Be Yourself

I can’t remember how I came across the article Be Yourself by Tim Nahumck but I instanty saved it. I’ve read twice since then. It resonated with me, in fact the tweets by Aaron Mahnke which triggered this article resonated with me. But most of all, this quote is what I connected with the most. Never have I been more aware of the true meaning of this quote than in the last six months.

I think for most, being yourself is one of the hardest things to do as a human. It takes a lot to get out of your own way, remove the internal barriers, and open up your world to others.

Design Machines

When we let the success and failure of others superficially guide design decisions, we skip over the context and uniqueness of what makes our products different. Design becomes a game of catch-up. Not an intelligent pursuit of finding unique formulas that help the organization stand out on its own.

This is one of those articles that as I read it I found myself nodding along to more and more. It’s easy in a world of short deadlines and on demand solutions to default to what we know works, or at least what appears to work when we’re approaching a new job. But what’s most important in these situations, is that this kind of behvaiour/design does a disservice to our clients.

I’ve lost count of the number of times over recent years that we speak about being professional designer, or designers growing up to be on the level of lawyers and accountants. Experts who know what they’re doing and, in many cases, have earned that respect. The trouble is, that the web doesn’t always portray that, and the glimpses of the web in this piece certainly seem to be back that up.

Each client and each job is unique, treat them that way. There is no one size fits all when it comes to design.

The Week in Links

This weeks edition continues the evolution of the The Week in Links. Rather than presenting a list of links of varying length I decided it was time to start adding a little commentary and injecting some more of my interests and personality into the column. It is after all my personal blog that it appears in.

This week covers some technology news, some views on Art and Creativity, Le Tour de France, how dressing could affect our approach to work and an incredible video that I highly recommend you watch with your Sunday morning coffee or evening glass of wine.

Cheers!

  • The story of Windows 10 from inside Microsoft — It’s been a big week for computing with the arrival of Windows 10. I’ve long been a Mac user, and will be for a long time to come, but I have to say this release of Windows has me intrigued. I’m interested to see how it does and whether it can bring any traction in the mobile space.
  • Approval & Art by David duChemin — I really identified with this when I read it, in particular this short paragraph:

    The problem is that safety, in many ways, is toxic to art. We get addicted to it. We cling to it and venture out less and less. We risk less. We repeat what “works” and avoid what doesn’t. But if what works is what holds us back, it becomes a kind of sabotage to keep doing it.

  • Taking on the Tour de France — With the end of Le Tour last week, this VSCO Journal is timed nicely. Rather than your usual photographic essay looking at Le Tour with a focus on the Peloton this one has a more interesting take looking at those who are watching as well.

Other Reads

The Week in Links

This weeks edition is coming to you slightly late, no excuses other than yesterday flew by and I forgot to post it. I’ve tried something a little different this week, adding some commentary to a couple of links I really enjoyed and then listing some other good reads below them. I’m hoping to evolve this series a little over the summer to inject a bit more of myself into them. Hope you enjoy this weeks edition.

  • THE ALPS by STRAVA — The last week of this year’s Le Tour de France has been through the Alps. This photo story from Strava catches some of what the Peloton has been through these last few days. Even if you’re not a cycling fan these photos are worth viewing. The mountains are stunningly beautiful, I could sit and look at them all day and I loved visiting the Alps the three times I’ve been skiing.
  • Don’t Let Success Breed Failure — Shawn Blanc — The second half of this article from Shawn resonated with me and is why I’ve included it in this weeks edition. As a self employed person I spend a lot of time thinking about this kind of thing, especially after events earlier this year. It’s so tempting to continually say yes to everything, but it’s not possible to do it all. It takes a laser focus and discipline to make sure that workloads and priorities remain manageable.

Other links of interest

The Week in Links

Another Sunday and another edition of The Week in Links. The majority of this week’s edition came across my path in the first half of the week. In particular is the fascinating and challenging article on living well cheaply, whilst I don’t identify with the Millennials, I am technically of that generation. I found this an interesting read full of good advice.

Hope you enjoy these reads with your Sunday coffee or evening glass of wine.

Bored

I wonder how often the phrase “I’m bored…” came out of your mouth as a child? I know it crossed my lips a fair few times, during my years at primary school. As I grew older the phrase appeared less and less, in fact I can’t remember the last time that phrase crossed my lips and I don’t recall it ever crossing them in my years since university.

That’s troubling.

Does it mean I’m no longer getting bored? Do I get bored and no longer acknowledge it preferring to let myself while away the hours fiddling around on the internet or vedging out on the sofa?

Am I capable of getting bored or does the constant gratification provided by the various apps on my iPhone prevent it?

We live in a world where constant gratification of boredom is readily available. A world where children are growing up with iPhones and iPads available to them as soon as they are talking, if not before. Will these children be able to get bored?

These are worthy questions to consider, if people can no longer get bored, and I mean really bored. How will creativity flourish? Creativity out of boredom is a different kind of creativity to that which takes place at work. Boredom creativity is far stronger and more expressive than any other. When we are so bored that we decide to do something because it interests us, that’s when some of the most exciting creativity happens. A child who picks up a guitar and starts picking/strumming a song simply because they are bored isn’t playing that guitar for practise, they’re playing it with a desire to create. A desire to occupy their mind and to express themselves in a way they’ve perhaps never done before. The same goes for an artist who picks up a sketch book, and a writer who picks up a pen.

This is as much a challenge to myself as it is to anyone reading this. Do we allow ourselves to get bored? To get so bored we are compelled to do something productive out if it. Are we capable of letting creativity born out of boredom take place, or do we just occupy our minds with the latest free game on the appstore that’s taking Twitter by storm?

Go Set a Watchman

Not only is this the first glimpse of the long awaited followup to To Kill a Mockingbird it’s a beautifully designed first glimpse.

I first read To Kill a Mockingbird in English at school and hated it since we had to analyse it to death. But last summer I finally read it again and realised why it’s so good. I’m hopeful Go Set A Watchman will be just as good.

The Week in Links

It’s been an interesting week, during which I’ve managed to plough through a good chunk or articles that I had been saving. It’s made this weeks edition a bit of a bumper one, and there’s a couple of articles that wouldn’t otherwise have made it. One of my favourite sporting events of the year started yesterday, Le Tour de France, and so there are a couple of interview with British riders ahead of it. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

How to Properly Use “Likes” in Apple Music

First, let me tell you one of my big problems, or sources of confusion, with likes on streaming services. Let’s say I’m listening to a Metal station and a great song comes on, but I consider it to be Rock. Do I like it? I enjoy the song, but I’m afraid if I like it, more Rock songs will come on the Metal station, diluting it.

If, like me, you’ve been trying to suss out what the heart does in the new Apple Music, this piece from Jim Dalrymple might just help. Although I still can’t suss why the heart doesn’t change state when a new song comes on when listening to Beats1.