Skill Share

Have you tried skill share yet? Skillshare is an online learning community for creators. It is a database of unique and specified classes on creative arts, design, entrepreneurship, lifestyle, and technology. I love how it's given me an intimate look inside the process of some of my favorite designers. My favorite classes I've taken so far are:

  1. Aaron Draplin's Circular Logo Design
  2. Jessica Walsh & Timothy Goodman's Just Make Stuff
  3. Lauren Hom's Chalk Handlettering (Ive also taken her online "Passion to Paid" workshop)
  4. Paula Sheer's Dynamic Brand Identity
  5. Jessica Hische's Lettering For Designers

If you're a lifelong learner like me, use my code to try skillshare premium for free!

Where Do Ideas Come From?

Director David Lynch sat down with The Atlantic to talk ideas & inspiration. He compares ideas to fish in a pond that just need to be caught. I love this metaphor, and the concept that ideas and inspiration are all around us because... well, they are! Some days it feels like we are on the slow train to nowhere and other days we are on fire. The difference all comes down to our mindset; how open we are to receiving inspiration & the belief that we have the ability to turn those ideas into reality. Every single person has a completely unique view of the human experience, and that means a brand new innovative perspective on how to interact with the world around us. Ideas can be sparked anywhere anytime, we just need to tune in to them, catch them, and piece them together. 

Here are some steps to open your mind up to new ideas and then turn them into reality:

1. Set an intent - first things first, take a moment to get clear on the creative endeavour you're pursuing and why its important to you.

2. Create some space - you wont be receptive to anything new if you're racing around and stressed out so give yourself some space where you're free to embrace the new.

3. Draw from personal experiences - chances are if you have been affected by something others will be able to identify with it as well so be true to yourself and what your learnt.

4. Discover your crossroads - by combining different areas of your interests & talents you can create something truly unique so map out where your junctures lie.

5. Write it down - Groundbreaking ideas can happen when you least expect them so make sure to make a note or reminder to reference later.

6. Break it down -  Okay, now that you've uncovered this creative idea, break in down into small manageable steps & know that you have the ability to make it happen.

7. Take action - You know what you want to do, why you want to do it, and how to make it happen so all thats left to do is make the moves!

Habits of Original Thinkers

Organizational psychologist Adam Grant studies "originals": thinkers who dream up new ideas and take action to put them into the world. In his Ted Talk he addresses the difference between chronic precrastinators (driven by anxiety and meticulous planning) and chronic procrastinators (left everything to throw together at the last minute). Through his studies he discovers the creative sweet spot balancing between the two.

There is power in taking time to step away from your work and leave space for new ideas to evolve. I find that my conscious mind can be a little desperate to get to the "this is awesome" part of the process while my subconscious mind is all "relax, trust the process, what's the big picture". So here are some 30 min solutions I do to take a break and occupy my conscious mind so that my subconscious creative genius can have the floor:

1. Take a walk without a destination in mind - fresh oxygen to the brain, a slow pace, and scenery to look at will be a mental reset. 

2. Cook a meal - see how you can use the contents of your fridge to make something new, this will keep your mind in creative flow and your belly full!

3. Tidy up - doing a quick clean helps you to feel physical productivity but puts your mind on autopilot so you can freely let it wander. 

4. Low intensity workout - some sun salutations/ light weights/ jumping jacks will get your blood pumping and boost serotonin in the brain so you can think clearly.

Podcast: Creative Pep Talk

Lets face it, everyone can benefit from a little pep talk! They bring your energy levels up, calm your inner critic, and get those ideas flowing. I am the type of worker who thrives in a fast paced environment so when Im working solo, Im always looking for ways to keep motivation on the up and up. Podcasts like Creative Pep Talk are perfect to put on the background while working. Andy J. Miller is the creator of CPT, he is a full time freelance illustrator with a background in graphic design. So yeah, he fully understands the trials & tribulations of balancing business & art. His perspective is relatable, hilarious, and encouraging. Check it out!