I’ve been reading Austin Kleon’s blog since January, I find the way that he speaks about his notebooks and how he uses them very inspiring. Today’s post is about his bulletin board and how he pins images, clippings, index cards, and various other bits to it for inspiration while he is writing a book.
The analog nature of lots of things that Austin does has really caught my attention. I love technology, but as a designer I also love objects and paper. When I was a student I covered the wall of my room in halls with bits of graphics that I liked. The whole thing turned into one giant collage of inspiration. That’s something I would like to get back into my creative life, something tactile and away from a glowing rectangle. ∞
I’ve linked to the series that’s being written on Medium of the founding of Baron Fig in the past, but they’ve recently been publishing new parts of the series. As ever it’s a good glimpse into the life of a new startup and the problems they’ve faced. The guys at Baron Fig continue to inspire me.
It’s been a buy and stressful week since the last edition of The Week in Links, but that’s why we call it work. It’s not always fluffy clouds and bright sunshine, even for those of us fortunate enough to be doing what we love for a living.
Despite all that, I have enjoyed quite a bit of reading this week. Once again I’ve highlighted a couple of articles which I really connected with. One from Shawn Blanc about work and one about working for yourself… probably not a coincidence after reading that first paragraph.
So sit back and enjoy this weeks edition alongside your Sunday coffee.
- Concerning the Ebb and Flow of “Work” by Shawn Blanc – This is sometihng I’m learning about myself at the moment. Even before I was self-eployed my tendency was to do things all the time, I used to give my holidays to go and do a bible holiday club for two weeks every summer. It was different but incredibly tiring and it caught up with me. Now I’m self-employed forcing myself to rest is hard, in fact it hit me last weekend. I need to be away from home to rest and shut out my work, otherwise I and my work suffer.
- Master working for yourself without crushing your soul — Dispatches from Paul Jarvis – Really interesting insights and thoughts on the areas on which to focus if you’re a freelancer. Focus upon what you want to do, talk about it lots and don’t be afraid of saying no. That final bit can be the hardest of all.
The Best of the Rest
I was going to save this for Sunday’s edition of The Week in Links, but I thought it was far too cool for that and deserved it’s own post. Line drawing has always been something I enjoyed, and Colossus by Pat Vale is a stunning example. Spend a few minutes of your time watching it this evening, be inspired.
Another wonderfully executed piece of design that I stumbled across this morning. As someone who used to do lots of work for housing developments seeing something a little more unusual in both style and execution is very refreshing.
Some excellent ideas for how Apple is opening up the world of books on iPad through it’s recent announcements.
There’s not a lot to add to these other than wow.
This is a great insight into the creator of Instapaper one of my favourite apps on the iPad and the reason it does what it does so elegantly. Marco created it for a need he had and it’s an app he uses everyday, it’s not been made for the users, it’s been made for himself. If Marco is anything like me, his worst and most important ciritic is himself. Satisfying that critic is the only way to create something truly great, which is just what he’s doing.
More on the four day work week from Carsonified.
If you work every week like you were going on holiday on the Friday then you can get all of your work done in four days rather than five. It takes concentration, dedication and a zero tolerance approach to distractions. The reward is an extra 52 days off a year. Is that worth it to you?
I can’t explain how intrigued I am by the notion of being adaptable to get the most out of your employees as well as being more interested in enriching heir lives.
(Via Can’t remember. I’ll update when I remember.)
Regardless of what type of artist you are, personal style is essential if you want to succeed and avoid just being “another performer” or “another” of anything.
Jorge Quinteros being yourself. Essentially, work out what you want to create and then create it in your own way.
Occasionally you read something that really resonates with you.
Originality is occasional. Secondhand inspiration can do wonders in the hands of craftsmen. But thirdhand inspiration is always slightly blurry around the edges. It lacks focus. Young muses rarely deliver what they promise. Energy gets lost in every creative exchange, like a game of Telephone. The universe favors entropy.
At the moment I’m trying to design my blog. I find myself looking at all my favourite bloggers and at my collection of screen grabbed websites. Instead I should be looking at who and what interests me so that the site I design reflects me rather than the people I read.
The complaint comes from the fact that a lot of us are sick of the friend or acquaintance who gives us less than their full attention. The complaint also comes because we’re starting to get tired of being that person ourselves. Especially when we see the cost is has on our relationships with those we care for the most.
Focus isn’t just about doing things. It’s about making sure it’s on the people it should be.
Shawn hits the nail on the head once again.
Often I find myself wrestling with the tension that I have more ideas than time. There are many great things I want to do and build and ship and start, but I just don’t have the time to do them. However, I’m finding that the real problem is not my lack of time — it’s my lack of focus.
I think we all struggle with the notion that we don’t have enough time to do all that we want. In reality we don’t have the focus to do them. Time is a constant that we have no control over, focus and motivation come and go, what matters is how we make the most of it when we have it and how we generate it when we don’t.
Some excellent little quotes from David Airey well worth taking on board. I particularly liked this one.
“Your corporate culture is not something that can be ‘rolled out’; it is the sum of what individuals do on a day-to-day basis. And understanding why they do what they do.”
As with any culture, a business one has to grow not be imposed.