Day Thirty-Six   /   lettering by Siggi Eggertsson

Jessica Walsh

Did you see Timothy today?

What did y’all do together?
We met at a hotel in Midtown, where we were evaluating portfolios for junior year design and advertising students. We grade their portfolios and help determine which students should get honors classes or receive scholarships. It was sad to close out the semester. I’ve grown attached to a few of my students. But every ending is a new beginning, and I am excited to see where the students go.

Did anything interesting happen?
Tim’s friend John is a funny character. He’s been to Disney World three times in the past few years with his kids, and he had some pretty awesome tips. He told us that the most romantic ride is Haunted Mansion. He and his wife went without the kids last year just for that ride! So sweet. It sounds like they are very much in love. It made me think about other successful marriages I know of, and wonder what makes a relationship last longterm.

Did you learn anything new about Timothy?
I am excited about Disney World, but I think Tim is starting to freak out. He keeps mentioning how much pressure it will be to spend three days together there. He said a weekend trip with a girl is something he has rarely done. It is very serious for him. We’ve been on trips together before, but perhaps he feels pressure now that we are more of an item?

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
I have no issue spending a weekend with a guy who I like. Truthfully, when I find something I like, I want it all the time. I know I can have a slightly obsessive personality. This can apply to a song, a restaurant, a piece of clothing, a type of makeup, or a kind of food. For example, when I discovered this restaurant Dogmatic, I became obsessed and ate a gourmet sausage dog every day for lunch for two years straight. Or when I found this amazing pair of fleece lined tights I loved, I bought 50 pairs of them so I’d never run out. I’ve listened to this James Blake song on repeat all month. And I like to go to the same coffee shops and order the same coffee every day.


I can be the same with with relationships. If I am really into a guy, I am totally cool to hang out as much possible. Weekend trips, family events, work parties, bring it on! I have to accept that Tim will never be that way. He likes variety and constant change. He loves having plenty of personal space, and doesn’t like when a relationship interferes with other parts of his life.

How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
Pretty good! Things seem to being going well between us.

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
After the portfolio review, I met my parents at the Chelsea Market. They have been to Disney World too, and had some tips of their own. It made me think again about what makes a relationship work. They’ve been together almost 30 years. And both of their own parents have stayed happily married their entire lives. Anyway, they started listing off some great relationship advice, so I asked them to write it down.


Additional comments?
Tim loves cheese danishes. He ate three of them. Three!

Day Thirty-Six   /   lettering by Mike Perry

Timothy Goodman

Did you see Jessica today?
You know it.

What did y’all do together?
Since we both teach juniors at SVA, we had to go to the mandatory portfolio review this morning. Essentially, a group of design teachers together in one room grading students’ portfolios. When I got there, Jessie was already talking to a good friend of mine (and fellow teacher). I liked seeing her in my “world” today.

Did anything interesting happen?
For the first time, I could really sense that she likes me. I hadn’t felt that energy from her the way I did this morning. These little smiles and gestures and courtesies. I felt like we were “together,” especially when we were explaining our Disney trip to some friends. I’ve always liked the word “together.” I have no idea about its origin, but I wonder if it comes from merging these three words: to-get-her.


Did you learn anything new about Jessica?
I realized it was 12:30 PM, and I had a lunch in Brooklyn at one o’clock. Jessie was in a conversation, so I just waved goodbye and gave her a gesture that I had to go. Didn’t seem like a big deal, but she has this way of making me feel like I’m doing something wrong. I’ve always felt this.

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
I don’t know if my way leaving today bothered her, but I realized it might have been weird. If I need to be somewhere fast, I just like to go without a fuss.

How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
I feel okay on the surface level, but everyone is asking me what happens on day 41. That is not making me feel okay. I really think it’s important to finish this project first. Then we should take a couple days off from seeing each other, gain some perspective, and keep seeing each other before we make any decisions. I’m not interested in dating other women. I’m interested in seeing if there is a healthy relationship between us beyond the project.

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
Things are really good. I took one of the SVA reviews with me, filled one out for Jessie, and I emailed it to her later in the day. Strong! Smart! Sexy!


Additional comments?
I love teaching because it makes me articulate a process that isn’t easy to define. Creativity is not predictable. And since I enjoy working on an diverse range of work, the process is constantly in flux for me. (I suppose this runs parallel with my dating history, too!) As I continue to get better at my craft, it’s important for me to remember why I loved it in the first place. So many of us set this aside and simply do what others suggest, never finding our own voice, and forgetting why we set out on this journey in the first place.

I always tell my students that they should approach design as a practice rather than a profession. We can’t forget the place we started from, and we should always be looking for new ways to connect with people through our work. I recently re-watched It Might Get Loud, a documentary that I love. Jack White talks extensively about the reduction process in music and art, and how hard it is to find the truth in its simplest form — something I’m always trying to work at. He goes on to say, “Technology is a big destroyer of emotion and truth. Opportunity doesn’t do anything for creativity. Yeah it makes it easier, and you can get home sooner, but it doesn’t make you a more creative person. That’s the disease we have to fight in any creative field: ease of use.”

He also wrote one of my favorites, a 50-second song entitled “Little Room.” It consists of nothing more than vocals and drums. For me, the lyrics tally up one of the critical difficulties in the creative process.