Rework, a book by the fantastic guys at 37Signals (also Basecamp, Campfire, Backpack and Highrise creators) is an incredible addition to my growing list of Must Reads. The book is filled with short chapters each with a great illustration like one the pictured above and a real life experience in each paragraph. They aren’t writers, per se, and they completely accept that. They are only experienced in success, and their stories, lessons and knowledge are profound and concise. They talk of their successes and failures and most of all, how to find success. I think it’s a great addition to any designer’s library and I’ll definitely be re-reading it before I start another book on my list. Buy a copy here and let me know what you think!
Archive: September, 2010
A selection of 10 very powerful thoughts from the amazing Milton Glaser. Read them in their entirety after the jump or on his website here.
You can only work for people that you like.
This is a curious rule and it took me a long time to learn because in fact at the beginning of my practice I felt the opposite. Professionalism required that you didn’t particularly like the people that you worked for or at least maintained an arms length relationship to them, which meant that I never had lunch with a client or saw them socially. Then some years ago I realised that the opposite was true. I discovered that all the work I had done that was meaningful and significant came out of an affectionate relationship with a client. And I am not talking about professionalism; I am talking about affection. I am talking about a client and you sharing some common ground. That in fact your view of life is someway congruent with the client, otherwise it is a bitter and hopeless struggle.
If you have a choice never have a job.
One night I was sitting in my car outside Columbia University where my wife Shirley was studying Anthropology. While I was waiting I was listening to the radio and heard an interviewer ask ‘Now that you have reached 75 have you any advice for our audience about how to prepare for your old age?’ An irritated voice said ‘Why is everyone asking me about old age these days?’ I recognised the voice as John Cage. I am sure that many of you know who he was – the composer and philosopher who influenced people like Jasper Johns and Merce Cunningham as well as the music world in general. I knew him slightly and admired his contribution to our times. ‘You know, I do know how to prepare for old age’ he said. ‘Never have a job, because if you have a job someday someone will take it away from you and then you will be unprepared for your old age. For me, it has always been the same every since the age of 12. I wake up in the morning and I try to figure out how am I going to put bread on the table today? It is the same at 75, I wake up every morning and I think how am I going to put bread on the table today? I am exceedingly well prepared for my old age’ he said.
Some people are toxic and avoid them.
This is a subtext of number one. There was in the sixties a man named Fritz Perls who was a gestalt therapist. Gestalt therapy derives from art history, it proposes you must understand the ‘whole’ before you can understand the details. What you have to look at is the entire culture, the entire family and community and so on. Perls proposed that in all relationships people could be either toxic or nourishing towards one another. It is not necessarily true that the same person will be toxic or nourishing in every relationship, but the combination of any two people in a relationship produces toxic or nourishing consequences. And the important thing that I can tell you is that there is a test to determine whether someone is toxic or nourishing in your relationship with them. Here is the test: You have spent some time with this person, either you have a drink or go for dinner or you go to a ball game. It doesn’t matter very much but at the end of that time you observe whether you are more energised or less energised. Whether you are tired or whether you are exhilarated. If you are more tired then you have been poisoned. If you have more energy you have been nourished. The test is almost infallible and I suggest that you use it for the rest of your life.
I’ve been completely inspired by Daniela Burr’s Taking a Sabbatical. An honest, heartfelt journey on a one year sabbatical abroad has left this creative searching for answers, meaning and the pleasure of stepping away from work to explore and enjoy life.
“Starting September 1st, 2010, 7 years after completing a BS in Graphic Design and a MS in Communication Design, my visa expires and I have to leave NYC; deciding to embark upon a whole new adventure. Taking 365 days off and embracing a sabbatical by travelling to London, Morocco, Italy, Thailand, Australia, and finally settling down in Bali. With $6,000 USD in the bank, my laptop, a backpack, a positive spirit, and eager to work on my personal projects; I am ready to take off. Follow me on this journey while celebrating life and wish me luck :)” -Daniela
A few weeks ago I wrote a post about RSS feeds and Inspiration and how overwhelmed I had gotten being a creative and not feeling satisfied looking at other people’s work all the time. When I received Daniela’s email I was so thrilled and realized how many other creatives out there feel the same way. She is a crusader for stepping away from what’s bogging you down and living a fulfilling, creative life. Daniela’s photos and heartfelt entries have moved me and I’m honored to post such a beautiful self-discovering adventure. I wish you all the best, Daniela, and will continue to follow your adventures as they happen!
See Daniela’s site Taking A Sabbatical and be inspired.
All photos via Daniela, Taking a Sabbatical.
I spent way too long on Polly Wreford’s lifestyle photography portfolio last night. I was drawn in by the colors and bold patterns and stayed for the dreamy closet and food images, handpicking more than a few ideas for my own closet and desk. Her portfolio is just so full of gorgeous interiors and delicate details, it’s hard to pick even the eight above to do her work justice. See more of her vast portfolio here.
It may be that s & m are the initials in my name (I know it’s weird…) or the fact that I love to eat delicious grub, but I’m really liking the design of the s&m restaurants in London by Matt Judge while at SEA Design. I think the saying Eat Yourself Happy is also a huge motto in my life and will keep this picture to recreate on my own kitchen floor one day. Their website is also hilarious. Enjoy more pictures of the restaurant here and more of Matt’s portfolio while you’re at it!