When that big unblinking eye is staring you down, the only thing to do is stare right back at it.

Stare Down The Elephant and Conquer Your Doubts

Kangaroo Case Study Review

pro clima company logo
pro clima is an environmentally conscious supply company. Their goal is saving energy and reducing CO2 through intelligent insulation solutions.

Since writing this post, I’ve created a visual journal of this project’s development. Follow along here.

In this case study I will share some of the strategies I have learned from the most challenging of my experiences in illustration and character design and how I conquered them. I will be looking back at the “Kangaroo is You” campaign and the mountain of challenges it posed – the first of which almost barred my entry.

I was invited to the “Kangaroo is You” campaign for pro clima Germany. They wanted their logo adapted into a character for use across their educational brand. That would prove more complex than anticipated for an entirely different reason, but first, I had to deal with the elephant in the room, and it was German.

My elephant

My elephant, the thing that was stopping me from accomplishing my goals, had nothing to do with drawing. It was language. This entire project would be in German. At the time I had been living in Berlin a handful of years with even fewer language courses under my belt. I had only ever worked professionally in my native English.

I knew that I had the creative and artistic chops to tackle the project, but I doubted whether I could express myself and communicate professionally in a language I was still learning. Instead of preparing myself for the project I found myself procrastinating, feeling pessimistic about my language skills, and creatively frustrated.

The thing that turned out to be the real problem wasn’t my language but doubt about my language. That doubt was stopping me from putting all of my energy into this project. I decided then and there that relying on my doubts had to stop preventing me from doing the things I wanted.

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Here’s a peek at the Kangaroo campaign from Instagram.

These 3 realizations helped me tackle my doubts:

  • My language skills weren’t perfect and never would be
  • Working in German was most likely the single best thing I could do to improve those skills
  • I am not alone

If you’ve made it this far, you are probably wondering what any of this has to do with character design. The truth is, it doesn’t. What it does have to do with, is moving past the kinds of doubts and hesitations that derail you from progress and success. I am not suggesting that you eliminate doubt. Instead, make a decision about how to deal with doubt.

To elaborate, I realized that I was 70% prepared to work in German – I would love to practice and strengthen my skills even more, but I had enough experience to get by. Next, if I wanted to get better I had to practice, and what better way than working in German? Finally, and I’ll repeat this point for impact, I am not alone. Asking for help is not cheating, but you have to ask.

“Asking for help is not cheating, but you have to ask.”

Your doubts will be just that, your own. You can recognize them by drilling down deep into the stumbling blocks and arguments you make for yourself. It is up to you to identify that uncertainty and decide whether it makes senses. I haven’t stopped doubting, but I have stopped believing in my doubts.

Thank you for joining me on this trip back to the start of the Kangaroo campaign. Project reviews like these are helpful for me because they are a reminder of not just the lessons I’ve learned, but also how I arrived there in the first place.

“I haven’t stopped doubting, but I have stopped believing in my doubts.”

Now that you’ve read my story, I want to hear yours. What are some of your elephants and how have you tamed them? I look forward to feedback, questions, and comments in the comments below.

I’ve created a complete visual review of the project on Behance.
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