WOW, it’s been way too long since my last post and I’m really sorry about that! I had such great momentum there for a while. Unfortunately, ” you can do it all, you just can’t do it all at once”. So my beloved blog baby was a little neglected this January and February while I set up my resolutions and started putting new things in motion to design the next Garrott 2.016.
Many people I know scoff the idea of new year’s resolutions. Some prefer to make goals any time of year, which is OK by me. I personally like to use the new year as a mile marker because it’s the anniversary of when I moved to New York City and life as a designer began for me in the Big Apple. That was eleven years ago this year. Naturally, I like to reflect on everything I’ve accomplished and decide where I want to go from here. I’m always planning, and culling old dreams through the year but NYE is the rough draft write-up on the first day of the rest of my life.
Yogi Berra once said “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.” I do love an adventure, and I’m willing to end up someplace else but I’d rather do it with conviction! If you don’t design yourself you better believe someone else will. This is why you should check in with yourself often about how you spend your time. People often complain about how they have no time to accomplish the things they dream about. We all have twenty-four hours in a day, some people are following their dreams. What is everyone else doing? Obligations? What are they, are they important to you, or someone else? Can you change your priorities? These are questions that need to be asked frequently and the answers must be negotiated.
Things change, thank God! So pay attention, and take notes from your inner voice. Are the things you want today different than the things you wanted last week, last year? It’s OK to scratch things off the list you no longer want, and especially things that were never that important to you in the first place. It helps you get to the things you want! For example, I was about to sign up for a continued studies program to enhance my corporate appeal in a business aligned realm. When I discussed the value of this education with other designers in my circle it dawned on me that it wouldn’t make me any more valuable as an employee without changing the creative involvement of my current path. No, less creative is not what I want. So I invested the time and money I was going to use on that program, into a more creative and entrepreneurial program. I’m still going to explore brand strategy, but text books don’t innovate, designers do!
A support system of peers is so important to this kind of decision making. Who do you hang out with? What are they encouraging in you? Laziness, or are they challenging you? Are they happy when you succeed or are they non-responsive (resentful)? Do they talk over you about trivial shopping trips when you’re trying to have a a more insightful conversation? Find your people. They are out there, write down words that describe people you want to be around then google for Meet-Up Groups that have those tags, and go. Glassbreakers started as an organization of women in tech who desired to support each other in a male dominated field. It’s since expanded into other industries and allows women to mentor for each other. These women could have continued to compete with each other but they joined together to raise each other up. AMAZING. Find YOUR people.
So what are your goals? Who do you want to work with? Where do you want to be? Start now, start where you are. What one thing can you do today to get you closer to those goals? Where are the people who are doing what you want to do? Make a list of the answers to all of these questions and you’ll be one step closer to designing the you, you’ve always wanted to be.
Here is a list of some of my favorite groups of people to get you started: Designers + Geeks The Design Gym Creative Mornings AIGA Running with Heels The Path NYC Society of Illustrators Sketch Night New York City Urban Sketchers Transforming Architectural Practice The Fashion Potential Women in Product New York Fashion Professionals ThoughtWorks Experience Design Allied Professional Women Glassbreakers