If at first you don't succeed...

I invited her on Slack into a shared Figma document to practice. She agreed. We'd done it once before and silently moved some shapes around the screen. We iterated on contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity. The standard design crap. This time was different.

I suggested we riff on somebody else's work to quickly get us started. She dragged in an image that made her smile. We shared ideas and thoughts by typing text into the design document then removing it once it'd been read. A secret communication channel under the guise of design practice.

From the shared image, we each took an area and pulled out elements of color or shape. She started drawing cute animals. I was drawing abstract layered shapes. When I used her colors in my shapes,  a seed of unity was watered. My agreement in her choices showed trust. The spark of a connection ignited.

She drew a standard cute pig. She pulled the shapes of the eye area into a mask and worked the triangles into simple, reliable ears. Rather than just watch, I started drawing my own version of watching by implementing a second perspective. Her front-facing view showed a pig looking directly at you, the viewer. My version showed the top of the pig's head looking directly at the pig she was drawing; snout-to-ear. Another connection developed with orientation of a pig's gaze.

I suggested we visualize a quote. If at first you don't succeed — try, try again. 

A second suggestion was to use a three-panel, cartoon layout to give us a clear constraint. The story would be told in three acts. We each created a set of three panels.

I started with a rough, quick attempt at a hand-drawn pig face.
She flattened her pig and added wings. 
We iterated.

My second panel showed a pig from behind with slightly cleaner lines as if I was struggling to get it right from different angles with higher precision.

Her second panel depicted a frustrated flapping effort with movement of the wings but failure to navigate the aerodynamics of flight.

My third frame showed a large frying pan with two eggs and two strips of bacon. She laughed in text as I was penning and dragging the shapes into bacon - she knew where I was headed. 

Her third frame saw the pig catching flight and hovering over the mountains with ease.

We iterated. We shared ideas. We developed our thinking in agreement and play. The shared experience caused her to admit it was one of the best times she'd had in a long time. I agreed it was great fun.

Our final captions — technically both failed the brief.
Mine: If at first you don't succeed — fry, fry again.
Hers: If at first you don't succeed — fly, fly again.

QUIT. Didn't even need to read the post. That's the answer. If at first you don't succeed and get praise and everyone wants to be your best friend then you should quit and go consume quick hits of dopamine!!
2021-02-05 16:35:02
I just realized that I think you would make good comics especially if you kept the restraints tight. Filmmaker David Lynch made a comic for years where the first two panels were always the same and it was only the final one that changed week after week. It was his job to come with something by the end of the week.
2021-02-06 13:57:31