oing slow is trickier than fast. Turn off the noise, pay attention, find your rhythm. And slow down before you do something stupid.
In which I take comfort in rituals, and coffee. There's always coffee.
In which errors should be preserved and embraced, not just in the process of creating work, but in the finished product too. Errata and emendations are part of the story of the work.
In which I gain a new perspective on the meaning of 'non-commercial' licences for photos and the like: it's not always about whether you're charging for the work it'll be used in.
In which Frank Chimero makes me think about the questions we ask about our work, and that of others. 'Why' often yields far more interesting answers than 'How', and leads to work that has meaning.
In which I learn what makes a good job opportunity, get selfish and ask better questions than 'Do I have the skills? Do I have the time? Does it pay?'
In which I reflect on my grandfather's passing and the legacy he left for us in his art. Our memories will fade and blur over time, but there will always be a little bit of him with us in the paintings on our walls.
In which I consider the complexity required to achieve useful, beautiful simplicity, as exemplified by the QuaDror, unveiled by Dror Benshetrit at the 2011 Design Indaba.
In which I look back on three presentations given at Design Indaba 2010 that give hope for design's potential to save the world, and one that demonstrates that design has another, less altruistic, but equally valid, role to play.
In which I consider the valuable life lessons gleaned from a childhood spent indoors, basking in the glow of a computer screen. Those hours and days of computer games taught me about inspiration, hard work, and why it's all worth it.
Running is an intriguing sport. Indeed, for many of us, 'sport' may be a misnomer. Our focus is not on others or how we fare against them. It's just us and the road, in self-centred, meditative solitude, competing only against ourselves.This is why running is so addictive: physical fitness aside, it's the mental battles of self-discovery that keep us coming back for more, pushing our limits further than we knew we could.
I’ve been working with Acme Boxes most of this year. Their work is good, if not stellar, prices reasonable and service prompt and friendly. Lately however, I’ve been a little disappointed. It appears clients are merely a necessary evil to this company.
There are enough valid reasons for both clients and designers to oppose spec work, amongst them legal risks, economic sense and ethical concerns. Frankly it’s surprising any of us could countenance sullying ourselves with spec.Nevertheless there are also enough unscrupulous, ignorant or indifferent clients and (loosely defined) designers out there happily engaging in spec work to ensure the argument can’t – wont – be won.
As designers, woe-is-me-ing and pox-on-you-ing aren’t doing us any good. We’re better served acknowledging (though not legitimising) spec work and learning to live with it.
Nothing.There is nothing more frightening than nothing. Try imagine nothing. You can’t. The nothingness you imagine is still a ‘-ness’; a thing. We just aren’t adequately equipped to comprehend nothing.
That’s why the most difficult step in any creative effort is often the first.
This is long overdue. I first happened upon the world of the blog in early 2005. Amazed at the glut of content it offered, I lapped up as much as I could handle. After some time I began to fancy myself a blog of my own. I'd imagine the wise observations and measured rants that would grace the site, the lively debate that would ensue and the readers I'd enlighten. It would be inspirational.I indulged in this for four years. Four years of reading, observing and learning. Imagining, dreaming and what-iffing. It's now time for me to spend fewer hours consuming and more time contributing. Less planning, more doing. In that spirit, I give you my Blog Post The First.