I'm a Christian, a designer, and a gadget fan who lives in Cheltenham, UK.

This is my blog, a creative outlet to mess around and play with as well as a place that logs my thoughts and inspirations.

The Bulletin Board ›

I’ve been read­ing Austin Kleon’s blog since Jan­u­ary, I find the way that he speaks about his note­books and how he uses them very inspir­ing. Today’s post is about his bul­letin board and how he pins images, clip­pings, index cards, and var­i­ous oth­er bits to it for inspi­ra­tion while he is writ­ing a book.
The ana­log nature of lots of things that Austin does has real­ly caught my atten­tion. I love tech­nol­o­gy, but as a design­er I also love objects and paper. When I was a stu­dent I cov­ered the wall of my room in halls with bits of graph­ics that I liked. The whole thing turned into one giant col­lage of inspi­ra­tion. That’s some­thing I would like to get back into my cre­ative life, some­thing tac­tile and away from a glow­ing rectangle.

Do you like to shave?

I like to shave.
Ask most men my age, their late twen­ties, that ques­tion and its usu­al­ly met with a snort. An upturned lip. A look that says “are you seri­ous?” with­out words pass­ing their lips.
In fact if you asked me that ques­tion a few years ago I would’ve respond­ed in much the same way.
So what changed I hear you say? My approach changed. When I moved into a flat to live on my own for the first time I became much more aware of how I spent my mon­ey, every pen­ny sud­den­ly count­ed much more than it ever had. Spend­ing sev­er­al pounds on a can of shav­ing gel had to stop. So I bought a cheap shav­ing brush and a puck of soap that I knew would last far longer than the shav­ing gel ever had.
That small change began some­thing. Since it took me a bit longer to have a shave I start­ed to relax, to take my time with it. I began to see shav­ing as a time to pam­per myself and relax. I start­ed to enjoy it.
Fast for­ward a cou­ple of years, and although I’ve had an elec­tric razor for quick shaves dur­ing the week, I’ve always enjoyed my Sat­ur­day morn­ing wet shave. Once again an aware­ness of how I spend my mon­ey has prompt­ed anoth­er change in my shav­ing set up. I ran out of car­tridges for my Mach 3 and on going to buy some new ones, the cost floored me. I can’t spend £13 on 8 razor heads which will last me only a cou­ple of months before threat­en­ing to pull the skin off my face.
I took to Ama­zon to find out if they were cheap­er, they weren’t, but one of their handy sug­ges­tions based on oth­er peo­ples pur­chas­ing habits was. I’m not talk­ing slight­ly either, I’m talk­ing £9 for 100 blades. A grand total of 9p per blade and accord­ing to the inter­net (means it’s true right?), each blade should last me 5 or 6 shaves. That’s about 2p per shave. So I took the next step in my shav­ing career and bought a dou­ble edged safe­ty razor for £20. That means in just over 6 months I’ll be sav­ing mon­ey and in 2 years time I’ll still be using the same pack of blades. Brilliant.
But do you know what’s even more brilliant?
I enjoy shav­ing even more now. I have to take even more time with it, mak­ing two or three pass­es over my face. I’ve had to relearn how to make a lath­er, turns out I was doing it wrong but the Mach 3 did­n’t show it up. In fact I’ve had to relearn how to shave entire­ly, but it has­n’t been a chore. I now shave 3 times a week, using sim­i­lar tools to my Grand­dad who I remem­ber get­ting up ear­ly to shave in the kitchen sink. He used to take his time, I nev­er under­stood why.
I do now.
Shav­ing isn’t a chore. It’s a relax­ing, sooth­ing treat, and a great way to start the day, or fin­ish it if you’ve had par­tic­u­lar­ly stress­ful one. In fact it’s more than that. It’s a pause, a moment in time where I’m not think­ing about any­thing else (I tried it once; blood every­where), it’s an oppor­tu­ni­ty to give my mind a rest and just enjoy the moment.