Okay I'm going to cut straight to the chase here: It's the second week of February, which means that social media feeds everywhere are being overtaken by red roses, hearts and chocolates. And pink. And the occasional giant teddy bear. That's right folks, Valentine's Day is here.
Don’t get me wrong: those things are all great (trust me, I’m eating chocolate as I write this), but you know what's not so great?
The feeling I get when I think about all the artists who are going to spend hours working on designs to post to Instagram that say "I Love You" or "Be Mine" this week...only to have their art get lost in a sea of designs that say the exact same thing.
Similar to what I mentioned about inspirational quotes in Week 3's challenge, even if you create the *most stunning artwork* with a popular phrase like "I love you", there's a good chance that people will still scroll right past it.
Why? It's something I refer to as "phrase fatigue". What I mean by that is this: when we see the same phrases over and over again, we start to tune out (at least I do).
For example: When I open up Instagram this weekend, I'll most likely see a few images that say "I Love You" in nice red or pink lettering pop up in my feed. I'll smile and give them all a double tap. Cute!
A day or two later, I'll start to see more images that say "I Love You". I might heart some of the extra beautiful ones and scroll past others.
When Valentine's Day rolls around, I'll open up Instagram to find even MORE rosy-colored "I Love You" images flooding my feed. I start to tune out. Other than a nice visual, what is it adding to my day? I've seen it too many times, and now my millennial attention span (lol) is off to find something more interesting.
If you letter a popular, festive phrase during any holiday season, you run the risk of your audience tuning out depending on how many times they've see the same words that week or month. It has nothing to do with your lettering or illustration skills; it's simply phrase fatigue.
A few examples (and feel free to use any of these if they're true for you too):
I love you so much I'd give you the last bite.
I love you so much I'd give you my Netflix password.
I love you so much I'd put on pants and leave the house for you.
As an added challenge, I want you to avoid using red or pink as the main color in your design. The goal of this challenge is for all of us to create valentines that don't look or sound like conventional valentines!
After you complete the assignment, the second part of the challenge is to post your honest valentine on Instagram with the hashtag #HOMwork so we can see what everyone created. In the caption, tell us why you consider the act you chose to be the definition of love. If there's a funny backstory, we want to hear it!
Use this as an opportunity to get more comfortable with your audience and show people your quirky side. For some, true love is being able to complete each other's sentences. For others, it's being able to fart in front of each other. No judgements here! (Is that a dead giveaway as to which category I fall into haha?)
Wherever you may fall on the spectrum of cute to weird, I'm SO looking forward to seeing what true love means to you. See you on the 'gram!
PS In the spirit of love, I'll be featuring more submissions than usual from this week's challenge in my Story. Get that HOMwork in before the next assignment comes out on Friday morning to be considered :)