April 10th, 2009

The List

By Frank DeRose

  1. Made money.
  2. Made mistakes.
  3. Made enemies.
  4. Made breakfast.
  5. Made up.
  6. Hated my job.
  7. Quit my job.
  8. Got jealous of other people’s jobs.
  9. Felt like I should have their job.
  10. Used Helvetica.
  11. Used Helvetica Neue.
  12. Used Universe.
  13. Did not use Copperplate.
  14. Watched TV.
  15. Surfed the web.
  16. Touched myself.
  17. Got wasted.
  18. Did drugs.
  19. Promised myself I wouldn’t do it again.
  20. Did it again.
  21. Felt guilty.
  22. Felt bored.
  23. Felt depressed.
  24. Felt up my wife.
  25. Felt up your future wife (before I had a wife).
  26. Specced type.
  27. Complained about clients.
  28. Complained about co-workers.
  29. Drank with co-workers.
  30. Complained about co-workers while I drank with co-workers.
  31. Talked about starting my own studio.
  32. Sat at home in the middle of the day without a job.
  33. Had a panic attack.
  34. Called my girl while I was having a panic attack.
  35. Thought about how to be a calmer person.
  36. Played Snood.
  37. Surfed the web.
  38. Smoked trees.
  39. Took a nap.
  40. Smoked cigarettes.
  41. Quit cigarettes.
  42. Started smoking cigarettes.
  43. Quit smoking cigarettes (we’ll see).
  44. Wished I were back in school.
  45. Stole ideas that I had in school.
  46. Had an affair with your favorite designer.
  47. Cross-referenced porn stars from web site to web site, and then to bit torrent programs.
  48. Ate dinner.
  49. Overslept.
  50. Overstayed my welcome.
  51. Overestimated my opponent.
  52. Over-tipped (when I was wasted).
  53. Second-guessed myself.
  54. Worked hard.
  55. Worked not so hard.
  56. Acted hard.
  57. Got hard.
  58. Said incredibly dumb things.
  59. Followed up by acting upon the dumb thing I just said.
  60. Ate lunch.
  61. Played basketball.
  62. Beat Dandre in basketball.
  63. Did freelance work with Dandre.
  64. Got drunk and harassed Dandre.
  65. Apologized.
  66. Felt successful.
  67. Felt like a total loser.
  68. Felt it again.
  69. Met my hero.
  70. Had a good idea.
  71. Didn’t follow it up.
  72. Had a good idea.
  73. Sort of followed it up.
  74. Had a good idea.
  75. Gave three weeks notice.
  76. Told someone to fuck off.
  77. Got told to fuck off.
  78. Got stitches.
  79. Got the runs.
  80. Got a fever.
  81. Got oral.
  82. Farted, and a little poop came out.
  83. Decided I wanted to work for BIG.
  84. Decided I wanted to work for Pentagram.
  85. Decided I wanted to work for Base.
  86. Didn’t.
  87. Went to the movies.
  88. Went to Bogota.
  89. Went to town.
  90. Hated the player.
  91. Hated the game.
  92. Lent money.
  93. Got paid back.
  94. Got stiffed for freelance.
  95. Undercharged for freelance.
  96. Made progress.
  97. Took a step back.
  98. Redesigned the Penthouse magazine logo.
  99. Learned that making it doesn’t mean the client planned well.
  100. Designed the Modern Bank logo.
  101. Learned that just because you have the idea and do the initial design doesn’t mean you get to finish it.
  102. Went postal.
  103. Got to work early.
  104. Got home late.
  105. Compared myself to 156 other 22-29 year old designers.
  106. Did not apply for the PRINT 20 under 30 or whatever the fuck…
  107. Did not get into PRINT 16 under 105 or whatever the fuck…
  108. Watched my mom get her hip replaced.
  109. Watched her get better from it.
  110. Watched her have a biopsy.
  111. Watched her get a tumor removed.
  112. Decided that “design” isn’t shit.
  113. Worked a few 15-hour days.
  114. Worked a few 18-hour days.
  115. Called in sick.
  116. Ate peyote with Paul Rand.
  117. Got a hand-job from Ryan Seacrest.
  118. Saw some concerts.
  119. Freestyled with my friends.
  120. Decided I really do like the Arcade Fire.
  121. Decided that I really do not like R.E.M.
  122. Moved from the city back to Queens.
  123. Rode my bike into the city.
  124. Beat Andre 15-2 in ping pong.
  125. Lost to Names 15-5 in ping pong.
  126. Watched George Bush do a great job!
  127. Hoped Donald Rumsfeld would get assassinated.
  128. Hoped Dick Cheney would be collateral damage in Rumsfeld’s assassination.
  129. Ignored politics, mostly.
  130. Got stiffed on my Christmas bonus because I quit, even though I had been the go-to guy in the office from May to December.
  131. Kicked Dan’s ass with a pick axe.
  132. Lost my keys.
  133. Fucked up a job.
  134. Covered my ass.
  135. Sent approximately 3,500 emails.
  136. Generated 168gb of digital info.
  137. Pulled off the highway to use a public restroom.
  138. Rented a movie.
  139. Returned a movie.
  140. Decided that Only Built 4 Cuban Links is the best Wu Tang solo album…or maybe it is Supreme Clientele.
  141. Bought $150 sneakers.
  142. Discovered that Greek yogurt is much better than regular yogurt.
  143. Added honey to my tea.
  144. Welcomed my wife home from a night of drinking.
  145. Teased her the next day.
  146. Fought with her.
  147. Had make-up sex.
  148. Plotted ways to have more sex.
  149. Regretted what I wrote.
  150. Started making a blog.
  151. Started writing a book.
  152. Went to the movies.
  153. Decided that going to the movies alone is good.
  154. Decided that going out to dinner alone is okay.
  155. Decided that going to a bar alone is bad.
  156. Designed my portfolio twice.
  157. Went on more interviews.
  158. Did it again.

There are approximately 4 things in this list that I did not actually do. See if you can figure out which they are.

Frank DeRose is.

This essay first appeared in Never Sleep, a book written by Andre Andreev and G. Dan Covert, published by de.MO. Summary: There is a major disconnect between the life of a design student and the transition to being a design professional. To demystify the transition, we share the failures, successes, and surprises during our years in college and progression into the field: the creative process, monetary problems, internships, interviews, mistakes, and personal relationships.