Life, Work

First impressions on becoming a manager

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.

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Life, sketchbook

To be a blip in a circuit

A few posts earlier I wrote about how I deal with life and work by drawing. One of my survival techniques is reading poetry.

Some of my favorite poems by Rae Armantrout are The Runaround and Negotiations.

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drawing, Life, sketchbook, Work

Surviving work, part 2

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.

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And I also finished reading M Train by Patti Smith around that time.

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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…

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drawing, Life, sketchbook, Work

Surviving work

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:

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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:

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After a while though I got used to it, and learnt how to survive difficult days

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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.”

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