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    Life & Letters

    life & letters, a collaboration with glass and sable

    August 1, 2012

    Life & Letters: A is for Ambition

    I’m enthralled to announce Pinegate Road’s very first collaboration: Life & Letters with Ciara Sames of Glass and Sable. Over the past couple weeks we have been crazily sending emails back and forth to come up with a project that would help us grow creatively, but also give an interesting insight into our lives as designers. Here, Life & Letters was born. Each Wednesday we’ll be illustrating a letter of the alphabet and picking one topic to write about that will relate back to our lives as designers. We’ll be posting on eachother’s blogs, so make sure to check out my post over on Glass and Sable each Wednesday to get both of our takes on the weekly letter! I couldn’t have found a better person to start this with, and I am so in-wow with Ciara, her work, and her spriti each and every time we come in contact. I hope that you enjoy our new adventure!

    A is for Ambition

    One of the top desires for humans is to be great and to exceed expectations. Our worlds are shaken when we get both exceptional praise and strong criticism. That’s just our nature. As designers, our work is constantly being evaluated by our employers, clients, and peers. So how do we use our talent and the feedback we receive and turn it into progress? Keep on working, learning, and aspiring to be great.

    Even though the dictionary says that ambition is all about wanting to succeed, I think ambition has a lot to do with wanting to improve. We should be taking as many steps forward as we can to define our skills, make better designs, and have better relationships with our clients, peers, and employers. When I think of the word “success” I think of some big cheese in his house on permanent vacation while his money pours into his lap. (thanks, hollywood) That’s not the kind of success I want to describe here. Being ambitious as a designer means taking what might be already good and making it great.

    Ambition doesn’t have to mean competition. Just because other designers are making “better” work than you, that doesn’t mean you aren’t or incapable of making better work. I’ve never been very competitive with others. I am one of the least athletic people you will ever meet and I never had much interest in playing competitive sports or games. But put me in my studio and show me my past work, and I’ll immediately start working on something new, even if it’s just cleaning up an old sketch. We always have room to grow, and a desire for growth and development will really take you places. But if you start putting yourself down after looking at the portfolios of others, you’re playing defense against yourself.

    Cheer for yourself (and for others!) and stay positive about your work and your journey as a designer! Remember, you are your biggest fan. Strive to be the best you can be, even if right now you don’t think you can “make it”. You’ll get there if you make no excuse to stop being ambitious.

    Ciara Sames is a designer and blogger over at Glass and Sable. She has a weakness for succulents, fluffy cats, and vintage illustrations of insects. 

    Lettering by Ciara Sames.

    Head on over to Glass and Sable to see my letter A and what it inspired. 


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    and I’ve been helping entrepreneurs and businesses build their brands and online presences for over a decade. I deeply believe that everyone has the potential to make their dreams reality and my agency helps people do just that. As your creative director, my job is to help take the vision in your head, ground it in strategy, illuminate it with design, and make it your digital reality. 

    I’m Kelsey Kerslake, founder and creative director of Pinegate Road