Helvetica and self-doubt

Earlier this week, I was fortunate enough to attend Doug Coupland’s ‘Cocktails & Helvetica’ event at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

While there, I ran into the wonderful Joelle, Type Camp alum from 2008 (my goodness, has it really been that long?). Here she is alongside a portion of her AWESOME self-portrait, the best of the evening.helvie

Through Marian Bantjes, I was able to meet Doug, which was a treat. It is always intriguing seeing that famous folk are just real people, and he was lovely and welcoming. (I will of course overlook his affinity for Helvetica and just chalk it up to a momentary lack of taste.)

He referred to Marian & I as ‘type goddesses’, which certainly took me aback. What? Doug Coupland is putting me in a category with Marian? WHAT? I was instantly uncomfortable and immediately thought that horrid thought that I’m not worthy.

Why do I instantly do that? Why does anyone do that? Why must compliments be so hard to handle? Why must we question kind words yet instantly accept criticisms?

I’ve seen people stand taller and talk louder just after an afternoon of hand lettering at a Type Camp. It might not be life-changing (or it might), but even a few hours of confidence can interrupt years of insecurity and uncertainty. I do all I can in every camp to alleviate these thoughts. I want to make sure that every attendee will feel proud of what they’re doing and, when confronted with kind words regarding their work, instead of tossing them aside, will instead claim ‘Damn Straight, It Rocks!’.

And in turn, I will do my best to do the same.