Life, sketchbook

Staying sane

My survival and stress relief strategy has always been through drawing.

Anteater: Just writing the word won’t make them disappear, you know…

When I was younger I usually drew everyday, but since becoming a parent it’s every other day, and always on weekends. Looking back at all my published and unpublished work I always feel grateful for this gift.

“Everyday do something that gives to you.”

Yours truly

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Event, Life, sketchbook

Fifteen years with the brown boy

Today the brown boy and I celebrate fifteen years of being married. I am incredibly proud of this milestone, but the entire credit goes to him – who knew patience could last that long?

He’s put up with my weirdness, taken full responsibility of being the parent to our child

…all for the pleasure being in this blog!

He’s the Bergman to my Ullman,

my sense of home and my ends of days:

This marriage may have been a mistake but I would make it again to live through all these years with this brown boy again.

❤︎❤︎❤︎

APPENDIX

The story of us: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3Paris, not me

And here’s the drawing that I made after our first anniversary: We had sat and watched the waves in Bandstand.

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Books, Design

Making ideas happen: My takeaways

[I first read this book Making ideas happen: Overcoming the obstacles between vision and reality in 2013, and since then this book has been my daily guide, often standing in as a coach for my day job. Scott wrote this book while working at Behance: “I realized that creative professionals are the most disorganized community on the planet! But they are ultimately responsible for <so many things> that bring meaning to our lives…

I saw not only an opportunity but also a responsibility to help them overcome the obstacles to make them happen

…as such I committed my professional life to organizing the creative world.” The book is guidance and wisdom on every page, but here are three of the ideas that resonated with me:

Capitalize on healthy conflict: Use disagreements to foster valuable insights that would otherwise be inaccessible. Make your creative team resilient to advocate for their perspectives while respectfully considering that of others, until breakthroughs are revealed.

Short-circuiting the rewards system: Achieving a creative vision also demands a long term focus and sustaining your energy for the long term. Scott’s recommendation is to unplug yourself from the short term reward system and the desire to the validated in the long term.

Seldom is anything accomplished alone: One idea that stood out for me was that of Dreamers, Doers and Incrementalists. Find out which one you are, and then find the right partners. Serendipity comes from differences.]

A book worth reading if you’re a senior designer or in a creative leadership role, or a design entrepreneur; whether in product or services or consulting – you’ll find it useful. Follow up with the more recent book The Messy Middle, another useful companion for building resilience, staying inspired and bringing the best of your creative self to the “hardest and most crucial part” of any project.

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sketchbook

“When it comes to the world around us, is there any choice but to explore?”

Sometimes I listen to podcasts while doing mundane activities like washing dishes. Some time ago I caught Lisa Randall, a theoretical physicist at Harvard, talking to Krista Tippet on the On Being podcast.

“Most of the time we all behave as if what’s here on Earth is all there is.”

Listening to the conversation I envisioned her creating models similar to a gardener creating terrariums or bonsai plants.

“Simplicity isn’t always beautiful, and sometimes complex things are more interesting.”

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sketchbook, travels

Listening while flying

During a recent flight I was listening to a couple of my regular podcasts The Knowledge Project and The Tim Ferris Show. These podcasts represent two different aspects of work/life for me: The Knowledge Project is a podcast that usually provides a new perspective to knowledge and learning concepts, and helps me understand different/difficult ideas. The Tim Ferris show is a great mix of tactical and inspirational, and usually themes I go through in my day to day work/life.

This drawing is Shane Parrish talking to Jason Fried of 37 Signals. I’ve used 37signals’ (now called Basecamp) flagship productBasecamp at work and been an avid reader of their blog since my early days as a designer, and usually find them to have a unique perspective on things.

“Always figure out what’s the right thing, even if you don’t do it.”

Personally this attitude to company building and creating sustainable team culture was really eye-opening for me.

And then I listened to Tim Ferris talking to Debbie Millman: Busy is a decision. What really stood out for me was the focus on prioritization, always my weakness.

“Make the time to do the things you want to do, and then follow through and do them.”

This is her advice to young designers starting out:

Am I constantly refining and improving my skills? What can I continue to get better at? Do I believe that I am working hard enough? If not what should I be doing in order to succeed? She says you should have a point of view and share it respectfully.

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