Hello & welcome. My name is Colin and I design, create, write, and think on this little corner of the interwebs.

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If People Treated Doctors Like Designers

IfDoctorsWereTreatedLikeDesigners

Tips for dealing with Designers:

  1. Don’t belittle the skill and effort it takes to make designs.
  2. Don’t assume you can do what we spent years trainings to do just because you took one class in high school or college way back when. (unless you’re a prodigy)
  3. Don’t expect good results from vauge, unrealistic requests.
  4. Don’t try to worm your way out of paying when its clear you can. (charities excluded)

This delicious doodle and list of hot-tips is by the amazing Avian Anderson whose work I admire greatly. Avian graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in Illustration and a focus on animation. Her work, mostly digital, grows out of a rich inner world informed by the cartoons and comics of her childhood. Her clients have included Ring Ring Rouge, Tokolosh, and other independent studios. She worked at Clambake Animation and currently works as lead designer for the creative group, Scapetti Pictures.

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If you do it for the sake of loving it, and you don't care whether you're seen or not, or paid or not, all that stuff will come. But enjoy the process! If you start doing things for the sake of selling up front, for rewards, then it's going to catch up to you. The other guys not chasing money are going to outdo you in the end, because real innovation and grit come from loving the process.
Rodney Mullen

In an era where it seems like the Silicon Valley has lost its way, skateboarding legend Rodney Mullen hopes to be able to do something about it.

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♫ Lights & Motion — Chronicle

I can’t get enough of this album right now, it’s like a sonic adventure for my ears. I have been listening to it over and over again and I’m annoyed at myself for only recently discovering it. It’s available wherever music is sold, and even for use as a part of your video score on The Music Bed.

Being so easily distracted by words in music, wordless music has become the soundtrack to my working life. With writing and designing all day I can’t have any other words floating into my ear canals else I’ll just start typing those words out without even realizing it. This music style gives my brain a rhythm to type to and, for whatever reason, helps my brain flow stay in a groove.

Wizardry I say—wizardry.

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Ten Things I Wish I Knew Sooner Rather Than Later

Just stumbled across this and had to capture/share it. This is some sage advice from a very wise woman in the branding and creative field. I feel like I might need to repeat this to myself every day (perhaps multiple times).

  1. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not taking enough risks.
  2. Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.
  3. Work very, very hard.
  4. Ask for opportunities.
  5. Finish what you start.
  6. Say “yes and” to almost everything.
  7. Busy is a decision.
  8. Confidence is overrated.
  9. Learn and build from your failures, but…
  10. It is only a failure if you accept defeat.

Debbie Millman (From her talk at The Melbourne Writers Festival 2014)

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Terrible Precedes Greatness

It’s frustrating being bad at things. It’s infuriating. The insecurity inside me of anyone seeing my work in its premature state makes me a little bit antsy, no matter how much I trust the person. However, at some point along the way we’ve all been terrible at everything we do. Every single one of us didn’t know how to not poop our own pants for years. However, in the following years we begin to have our worth, our value, our perception of ourselves shaped by the measurement of the quality of what we produce. Our merit is what we’re told makes us valuable. 

We are told there is a bar, an expectation, and goal that we’re supposed to achieve that makes us acceptable as adequate. Perfection becomes the idol that we strive to please, yet rarely achieve. In school, taking risks isn’t praised but is actually wrong, because our course is set for us and all we’re supposed to follow it through obedience. If we’re not behaving, we’re reprimanded. We subject huge stretches of our formative years to the scrutiny of our academic system that is supposed to make us into the best version of ourselves, however it really just accentuates within us the fear of failure. Not being good enough, is something we believe so strongly about ourselves that we may not even realize there could be an alternative. 

This has been most challenging for me as someone who’s chosen a creative job, and my entire purpose is to create things that have never existed before. The pursuit of a good idea is really difficult and batting 1000 is essentially impossible. If I’m honest, the thing I need to be doing most is pursuing bad ideas, because in those bad ideas, lie some good ones—amongst the good ones, there might even be a great one. But bad ideas are bad, right? We’re expected to keep those to ourselves, for fear of ridicule and laughter from our peers and managers. But what if we have to get those out of the way as we dig for great idea? What are we so afraid of? 

Bad ideas are the key to great ideas. Even when it comes to painting, drawing, graphic design, skateboarding, whatever you want to be great at—you have to be comfortable in sucking terribly before you can be great. You have to be willing to push through the potential embarrassment of being wrong, in order to eventually be right. You have to be terrible before you can be great. 

I’m feeling this the most with drawing right now. My understanding of form is awful, my ability to capture emotion is pathetic, my ability to communicate movement is a struggle at best, but it’s worth it because if I can eventually be comfortable with being terrible, I might eventually get better. If I get better, I might eventually get good—and that,is the goal. I can’t be great now, I have to terrible first. I have to push through, even though it goes against everything I’ve been taught.

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