A designful life

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Every year I would experienced depression (due to SAD) which leads to overthinking and eventually this idea call design anxiety. I get insecure about my self-worth and that I am not producing my best works or not enough. It is that realization you are not as good as you think you are until this point, you reevaluate the works you have done to say I cannot design or will not be able to do so at a higher level > portfolio will not be outstanding > i might not land the jobs I want

Perhaps just salving and treating mental illnesses such as depression, we need to take better care of our design career

Maybe the solution is this thing called a designer lifestyle; low commitment ludic discipline / lifestyle. You have to question what you love to do again and what you are less inclined to do. There are questions you should avoid as well such as "what is my style".

How do we ask better questions and address our needs? How can we create something that people do not know that they wanted eg.Spotify, iPod, iPhone, facebook,

Keywords: precision of language, specific, succinct, positioning, reframing, lifestyle, consistency?

Discovering ourselves

Thought patterns

  • I am not good enough

  • I do not think I am worth that much / I'm asking too much

Possible thoughts

  • I do not have a style

  • I do not know what to make

  • I do not know what I am trying to say

  • Overwhelmed by creatives on social media

  • I don't want to commit to anything because what if it goes wrong

  • I cannot see how I How does have a style brings value to my portfolio and creative career?

We are more concerned with aesthetics than how things look then how things performed hence form over function.

Questions we might be ask ourselves

  • What is perceived as effective when measuring a creative's skillset

  • What are you interested in and curious about?

  • What do you love and are passionate about?

  • What keeps you up at night?

Symptoms: tense / grip in my heart / demotivated / frustrated / overwhelmed by people's success on social media

Define finding a style does not really excite me > what's the point? It does not do anything. I would like a problem to solve. For most part of my life, I have been a thinker and builder ; not much of a maker. my talent is consistency; small things done daily

My problem that I always fall into is identifying myself with a conventional motion designer that are characterized by illustrative, geometric, smooth motion, 3D visual language. However, I am not inclined to do those things even if I can do it

So the bigger question that oyu

Develop when I was showering, i caught myself thinking about expressions and using processing to enhance what I can do; doesn't that say a thing about my "style"

Deliver utilitarian x innovation (play) x user-centered design connecting dots and building relationships with diffent citizens


play×user centered design×curiosity×risk=innovationplay \times user\ centered\ design \times curiosity \times risk=innovation

List of Questions

These questions will serve as guide students to discover what they are truly after and afraid in the grand scheme of things.

Keywords: imposter syndrome, community of practice, social creatures

  • Art school?

    • why go to art school, why do anything?

    • what are you risking?

    • What are you expecting out of art school? A job or a more informed life experience?

  • Career

    • How do I get Company X to notice me?

    • How do I identify a trend and ride on it?

    • How do I design beyond trend?

  • Defining our expectations

    • What are your priorities?

    • How do we get better as a designer?

    • How can we develop a lifestyle that develops our creativity?

    • What is creativity to you ? What is success to you?

    • How can let go of work-life balance and think about work-life integration

    • the bifurcation of work and leisure is a construct

  • Discussion

    • what are your takeaways from the discover

    • what did you discover today?

    • What do you not know?

    • What you do you think needs more investigation?

    • What personal biases / prejudices / general notion / commonly believed belief / axiom needs a better thorough observation and analysis? What illusions do you believe in?

Raising expectations

When I talked to my peers, I realized that they often cannot find time to do the things they want to do or they will have a reason for it. For once, I love to hear someone say: "I will be doing this over the weekend", the end. I think my role as a friend and professional colleague is to help my peers address these issues they seem to be avoiding or blind-sided by, challenge their motivation and character, and lead them to a more positive outcome.

Instead of telling people what to do, ask them questions that would lead them to a more positive outcome. The best answer to the following question is "I'm doing it"

  • Discovery

    • What are you working on right now?

    • What is stopping / preventing you from doing X eg. job application, personal project

    • What are you expecting out of yourself?

    • What are you expecting out of X? Why are you doing X?

  • Define

    • What do you think about your situation? (Do not let subject jump to a conclusive statement)

    • What should you do then?

    • Do you believe you are a lazy person or do you think it's a matter of being Y (uncomfortable or fear or insecurities)? What do you think about Y? How long have you been thinking about Y?

  • Develop (a plan of action)

    • what will you do differently then right now ?

    • when will you do it? By when?

    • How can you face Y and accept it, detach, and move on.

    • How can you overcome or move forward fromY?

  • Deliver

    • how do you know you are on track?

    • how do you know you will commit to the plan you set yourself?

    • how long will you give yourself to overcome Y

    • what will you do if you detoured back to the where you were?

    • Is there someone who can help stay accountable other than yourself?

    • How can you develop a system that helps you to get to where you want to be.

Recommended watching: Pickle Rick​


Sample: How do we develop a healthy lifestyle?

  • D: How often do you snack? Do you live a sedentary lifestyle? Have you been exercising? How many hours do you sleep? What time do you go to bed?

  • S: *proceeds to defend his character by saying "he should exercise or do this or that"

  • D: I did not ask what you should do but what do you think of your lifestyle that you are living? What do you think would happen if you keep this up in a year or five or ten years. If you develop some health problems, what are the repercussions you will face? eg. prone to illness or diseases, incur high medical fees, who is going to pay for those fee? Who is going to take care of you? At what age do you expect to live until with this lifestyle?

  • D: Do you take your health seriously?

  • S: *will most probably say yes as an automatic response but does not realize the weight of the question

  • D: If you take it seriously, then why are you not doing anything about it? So let me ask you again: do you take your health seriously. If you do, what are you going to do about it?

  • S: * gives vague answers such as exercise or eating more vegetables

  • D: that's not good enough. How often are you going to exercise? What will you cut out of your diet? Most importantly, when will you start? How will you commit to what you say you will do. What happens if you do not do what you set yourself out to do.

  • S: *answers "tomorrow"

>The next day (scenario: S did not follow up what he promised)

  • D: how goes your exercise / new lifestyle?

  • S: I did not do it

  • D: why not? You said you would do it. You can lie to me but do not lie to yourself. The end.

How can we "motivate" / get started on personal projects?

  • Personal projects

    • Why do you want to do personal projects?

    • What are you expecting out these personal projects?

      • of course we want to get better but what would be a tangible result of success? How do you quantify and measure your success?

    • You said you have been wanting to do personal projects for awhile now. How much time can you commit each week/day?

  • What is the first thing you will work on when you get this creative personal time?

  • When will you start?

  • Freelancing

    • what do you know about freelancing? Invoice , contracts , payment methods , how to get consistent leads , how will you grow your business, communicating with clients?

How do you get better at what you do?

Learning to become a better artist is no different from training yourself to be an athlete. We can see creativity as a muscle to be trained and strengthen with a well-planned consistent 'workout' routine.

  • Teach - teaching is learning something twice

How do we step out of our comfort zones to make something new?

  1. Get uncomfortable -

    • Make 5 variables you are uncomfortable with eg, time, tools, colors, subject matter, type

    • Introduce one of them as a constraint in your next project eg. you cannot use the same typeface that you always do; try something different

  2. Do a master copy - Copy a design that you love to learn a new visual vocabulary

Comfort breakdown




Visual language

photorealism, hand-drawn drawing

abstract, minimalist, suprematism, Memphis, bauhaus, constructivism, glitchy


videography, 3D, cel animation, fabrication, drawing & painting, character animation, sculpting, photo-bashing, hand-lettering, collage, illustration

type, teaching, expressions, shape animation, scripting & programming

Subject matter


broadcast, sacred geometry, visionary & mysticism, nature, mathematics, mys


Rhythm, funk

structure, simplicity

  • Remember to be able to discern being interested in what you see but uncomfortable in making them

Recommended readings

Nutrition - Things that fuels your imagination




  • Shorts

    • Youtube - Playlists

  • Examine your favorite directors, studios, artists, designers

  • Whatever that piques your interest

  • Watch tutorials

  • Film-making

  • Dailies

  • Collaboration

  • Teaching

Rest / Creative Sabbatical

I recently got reminded by Stefan Sagmeister and his creative sabbatical in which he takes a year off every 7 years of working. It got me thinking about how we can do a micro-version of this practice by taking the last week of the month off. That means not doing dailies, not watching tutorials or anything creatively strenuous. Perhaps take stock of where you are and what you have done for the month. Evaluate, plan and execute.

One thing to note about Sagmeister's practice is that he planned thoroughly how he spend his sabbatical to learn and do his projects. (-Time Sensitive Podcast)

Developing filters

Vague things that employers say that do not bring insights




You have to be unique

  • how can you not be ordinary / stand out from the crowd?

  • what has been overdone, what has not

News flash, everyone is unique and equipped with a distinct personality and a way of working. Do not confuse unique for innovation.

you have to work on portfolio

  • what do you mean? Are you saying we focus on aesthetics / resume / website / quantity / quality?

  • what should I focus on my portfolio

  • how should I structure my website

  • what has been overdone

  • what is effective is getting noticed?

  • how I should document my process?

we want a team player

  • what values do you see want

You need to get on social media

  • why?

  • How can you demonstrate consistency efforts on a platform to show

we prefer to see someone who draws in their own style


  • what if the employer does not like your "style"

  • what can you bring to the table and what can you add to the table

we only hire good people who are skills

  • talent as a prerequsite for companies that pushes innovation and boundariesn

The questions to all these statements would be "who doesn't". The problems with the people on the top is how they often described how they reached success in broad loose terms with no clear actionable plan. It is fine to talk in terms as long as enough context is built with case studies or personal anecdotes. There is no one size-fit-all answer. Answers are going to change for person to person. It starts with diagnosing our needs and investigating our wants, and developing a bridge between those two.

  • What do you need right now?

  • Where do you want to work ?

  • Who do you want to work for?

  • When do you plan to achieve what you set yourself out to do?

  • What risks can I take right now?

  • what is best fit for you instead of aiming what people deemed best ?

  • what are my expectations of myself or ...?

  • what is success to me?

  • Company

    • How do you positioning yourself as outstanding way compared to locals The work is important but it's also how you communicate about your work, strategies, ideas, how you defend them

    • contribute to company to make their decision process different. honest about vales giving upfront

    • Do I need to work in big studios? if so why?


Questions for evaluating your career

  • Organizational- level

    • what is value to your creative director / supervisor / team?

    • what value have you brought to your company / supervisor / team.

  • Personal

    • Are you happy at your current job, are you satisfied?

    • Are you overworked / underworked?

    • Are your talents being appreciated, acknowledged and valued?

    • is there something else you are trying to find something new?

      What wall do you feel like you're hitting right now that are preventing you from being where you want to be?