The best thing I’ve done for myself lately is set a time before which I’m not allowed to check my RSS reader (I use Google Reader). Reading blogs is kind of my equivalent to “the morning paper”, and while it’s enjoyable for me, I noticed that on days where I start by doing that, it often leads much of my day to be taken up by internet browsing and procrastination. Since I want my daily experience to be more about creating and less about consuming (at least more balanced than it currently is), I thought this would be a great opportunity for some tweaking!
Previously I’ve tried eliminating reading blogs or aimless browsing until really late in the day, or eliminating it for some days of the week all together, but I often resisted that and ended up cheating. But by just eliminating it at the very beginning of the morning, this creates a 30-60 minute window where I’m sitting in front of my computer and going “okay, now what?” During that time where I would have gone to check my RSS reader, I’m allowed to do anything else I want. Often I quickly process my email and start doing some work-related task.
It feels great to have made some sort of progress on my work in the morning! Before 10am this morning I already crossed one of the three work tasks off my list (providing design mockup revisions to a client). It makes me feel so productive and accomplished and it sets the tone for the rest of the day! And often I don’t feel like I even want to check my reader until later in the day like 3pm, but sometimes I do check it at 10. It isn’t hard to keep this up though, I never feel like cheater because I know I can keep myself occupied until 10am.
Since it’s been so easy and rewarding so far, I’m going to try pushing it back until 11am and see how that goes.
Here’s me finding my 30th geocache with my dad! (Well, technically he found it. But I still signed the log.) I love how new ones keep popping up around the city!
Recently I’ve started collecting business cards/promotional materials from creative professionals. I picked some up at FanExpo and since I stumbled upon two of the Capilano U Grad Shows (for the IDEA (graphic design/illustration) program and Commercial Animation program) I picked a bunch up from there as well.
- It’s an opportunity to check out the quality of work of other local professionals / recent grads in similar fields to me, and possibly network with them later
- I get to see how other people are promoting themselves and get inspiration for how I can promote myself
- I’ve designed business cards for clients before, and this can serve as a bank of inspiration for that when I do so again in the future
- When I make my own business card, I can look at these to figure out how to make mine look different, and determine what works & what doesn’t work in terms of design
I’ve also had a few realizations from this process. One is that I love looking at and doing graphic design so much more when it involves some sort of illustrative/drawn content (even if it’s not my own illustrations, I just love drawings so much that having them in front of my eyes makes me happy)!
Also, I like it more when the design leans more towards the expressive and colourful than the ‘super calculated and minimalist high-end/corporate’ look. I think this is a quality I’ve lost a bit during my graphic design training at school, but I’m grateful to realize this again. This means that I’ll probably in the future be looking at targeting my graphic design/web services more towards illustrative artists and those who want really colourful, expressive and fun designs. I’m still grateful that practicing with more minimal elements has allowed me to learn more about the core structure and rules of design!
I also noticed that almost every grad from CapU Commercial Animation has a blogspot website for their portfolio. What is it with artists and using blogspot? I totally want to evangelize WordPress to them and make them pretty and professional looking self-hosted portfolios!
More SkyTrain Sketch Group last Sunday:
I’ve realised that since I almost always draw people from the front, I have almost no practice drawing angles that are facing away, or the back of the head. Also, drawing realistic hair.
I love the girl in the top right of this one, I really think I captured her. :)