Expectations & Tolerance


I've come to realize that having high expectations is not a bad thing. It forces me to demand more of myself both creatively, physically, spiritually, and mentally. Pushing beyond what you're comfortable with, or farther than you've been willing to go before is rarely easy, but almost always worth it.

The trouble with a mindset or desire of going beyond your prior limits is the fear of failure. In fact, failure is inevitable. This is where having high expectations can really stifle your creativity. Like the unemployed guy who is always holding out for a management position, you can be always aspiring for something you haven't earned. Creativity, problem solving, new ideas, innovation all require countless amounts of failure. The failure isn't for nothing though, it's there to be your friend by showing you won't work on your path to the right solution. Failure is the friend we all need but no one wants to listen to.

Let's be honest though, failure sucks. It's discouraging, frustrating, and deflating. So how do we continue on this cycle of failed attempts always striving for the hope of success without losing our minds and just giving up?

Tolerance of frustration.

It's easier to give up. It's easier to quit, to do nothing, to just lay back on the couch and watch another episode of The Office on Netflix. Is that 24 minutes really going to be fulfilling or is that just what we choose to prevent ourselves from the hard work demanded by things that matter?

We have to learn to tolerate frustration. Many choose to lower expectations and be content with a bunt, but while there are places that compromise is essential, it can't be a way of life. If we're able to raise our frustration tolerance we can learn to really roll with the punches. We must strive to become more aware and in control of our ability to deal with things wisely when they don't go as planned. Seek positive reactionarism.

Because frankly, lots of people who are less qualified, less educated, less resourced, with less free time, and who are less intelligent than you (and me) have figured out how to do things beyond what we've done. It's not because they have a magic potion, it's because they can tolerate the failures that will inevitably come, because they know it's a part of the process of getting to the answer the desire. It's not what you have, but how you use it.

Keep trying, don't give up. Learn to be in control of your frustration and become tolerant of the inevitable changing of course in any problem. Expect to fail and value the lessons that failure teaches, don't just count them as waste. You're going to fall down, but as long as you get back up and try again you're not letting failure rule you. Failure is your most honest friend, you just have to be willing to hear him out.

The Blue Glow


I have been a long time iPhone owner and my home screen has gone through dozens of revisions of what wins the prized spots on this first page (of two) that is always within arms reach. I try to run my app repertoire as lean as possible limiting it to only the essentials I use fairly often. Like most, my scheme is to keep the things I use most on the front page, and things I use "second most" just a tap or two away.

Having an iPhone is a blessing and a curse because it leaves me wondering how I went without it before, but also wondering if there will be a time in which I could be less dependent on it. It's my memory, my link to work, my office on the go, my book, my music source, my to-do list, my alarm clock, my fitness tracker, my podcast player, my RSS reader, my GPS, my Bible, my calculator, my camera, my collaboration tool, my e-mail, my stock broker, my calendar, my catalog, my link to everything at any moment. The only thing that stands in the way of me and the knowledge I desire is a few taps on a handheld robot affixed to an increasingly dense amount of pixels tucked ever-so-usefully behind a glass screen.

I have gone through seasons where my phone was a toy. It was a way for me to always have something to do. God forbid I ever get bored for more than 8.6 seconds.

But the more I become aware of things that are constantly demanding my attention, the more I realize how much I've let those things win me over. I've discovered I carried this stigma that if I'm always busy, then I can't be unproductive. However, an iPhone allows you to never be bored, but at the same time accomplishing nothing.

In creative work that I'm a part of everyday, I realize how important it is for my brain to get bored sometimes. I need to let my brain set all the clutter and noise aside to bask in the silence of nothing. I think of times I could just sit outside on our porch and think, and the time since I've last done anything like that is pathetic.

I've become more aware of the invaluable power of boredom. It is in that time quiet, of hush, of silence, of internal solitude where you can find a place where God can meet you. It's a place to discover what you've been missing all around you. There is so much to think of, to see, to study, to learn, and I don't want to miss it by constantly burying my face in a handheld robot meant to "enhance" my life hoping it will give me the answers I long for.

Though li'l iPhone has its place, it too must be in moderation. Though it can do a lot of things, it is not meant to do all things. I want to be present, I want to make memories I won't need to tweet about to remember. It's time to get crazy, look up from the blue-glowing handheld robot, and live a life worth living.

Here's to the crazy ones…

Here's To The Crazy Ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world—are the ones who DO.
—Steve Jobs

Sweep the Sleaze

Interesting thoughts from Information Architects (@iA) on the seeming omnipresence of social media buttons on web articles.

A Short Lesson On Perspective with Linds Redding

An eye-opening reminder to those of us who create for a living: be sure what you do truly matters.

Click here or the title of this blog to be taken to the article after reading the bio of Linds Redding below.

British born, Linds Redding graduated with a degree in Graphic Design, and launched straight into a career in advertising having been told by a fellow student it was a guaranteed way of getting fabulously wealthy very young. Twenty five years later, he hunted down the person responsible and killed him with a baseball bat and buried the body in the woods.

Linds worked as an Art Director for several agencies in London and Edinburgh, before emigrating to New Zealand with his family in the mid nineties. He worked for most of NZ's top creative agencies, Saatchi, DDB, Colenso and The Campaign Palace before leaving agency life at the millennium to pursue his interests in Motion Graphics and animation. For the past ten years, Linds has run a successful animation studio designing and producing TVC's for tne New Zealand advertising industry.

In late 2011, at 51 Linds was diagnosed with inoperable Eosophigal Cancer. He has since given up work and spends his time at home on Waiheke Island in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf walking, writing, drawing and making music. He blogs on the tricky business of living and dying at lindsredding.com.

Five Steps to Better Typography with Mark Boulton

Who is Mark Boulton?
Mark Boulton is a graphic designer living in South Wales with his wife and two daughters.

Mark Boulton - Photo Courtesy of Anton Peck

He currently runs a small design studio, Mark Boulton Design, where he works with clients such as ESPN, Warner Bros, BBC, British Energy and Drupal. In the past, he has worked for the BBC and Agency.com designing wonderful experiences for all manner of clients and people across the world. He is also co-founder of small publishing imprint, Five Simple Steps, where they publish practical design books for the web community.

Mark has gifted the typographic community with an abbreviated but insightful series of writings about how to better one’s typographic prowess. They’re from a while back, but quite worth the read if you ever spend time setting type in any form, whether for print or web. It has definitely enhanced the framework I use to set type. I’d say more, but I would rather you spend the time reading the articles.

[box]So without any further rambling I present the "Simple Steps…" series:[/box]

Leonardo Di Vinci on Simplicity

I knew I liked this guy. I think it's easy in this day and age to over-design something. Simple communicates and allows for focus.

Think more, design less.

Unearthing Clarity

Unearthing Clarity

Getting clarity is tough. At times it’s quite a battle. Having to navigate the murky waters of the creative process riddled with dozens of opinions, personal preferences, and mis-information can cause your motivation and zeal toward the chance of creating something new to capsize under the lack of clear direction. There is little more discouraging than realizing all that could be done, yet having no clear direction as to which path to take.

Clarity is crucial. But can we realistically expect clients to know exactly what they want? If they knew exactly what they wanted, why wouldn’t they just make it themselves? I’m not saying designers have all the answers, but one thing we most definitely should be armed with is great questions. After all, it’s tough to find great answers when you’re not asking great questions. Figure out what you really need to know, then discover the answers together with the client. This is normal in many other fields, but for whatever reason that reality gets skewed in the design world.

A typical client coming to you and proceeding to tell you exactly what they want their design project to look like would be like an everyman telling a surgeon exactly how they would like their liver transplant done. It doesn’t work that way. In the same way that people go to doctors for professional surgery backed by years of schooling, mentoring, training, and experience to help them solve a difficult problem that is beyond their ability, so should people entrust designers. It would be absurd for you to go to a friend’s step-son for a critical surgery simply because he has a scalpal, yet it’s widely accepted to do just that when the same step-kid has a pirated copy of Photoshop.

Now hear me out, I’ll say again designers do not have all the answers, but designers do want you to have the best solution possible for your needs. However, designers can’t know all your needs unless we grill you with questions. Contrary to common practice, they shouldn’t just be questions for the client to tell what he or she wants, but more to show what tough question they are trying to answer. Often they’re trying to answer their own question then telling you to make their answer, when really they should present their question (problem) so the best answer can be discovered together.

Often the answer they bring is something like “We need a new website so people will buy more of our [insert product/service name here].” When really it would make more sense for them to come and say something like “We’d like to boost our sales/traffic/clients. Looking at our company how could we best do this in the world of [web/print/ads/billboards/e-mail/etc]?”

At this point the designer needs to be ready not to give answers, but to ask more questions. Great questions. Questions that help him discover what the company/client is all about. How they think, what they do, what they don't do, what they're good at, what they're bad at, why they want more sales, and throughout this process attempt to have a better understanding of “the question/problem” than the client. Maybe they don’t need a direct mail coupon campaign, instead they need an e-mail campaign because their clients are not in the demographic that often gets mail (teens). Maybe they need well-designed billboard ads around town to raise their awareness rather than another 1″×2″ ad in the local PennySaver. Maybe their customer service stinks, and no matter how many new clients they happen to bring in, they’ll eventually lose every one of them. Maybe they don’t even need a website redesign, they just need more memorable branding. There has to be strategy, there are no quick fixes.

However, none of these [more appropriate] solutions would ever be uncovered without the asking of the right questions, extra questions, maybe even too many questions. This will save you innumerable hours of redesign, scrapped projects, and frustration when you seek to know as much as possible about where you’re going before you even push a single pixel.

Go above and beyond. Clarity is not easy. It’s not your client’s job to bring all the answers, that’s a part of why they’re bringing in a creative designer. Make them glad they did.

Learn who you are working for, with, and alongside of to unearth not just another good solution, but a great, clear, and concise solution that meets and succeeds their actual need. Directional clarity is often unearthed by first asking great questions rather than trying to just provide an answer.

Shampoo & Conditioner

Let’s talk about Shampoo & Conditioner.

Is it just me or does everyone else grab the conditioner bottle first by accident 99.99% of the time? Could they not design these bottles even the slightest bit different? Writing shampoo or conditioner in 3pt script font does not constitute a variation I can decipher while I am in the steamy, dimly lit privacy of my shower environment.

I have a feeling the people at SoapyHead Industries are sitting in their big gushy office chairs laughing at all of us trying to use their products while they take breaks from counting their stacks of money. Do these people do usage testing on this stuff?

First of all, the bottles have no edges, so it’s akin to trying to grasp an ever-changing, soaking wet, formless bucking-bronco like amoeba that is gravitionally drawn not just to the center of the Earth, but to the earth just below my toes. Secondly, since presumably you are in the shower attempting to cleanse your filthy self, your hands are wet and you can’t get enough friction to open the dried-soap encrusted cap from your semi-successful shower from the day (week?) before. As you struggle to liberate the suds-inducing liquid from behind it’s now steel-welded, molecularly fused seal, you start to question your own ability to overcome the simple problems life has before you. No one yearns to scuffle with an inanimate object like this while in an already naked and vulnerable state.

It causes you start asking yourself if having clean hair is really that important, and you begin to think maybe you can get by with just using body wash in your hair again like that time your luggage went missing on your last trip to Phoenix. You begin to question the very definition of clean. “Well, clean is relative, I mean what is clean really. I didn’t think my hair was even that dirty.”

Do you see what you put us through product designers (or lack thereof) of shampoo and conditioner? Help us out, please. I beg you. You win, now can you please help us not feel like dummies each time we interact with your products?

End rant.


I wish I could do that. I wish I had the time for that. If I had more time, I would love to chase me dreams. If I didn't have to work all the time, I could really get something done. If I just had more time in the day I could do that. I would love to do that, but just everything else is in the way. Blah blah.


I hate to be harsh, but let's be real; no one has enough time. For many of us a time the easiest scapegoat to the question of why we don’t do something. So because I’m OCD and cannot help myself, I did the math:

This is to show you how much you are wasting your time, or at least potentially doing so.

That’s 72. Seven. Two. We have seventy-two hours to do whatever want. Anything. Most people choose to eat, drink, be merry, watch television, “relax”, or some other meaningless entity with the majority of that time. Yet those same people decide they don’t have enough time to do what they love. Now, I realize that many of you have families, that you feel you don’t get enough time with, often spending time with children is very important, but it’s still not an “excuse”, it should be a priority.

It’s become increasingly difficult for us to really buckle down and do something that matters with the time we have because our attention has become very valuable. And because our attention is valuable, there is an ever flowing river of things that desire to have your attention, and often we’re such suckers, we give it to them. Advertisers realize how valuable our attention is, which is why they saturate us with commercials between the best parts of our favorite shows. Facebook doesn't take your money, but it isn't free. Fantasy Football exists only to subject people to more advertising while people aren't watching real football. It’s why we endure 10 seconds of a lame add before a youtube video with a ton of hits.

Nothing is free. Sure there are things that don’t cost us any money, but in a lot of ways our attention is more valuable than money. Apps can be free but “add supported” by the selling of your attention. Broadcast television is free, because they sell your attention to advertisers. We’ve become so immune to it that we almost don’t realize it.

The Internet hasn’t helped, because it’s given us an infinite amount of ways to distract ourselves from what we desire to be doing. In fact, as much as I hate to admit it, you reading this right now is probably distracting you from doing what you wish you were doing (sorry about that). However, with incredible tools like the Internet comes a new responsibility and discipline to stay focused. Many are not aware of how they are wasting their lives doing nothing, but those few who see how much of their 72 hours are being stolen from them are quite aware.

When you come to the realization that everything (literally everything) wants to keep you from doing what really matters, you have an amazing opportunity to learn something about yourself. Take a step back and learn what you actually want to be doing and ask yourself why you aren’t (or haven’t been) doing it. Learn what distracts you most, avoid it. Then work your way backwards from there. A disciplined life is invaluable to those who have a passion inside. But passion is only a potential unless it is acted upon.

What are you doing with your 4,320 minutes that are yours each week? Now ask yourself what you could, should, or want to be doing? It’s not work if it’s your passion, it’s just the means to a goal, and that’s the best use of time that there is. Fight the resistance, if you don’t it always wins.

Do something you love. Do something that matters. Our time is finite, make the time you have count and give it a purpose.

When is it Finished?

We as creatives love to let our minds run wild, let our minds explore what already is and imagine what it could be. Imagine how it could be better. We try our hardest to see what the outcome of some idea is going to be. We try so hard to defy reality and see the future. We try to widdle away all the ideas we shouldn’t focus on, get to the one idea we should chase down with reckless abandon, we make a few iterations to give us a next-level-glimpse at what is to come, and then we go for it. This is where the true fun of creative work begins.

At this point we have focus, we have a goal, we have an end in mind and it’s breathe-takingly going to blow the minds of all who find the privelege of being in it’s presence and proximity. Or is it? We press on, reassuring ourselves “if I add this, or that, or these that it will really be getting close to finished.”

Or is it?

How do we know when something is done? How do we know that we know that we know it will have the impact we hoped, foresaw, and dreamed that it would. We told our leadership it would accomplish bullet points 1—7 of our goals, but will it? How can we find any form of confidence in our sea of unknowns, educated gueses, hopes, dreams, and in whether we want to admit it or not, attempts at greatness? Can we ever really know?

In short, we’ve all had that project we thought was amazing that was actually a flop, yet we’ve also had a project we thought was going to be a sure flop turn out amazing. But what made them different? What set them apart from one another? What made the success a true success and what made the flop a definitive and disaterous flop?

I feel like these are questions I am constantly toiling with. How do I know if this really is the right direction? How do I know if this is going to be enough effort? Ultimately, when is a project done? When does it have enough? When is minimalism honestly just not enough, but when is something just too much?

Knowing when something is done is tough. People will say sweeping quotes like:

A project is not done when there is nothing more to add, but nothing more you can take away.

While that sounds awesome, that doesn’t tell me when my color palate is finished, it doesn’t tell me if my texture matches the genre, time period, or style. It doesn’t tell me when it’s going to meet the expectations of my leadership even though I may like it as it is. It may be a really rousing quote when set in white Trajan text on a black background on the wall of your art appreciation class, but for me it’s not a real world answer. So really, when do yo know it’s finished?

Sadly for you (and me) there isn’t a formulaic answer to this question. It will be different to every project. Finished is a term our society is eager to achieve by exerting the most minimal amount of effort possible, no matter what the stakes. We grow up our whole lives learning how to haphaserdly save a buck or minute here and there only to spend that money and time on something we don’t need while spending that precious time so wisely on Twitter and Facebook. Is this our goal in life? Cut corners on what matters to have time and money for things that don’t matter?

To really know when something is truly finished, you have to know you’ve given it the right amount of time to really explore what else is possisble, so that you can know you should rule it out. You learn to trust your gut, or someone’s gut. Maybe it’s just always knowing there could be more, but this will have to do for now because it’s the very best I can give with the constraints I have.

For me, I think one of the best indicators I can have is to look back at a project and know that I gave my all to the time, resources, people, and knowledge that I had at that time. Yet I always hope that years later I can look back at anything I’ve done and known how I could have done it better. That distaste for my own work shows me that I’m always learning to be discontent with where I am, knowing it could be better.

This is (whether we like it or not) the creative process.

Erik Spiekermann on Typographic Design in the Digital Domain

People like Eric Spiekermann have played a huge part in what this [type] design industry is today. Interviewer Elliot Jay Stocks asked great questions which really surfaced Spiekermann's unquenchable passion for progress, innovation, and critical creative decision making, which is something we can all benefit from. It gets me excited to hear the zeal in his voice about older mediums being brought back to life with a fresh perspective and into new mediums of communication.

Embracing constraints is necessary in our industry to affirm for us what we don't need to be doing. Even in the simple things of type size or paper dimensions, these things help guide you to your solution. They eliminate the unnecessary options. Yet everyday it seems designers fret over feeling limited in their projects, or constrained in their options, but this is where true creativity surfaces. Amidst the limitations, we cannot just do, but we have to think creatively.

[box]When constraints are acknowledged and embraced, true creativity can begin.[/box]

Albert Einstein on Talent

I feel I can identify with this quite well. I'm no Einstein, but I think he's on to something here. I rarely feel talented, but am definitely always searching for it.

Creativity isn't a talent, it's a lifestyle.

Never Stop Making


You cut to the core of me Jake Nickell. I don't do this enough. Even my typing this right now instead of doing what he's talking about is one more example of the lack of excuse that I have for not creating for the sake of creating more. I could be learning so much more by accident if I were creating just to create. It would be good. I doodle, but that's about it. I can think of more I could do, but thinking about doing it and not doing it is the same as not doing it. So what the crap, right?



So where should I start? what should I create first? Does this writing entry count as creation even though it's not technically creating? I've given thought to doing the "create something new everyday" goal, but honestly I've not committed to it for the fear of not doing it everyday (this sentence could also be read "I'm pathetic", but I'll let you choose your own adventure on that one).

What to do, what to do.


We Have Limited Our Dreams

I heard a quote that really made me think today. It made me sad to hear it, but at the exact same time I was so excited to hear it. The exciting part is that identifying the problem is the first step to solving it. Right? Here’s the quote:

Our capacity to dream is limited by our capacity to produce.
— Joel Thomas

Mind explode. It was like he was talking to me saying, “Hey, this is why your ideas aren’t very good.” I felt like I couldn’t scribble it down fast enough, because I didn’t want to forget it. I am my greatest limitation. My inability to understand what is possible, limits my ability to be creative.

For me this mainfests itself in countless ways, but some of the ones that hit home most are: knowing what my colleauges are capable of, knowing what kind of time certain things take, knowing my software adequately to know what is possible, and constantly saturating my brain with what is being done out there. How can I know everything? Well, I can’t. The more I try to know, the more I realize I don’t know. I often wish that our brains were like in The Matrix when they could just upload a program of knowledge into their brains and boom that’s all it took to learn. Man wouldn’t that be sweet. But that’s not how it works. In fact it’s just the opposite.

If you aren’t constantly making effort to learn you will lose it. Even to maintain the knowledge you have takes effort else you will lose it. And yet we are expected to take everything we know, and everytime create something new. No pressure.

We limit our dreams to what is achievable by us as individuals. Yet look at what has been accomplished by men and women who dared to look beyond a safe attainable goal that they could accomplish. One person could not have built the Disney Empire, or Microsoft, or Apple, or Pixar, or whatever your favorite thing is. It’s built through collaboration. It’s buit upon the ability to see what could be done, not upon what I can do.

You see, we all face the same resistance. We all hear the stupid voice in our head telling us it can’t be done, it’s stupid, it’s impossible, it’s too expensive, no one will like it, blah blah, and so on. Yet our society is inspired by those who have dared to go beyond that wall of resistance because doing any less would be the only thing worse than doing nothing at all.

I can’t have all the best ideas, but I have some. I may never invent anything that’ll change the world, but perhaps I could. I can’t do this alone, not just me, God does this first in me, and then through me. He has huge plans beyond what I can even imagine, and all I have to do is listen to his plans, and carry them out. It’s not a light switch, it requires a lot of effort, and discipline, but with those two things a lot can be done.

I want to do things that are beyond my ability, because anything less than that I have unintentionally limited. God show me what you have, teach me how to listen, show me when it’s you, and show how to not make it me. I need your wisdom and creativity. I am dependent on you in everything because you are able. Depending on only me instead limits you.

Elizabeth Gilbert: A New Way to Think About Creativity

After you watch this interesting video on a new way to consider creativity. What are your thoughts? Has our culture wrongfully put to much pressure on creative work?

We as creatives toil over the process of coming up with something that has never existed, and for what? To be mocked when it isn't the best thing that's ever been kissed by the sun? Why do we put ourselves through that? Is our best work behind us? And if so, why do we press on?

The creative life can be discouraging, but we must search deep within us to contribute to what we have before us. It's what we do for a purpose greater than just doing it. What we get to do should be enjoyable and something that flows freely out of the joy of doing, and yet when it isn't flowing we just get frustrated. That we are not good enough, but what if it wasn't our ideas to begin with? What if we just need to listen better and be more prepared for when those ideas come to us.

Food for thought I suppose.

Bob Baxley on Visual Design

One of the biggest challenges to face when designing is deciphering what is truly ubiquitous design principle, and what is personal preference. Sometimes it can seem like "I like this better" is a copout when it's difficult to find the right word of why. However, I will say it's hard to argue when something just "feels right".

The Next Chapter of Life

The New Digs

As some of you may or may not know, I have a new job.

From January 2008 through October 2011 I have been the graphic designer (and assistant technical director) at Blue Ridge Community Church in Forest, Virginia. Looking back, it feels like it was a quick run, but in that time I’ve gotten opportunity to learn, attempt, experiment, fail, succeed, burn out, be on fire, and gain experience that has proved truly invaluable. I can say with complete confidence that God had me there for that time. No doubt in my mind.

A lot of the time I was working solo in the graphics department, though in the later year I was able to get a couple of very talented interns (one of whom was eventually hired). In the times when it felt like the work and projects were flowing in a seemingly unceasing manner, I learned a lot about time management and focus. I learned how valuable it is to know your software as best you can so you don’t have to waste (as much) time figuring out how to do carry out an idea using the software. Learning the tools was crucial, and I definitely had trial by fire.

I learned a lot of other lessons, like when to say no, how to keep margins in my life, the value of downtime and vacation, building friendships, and not buring myself out. I am always intrigued by new challenges, but the challenge of having to turn what once was a yes from me into a no was tough. I loved getting to say yes, because it meant I was getting another chance to meet someone’s graphical or creative need in a way that would help them promote their event/environment. However, saying yes too much created a recipe for an overwhelming monster. I let that happen. I did. Me.

So I had to learn. Quickly. I had to learn what actually mattered, what could be simplified, what could be done by someone else, what could quit altogether because it just wasn’t necessary. I began to work towards doing fewer things with “greatness and excellence”, rather than trying to do everything “good enough”. Good enough was a lose for everyone. I wasn’t happy with the work I was putting out because it all felt rushed, they weren’t happy because it often looked rushed, and I was working way too many hours, yet only to just be “good enough”. Not healthy. But, I learned it the hardway and I’m wiser for it. In the last 9 months or so I’ve been able to live a more realistically stable life. I’ve gotten traction on when saying no is wise, and when you just need to buckle down and put in some extra time for a season of life. A season. Working like that for a long period of time just wasn’t sustainable. I realize that now, I didn’t then.

I loved getting to be a part of building, shaping, creating, and adjusting systems of communication and trying to figure out how best to manage all of our projects, sometimes from the ground up. We first tried Microsoft Excel, then Action Method, BasecampHQ, and eventually ApolloHQ which was the best for the needs in the end. Being a chronic early adopter, the hunt for the right solutions for things problems was a blast, but that is not always the mindset of those who would rather not have to constantly be living in a state of change. In the end the systems made things easier, more clear, and more efficient. They work.

I cannot speak highly enough about the opportunities I had to colaborate with Andrew Hunt, Tim Gosnell, and Clay Powers. Three ridiculously talented fools that were a huge part of the growth I experienced during my time at The Ridge. We were/are able to do things together that we just couldn’t do as individuals. Memories of doing more together and building strong friendships throughout those projects are what I loved and needed in that stage of my life.

God knows me so well, it’s embarrassing. I love it.

So now I start a new chapter in life as the art director at North Point Ministries. Moving my wife Maria and I to a state we’ve never lived in where we know next to no one, but with the faith that God is going before us in a big way. This whole deal is an opportunity that I never would have seen coming, but shows me how much God cares for me in ways that I know I’ve short-changed Him. This new endeavor (already has and) will require me to depend on Him for guidance in ways I realize that I haven’t, but I am excited for that continued growth. I still have a lot to learn about processes, myself, people, collaboration, workflow, systems, and creative expression, but I know that God can do through me what He is doing in me.

I know I would not be here if the leadership at The Ridge hadn’t given me a chance to make mistakes, and to learn with and from them. I am so grateful for their investment in me, my life, and the mission that God has called us to. I am forever grateful.

So here’s to the new, to the uncharted, to the challenges, and to the excitement of the unkown of that lies ahead. I could not be more excited about what is to come.

ProTip: For best results, re-read this post while listening to “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” by Boyz II Men