This is worth a read.
Some of you may remember Visual Idiot (who no longer wishes to go by this name) as a talented designer and web developer who poked fun at the web in playful and clever ways. I certainly do.
So it's a rather sad and poignant reminder that even the prominent amongst us can burn out.
Remember to look after yourselves :)
Very easy to burn out once you've been in the game for a few years. The honeymoon period doesn't last forever.
Fast forward 10-15 years, you start to become tired, grisly and cynical, the hungry juniors are challenging you creatively and you're getting left for dust.
Just me then? Well, I guess not...
Good luck Charlotte :)
I'm super sad reading this — but what a powerful and inspiring person! I've always admired Charlotte, here she is doing something admirable as always. Big love mate! And good luck with everything <3 x
There’s a larger focus on being data-driven, hyperanalytical, and algorithmically intelligent, which has led to polarising politics and views to extreme lengths
This sentence does not nearly summarise the content of this text, but it is a concise, accurate statement.
It's sad to see Charlotte retiring, but it's a completely understandable choice.
It seems while there's more talk about how people are overcoming the negatives of the always-connected world and burnout, there are still so many people struggling to keep sane, me included.
I guess this also depends on your character so I can only talk from my own experience, but I've started cutting back on the whole social media consumption shitshow and trying to enjoy life away from my computer and mobile devices, and it's been a bit better, but the fear of missing something that could help me progress with my career, life or fall behind on something "groundbreaking" is giving me anxiety at times.
I feel that talking about these sort things is still considered a taboo (or something like that) for some people/societies, but this needs to be talked about. I think most of us are (or were) in a situation like this (some more, some less) and could learn a lot and help each other to overcome this or make it more bearable for some.
Keep your heads up and don't be shy to ask the people around you for help or advice in situations like this, if only to have someone listen to you...it helps :)
I've deleted facebook, twitter and insta and stopped reading the news. It's kind of a head in the sand approach but for my sanity it helps. It's weird for a week or two, but then you start reading more books or exercising more. I'd recommend it if you're feeling a bit drained.
I really do need to do this—for the long term. It's just tough knowing how much of our careers is tied up in clients/competitors/collaborators seeing your work through social channels. In the last 4 years, we've gotten 5+ decent projects through Instagram and Twitter was responsible for me starting the agency in the first place.
I just have terrible self control when it comes to opening news apps, scrolling down a little further, or just visiting dumb-shit pages on the web. So far, the best thing that has helped is the greyscale mode on iOS to make the whole experience feel a lot more dull.
Yeah man take it in baby steps. Just ween yourself off one first, after a few months, stop visiting another. It'll be weird for a coiuple of weeks and you'll get fomo but after a while you'll get used to it.
I distanced myself from social and found first deleting the apps helped tons, Facebook, in particular, was really draining my time,... I would still visit social sites but was forced to type the web address in a browser, the experience is shitty, slow and eventually, I would start forgetting to check... I'm now at a stage where I don't check at all unless I actually want to or need to for work.
I use a browser extension called Social Fixer which limits the amount of facebook you can see, amongst other things... So even if I do log in to FB I'll see like 50 posts and that's it...
Side note: I still keep Messenger installed for communicating with friends, family and some clients.
Twitter and Insta I only ever use for business, no personal accounts.
Unfortunately, I recently uncovered the beauty Reddit so I am now hooked on that. It's not all bad as there is a ton of valuable content on there, I can pretty much decide what I want to see... the downside is the time I got back from social media is now consumed in Reddit so I'll likely be deleting this app soon also.
Can't agree with this more.
Free's up your mind to chew over the design problems.
I second that. Creating a balance is very much necessary in life.
For anyone interesting in seeing some of Charlotte's work prior to the articles on the site being walled in: https://web.archive.org/web/20161114081900/http://visualidiot.com:80/articles
Thanks for sharing this! Great to see her stuff again.
Her work is the designer equivalent of a David Thorne email.
Seems like the real issue is that this person was too active on social media. Twitter is a wasteland. Best to just ignore it and do your own thing.
Yeah in every single one of those "internet is toxic" conversations the name Twitter is soon to follow.
Think it's time to start asking serious questions about what that service does to people because it's clear by now it has a deep effect on how they think and feel.
Best of luck Charlotte, you've been such a big inspiration to me. From the moment I started designing. It'll be really sad to see you go, as you're such a big part of the design community. I wish you all the best!
That was like every 9th episode of Game of Thrones in one.
So many twists and turns and surprises.
This is a bummer to read. I hope people don't just equate this to typical burnout that might come from otherwise healthy work but from the toxicity the internet can be. We individually contribute to that either actively or passively. As a community, we didn't do enough to make her feel welcome and that's on us.
Sad to hear, but totally understandable. Hopefully there's something else in this world for Charlotte to work on, something that sparkles an interest of such a talented person. For me, the second half of my career started after a night I stumbled upon this shot on Dribbble (https://web.archive.org/web/20120922082514/http://dribbble.com/shots/587469-Free-16px-Broccolidryiconsaniconsetitisfullof-icons), I stared on those icons and effects and couldn't believe it's done in Photoshop that I use daily for print/graphic design. Thank you, and take care about yourself.
I loved the way you portrayed yourself online in the weird and quirky way... you inspired me to stay involved in the web industry. That being said, now knowing the reasons for your brand I'm glad you're able to move on from it.
Good luck in the future. I'm sure you'll continue to inspire with your next venture.
Sad to hear it got to such a point but I can't help feeling jaded by the state of the internet these days and that's as a 41 year old white middle class man so I can't begin to imagine what a cesspit it must be for so many others.
Loved Charlotte's work as visualidiot in the past, on point so often but can't say as I'd blame the decision to step away and wish nothing but the best for the new direction in life.
I wonder if a part of the reason the internet seems to be becoming such a wasteland is that it has, in the past half-decade or so, become more of a collection of politically-curated and censored areas. This leads to those curated and censored areas running further and further to the left or to the right, with a strongly reinforced "us-versus-them" mindset and unchecked demonization of any members of "them" and ruthlessly censored introspection that could be even perceived as being negative to "us".
Even right in this thread, my post was censored for casually noting that this person who is "leaving the internet in general" was making sure to have Google Analytics running on a page announcing that fact. I didn't even hint at the (possible) hypocrisy of that fact.