Balancing introvert needs with the work that needs to be done is a common challenge in some of our lives…
This video and the earlier one are how my day-to-day journal drawing takes place. I sit down with my book and try to draw what’s on my mind. Sometimes I start by drawing what’s in front of me – which is why there are so many drawings of Orin eating! At other times I draw the day, how things went, what I listened to, or read. Sometimes my mind is blank and quite often the fear of the empty page threatens to take over.
But the important thing is to show up, and get over that fear, the fear of not being good enough, the fear of not living up to your own expectations. And after some time, I find the flow, I start to commune with myself, and joy takes over.
Filled with gratitude for the job I have, the work I do, the people I work with and the support I get from my family. It’s a lot to be thankful for in these times.
This is from my lockdown journal, the usual day at work and eating lunch between meetings, but we had sandwiches that day!
And it was yum 🙂
Happy Friday folks!
This was drawn some years ago…in the early confusion of a new role. It’s quite common when you’re in a situation like that, to not know what to do – the challenges are new and how should you be in the role is also unclear.
It’s ok to ask mentors and advisors but ultimately it’s you yourself who has to identify the goals, figure out the next steps and take decisions. Of course I know all this now…
Good thing I had the anteater to keep me grounded.
And in the end it’s nobody but you…
These drawings are from a few years ago when I got promoted from being a designer to a design manager. I worked as part of a large inhouse design team at Adobe, and my responsibilities included only the experience design of one or two software applications.
So up until then I was a shy quiet type content to be left alone and then, suddenly I found that I was not going to be left alone at all! Meetings, emails, decisions – my presence was requested.
I had to be prepared for scrutiny and judgment, and every situation felt like it was a test. But over time I figured out a strategy for myself.
If you’re going through a similar experience, my advice would be to keep at it – eventually it will sort itself out.
It was early 2017 when I first started to use my drawing to deal with work stress.
I was still grumpily trying to understand what my role as a Design Manager should be, and the anteater, as usual, gave his sage advice:
Sometimes all you need is a different perspective on life, like The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman.
And I also finished reading M Train by Patti Smith around that time.
While all this helps momentarily, there’s actually larger causes for work stresses which need to be carefully resolved. But of course, I didn’t know that then…
The last two years have been incredible years of growing for me in my professional life. Challenging work, difficult situations, and always the need to build trust from bottom up.
These are some of the earliest drawings from those days:
What kept me going was the long game, and guiding myself with
Progress, not perfection
which I learnt from this 99u talk by Effie Brown.
I also draw myself out of stress, since drawing is nearly therapy for me. The 2017 and 2018 sketchbooks are filled with “stressy” drawings – as my friend Uli would say – like this one:
After a while though I got used to it, and learnt how to survive difficult days
Though our man, the brown boy, did have the last word:
“Ultimately, it’s all about having a good time. Later on if you feel you haven’t enjoyed yourself it’s not worth it.”