When I was 16 years old, I *idolized* my cousin Felix
He was the first person I knew who had Guess jeans (and a matching vest). His hair looked like he’d stepped out of a Duran Duran video. He shopped at Retail Slut on Melrose—the same store where Madonna bought her black plastic bracelets. He also changed the course of my life when he and his art school friends took me to see Pink Flamingos.
Up until then I’d been a pretty normal suburban girl. I got good grades. I’d been on both my high school’s speech team and the newspaper staff. I did what I was suposed to do. I was the poster girl for “normal”.
After that movie, I realized I had my own freak flag and it was time to let it fly
Watching Pink Flamingos made me realize that there was a whole world of weirdness out there I hadn’t known anything about. When I graduated from high school, my plan was to follow in my cousin’s footsteps and go to art school. I took a couple of drawing classes, and was ok, but nobody was going to give me a full scholarship to Otis Parson like they did for Felix.
Fortunately, one of my teachers recognized something in my work. She suggested I take a couple of graphic design classes to see if I had a knack for it. So I transferred to City college, enrolled in a Design 101 class, and found my calling.
In my 20 years as a designer I’ve drawn inspiration from a lot of odd sources
But one of my biggest influences, in substance if not style, has been John Waters. So when I had the opportunity to speak at WordCamp Baltimore, I knew I had to talk about one of its most notorious filmmakers I couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to talk about lessons I’ve learned from John Waters and his films. For the next two weeks and one day (because hey, intro) I’ll be posting one lesson a day. I hope you can find inspiration in the mistakes I’ve made, hard lessons I’ve learned, and advice about making your life as a designer easier.