them with you:
…thank you for creating The Great Discontent. Being a registered felon with tons of other obstacles in my way, your interviews are my main motivation to keep pushing and the people in them push me to become a better person. I know its pathetic, but I tear up typing this out because just a little over a year ago, I was on a completely different path of violence and anger. The people in your interviews truly are my mentors, without even knowing them.
Little things like you guys tweeting me back or opening my email is mind-blowing to me and I just hope this shows how special what you are doing is. I think you get the picture so I’ll spare you the dramatics!
Thank you so much for doing what you do.
It’s a privilege to inspire others through The Great Discontent and our readers are the best reminder of that. From time to time, they write to tell us how TGD has impacted them. A few weeks ago we received a letter from Sonali and, with her permission, here is part of her story in her own words:
To start with, I am Sonali, a 22 year old girl from India. I am an engineer and have been working as a Lead Technical Editor for the last 9 months. I am a lazy person by nature and never used the web for more than what I needed to. At my job, we had a task of looking for technical reviewers and that’s how I landed on the web page of Jeff Rogers. I dug into his website and on his list of interviews, I found TGD!
I read Jeff’s interview in a go despite being at work. My first thought was who are these guys to write such stuff about artists? I checked out your website and was amazed at the collection of artist interviews you’ve gathered—fantastic! I set up a bookmark on your page and early the next day, I was looking for a new read. That’s how it started. I read Cheryl Strayed’s interview next and ordered the book, Wild, which I started reading today. I love to read.
You know, in a country like india, I work for 9 hours and it takes me another 5 hours to travel to and from work—there is no time for creativity. I hopped on to each of your personal blogs and saw the things you’ve made and I felt a pinch of realization that I can do this too. Maybe not to the level you guys are doing it, but you have surely inspired me to start. I will be starting my masters soon and I know what I have to do to define myself.
I literally wait for your mail on Tuesdays. I get home from work past 9pm and Wednesday mornings start with reading an inspirational story, which wouldn’t have been there but for your efforts. Keep up the good job.