FINDING CONTENTMENT AS A CREATIVE | Honest Designers Podcast Episode 83



I'm the weirdo the psycho breakout wrapping their widowed a psycho the microphone maestro oh wait hang on mom where's yours little Lisa I don't think I've got one I'm looking around the office I'm hoody las' hold on oh no no I just I'll get me get me tea yes master immediately master welcome to the honest designers show you're transparent look into life as a modern designer my name is Tom rose and I'm the founder hat designer and this week I'm joined by my fellow Brit and hand lettering expert Ian Barnard and the amazingly talented South African illustrator Lisa glands were afraid Dustin couldn't be with us this week but we promised he will be back with us at the very soon this week we discussed how to find contentment in your creative work all too often stress worry and self-doubt cloud out the basic enjoyment we should all be having that we get to create for a living we discuss how to find some of that joy again have fun and find happiness in your creative process without further ado let's get into the show so this week we're talking all about how to find contentment as a creative how to be happy in what you do day to day how to maybe worry a little bit less and enjoy a bit more and I'm gonna kick off this episode with one of my favorite quotes from a mr. Ferris Bueller can you guys guess the quote who's coming so I'd recognize it I can't I can't off off off by heart knowing every quote from okay so is that film but I was pretty a pretty motivational staff all right you ready yep Bueller you were not that one okay the runway is like life moves pretty fast if you don't stop and look around once in a while you just might miss it exactly and I always like that quiet and how that is of course relevant the dear listeners at home is that if you are constantly like freaking out and worrying and overthinking things it's so focused on all the other stuff that goes with your creative career you might actually forget to stop and look around once in a while and enjoy the process and the journey and what you get to do hopefully most days at least which is be a creative so I thought I thought it could be a fun episode yeah definitely Lisa you strike me as at the kind of character he finds daily enjoyment what's your secret [Laughter] not taking stuff so seriously I mean I look I'm guilty of that I have to admit I mean I have been known to freak out about the super stuff but sorry just super quick question this cliff ever walk into your room and you and you're like deep in the rabbit hole of freaking out yes and it will be over something quite ridiculous and he has to calm me down so here walk in the room and be like what's going on in your like red-faced and crying and hyperventilating you're like it's bonnie's it's the goddamn bodies well it's often it's often technology that freaks me out like it's not the computer's not working fast enough or the bank banking is an issue or something like that but no he doesn't hang around he must be quite wise does he whistle as he does that then he jumps into this room for yeah good it's difficult not to lose your cool sometimes when you like in the moment but I have to say these days I'm a lot better I used to be really bad I think I might've mentioned this before I used to I've broken a few phones by slamming the door yeah like I used to because you can't you can't tell them how frustrated you are that they're making you do something that's just awful and you just have to do it so yeah I would like take the frustration out on putting the phone down and the phone doesn't make it but anyway besides that um yeah you have to take you have to know how do you have fun with yourself and sometimes you need to you know take the piss out of yourself too that's like if you're being an moron sometimes it's you know that's okay so I think it's answer humans a good thing idea spawn I think this podcast helps me in that respect I can ask like it's been super super good but very busy day at work and instantly I jump on with you guys before the show we're pretending to be gangs throughout there's a nice footing stupid hoods on and giggling like it is and yet funny enough a lot of the crap like melts away absolutely just do silly stuff like that yeah how about Union what do i do what do I do yeah what do you do after what Lisa said I'm thinking about getting the old telephone Ellen loft and just put it Li on the side so we're having a bad day I could just like pick it up just so I could put it back although least I presume that's what you're talking about like the old school phones where they sit on that little thing they meant to be slammed up okay Wow I thought you well yeah that is Bri the ocean well I think we did in 1980 okay I'm glad for anyone listening this is like old school fame that you would place down it's got like the keypad separate from the phone I thought you originally meant a smartphone but you'll get your iPhone and like smashing on the desk this is just one of those hands like the handheld things it's not even a wireless high one it looks like the kind of phone we should have a innocent phone voice Lisa's phone reminds me of 1980s bathroom clan's industries did you beep on a fake voice let me just stretch this glans for you and then so make a bunch of noise like that and then sudden you're like oh yes thank you Thank You Margaret okay so sorry and random tangent there how how do you how do you stay happy and what you do that's the bottom line I think a similar thing with this or you know not taking yourself too seriously because I find my personality I think the more Intune you are with who you are I think it really helps you to be more happy because like when you're trying to be someone you're not it's just like you know rubbing against yourself really I mean that's our third tip for how to stay happy just sometimes mucking around like I I suppose that's where the vegetable click he came from was because sometimes I just like like because I'm I'm by only a few months of 40 I have two children wife or mortgage house you know pension stuff like that and yet I still don't feel responsible or feel older than 21 that's reassuring to hear like you know like when you have children you feel right there should be this like automatic sense why I'm now responsible why don't I have to you know I have have someone you know who who looks to me to provide for all their needs and you know but I don't for different and I just like making it up as I go along and yeah I still were like and what's quite nice about having kids is that I have an excuse to be silly Wow always Babbitt and like play like my kids have got some of the toys that I never never had when I was a kid and so yes it's great I mean Ian to be honest again you can see this on youtube if you follow us there but if you're listening to this Ian sat in his new studio which looks amazing but he's got a giant chalk wall that he's lettered on he's got a skateboard deck vine and that is lettered on this looks like every teenage boy's kind of dream room and I think that's the coolest thing in the world you're not like some gray drab bloke in a gray suit trudging home from an office job he hates you're in this little like madhouse that you created around you of creativity and fun and that's gotta keep you young right yeah my the only things missing is like right in front of me where I am now it's a blank wall and I was like what a nice big TV and an Xbox yeah you'd never work yeah that was worth it I got one in the house my son will do have a mare if I like well where is he called dad's although I'm looking at it now we got a flat-screen TV put up on the wall at design cuts we never use it it's sat there I'm praying that at low points too busy working but yeah I think a Christmas the idea is we get some holiday films up and drink cocoa that sort of thing but anyway while we're on the topic of your office in I think a tremendous number of the listeners probably work from home I know we've got freelancers a lot of creatives who might work out their bedroom or a little home office or studio and I think that would be one of the funnest ways because hmm a lot of people they might set up a desk and a few bits and bobs but it's like that's your space like if there's ever an excuse to make something whatever your wildest dreams are surely the only limitation to that is money and a lot of the time you can do awesome stuff on a budget like why not make that space completely yours like as wacky as you want as random as you want as fun as you want yeah but whatever like to draw all over the walls if you want like put quotes up on the wall that you like like you have the TV have like 8000 sana speaker surrounding use of it you're like working in a rave if that's your thing like it really it really doesn't matter but why make that space yours like because I'm honestly I'm looking at you there and I'm like I could not be depressed at work working there yes yeah can I just put caviar on this this has taken 18 years to get this place I don't like yeah I just strolled out by I went through by working like our first happening in my I've got was a really small cottage and I'd like the one those little tiny corner desks and my wife at ti2 bore a the money of my wife was then my girlfriend and we've only been going out for a year and she left me the money for my first iMac just before I started my first job and that was a really pivotal thing so I'm very very thankful to her for the trust does she put in me it's like we were like a new couple you know year wasn't long and actually the day before I started my first job I would paint it this is why I have a mixed feelings about universe of going away so it's a bit of a tangent over whether University and with a college and stuff that is is really adamant to Gaetti to to do what we're doing is because that the day before I started my job my best friend taught me how to use illustrator and be taught it on my two years of graphic design school and and when I got in the first thing I wanted a bid to do was to loads of stuff in illustrator so it's like it was it was a essay that was like my beginning bit of flight and I was starting to do bits and bobs in my spare time while being fully employed and then I we got another house and then before our children cabling I use one of their bedrooms then they came along and I wasn't there any way to work and say I was kitchen death kitchen table with like you know little tiny children running around my feet I said yeah you day he was trapping him though you know and it's like you know and they were young and say they was like my wife was part of the NCT groups really good but they were like round here and other little kids through so you know I don't know how I got anything done and so that was another bit and then we decided to serve convert or not convert it was just like we had like the old toilet because we know an old house there's an old out so I taught it that was just storing like a couple of bikes wasn't very big so I didn't work out of the toilet just worked on the toilet great upgrade yeah me and friends like spent ages sort of putting in insulation and you know plaster boarding it and putting it I got like a worked off of ebay and and that was my space for the past five years and then yeah I and I've just been saving for all this time because I'd wanted something in the garden because I was my best friend's dad was a graphic designer and he was someone who really meant a lot to me and really pivotal in flight seeing some one work from home and how great that was and how even though it's quite busy was you know you could pop round there and say hello and he was already had time for his kids unfortunately he died a couple months ago even yeah it was really her I remember you've mentioned him a few times on the show actually yeah and so and I had bits like building in oh you know it was because of him in his little and his garden studio there's something I inspired to having my garden as well something where I you know that space that was purely for creating obviously like I say have some fun as well but you know just having somewhere where you can it's like you have the I commute across my garden which is not that logger deal but yeah yeah and it I hope it to be a blessing for rather people not just you know this is my space it's somewhere I got space for like a couple of people to come and do like workshops or you know draw on the wall and stuff like that so like multi-purpose and I'm hoping to start on my youtube channel again now I've sort of nearly sorted out think you need to because I'm looking at a video of you speaking right now and I feel like I'm watching a popular youtuber like how you're talking now I'm thinking this is something I could actually watch on YouTube but like I get a lot of comments saying that there's a few the comments come all the time is I look like some guy from BuzzFeed where there's a guy who weighs glasses right yeah maybe I look a little bit I'm an airport announcer but yet say you got a riff on that be like can the Boeing fight seven like yeah I could do lettering video and he's in there yeah yeah so it's just more space really to spread out all my mmm things because I yeah got a real passion about doing physical art so how would desk for physical art by a digital one where the computer isn't for filming and one where it's like overhead showing what I can do with my hands yeah you know the pens and stuff like that so it's not bringing this or to analog and digital together yeah yeah I just love teaching people and so I'm hoping that this will be something that can help others wish yeah in that Solway yep but I fight sorry back to your original question yeah about what makes you happy and content and what you do I suppose interacting with others so that would be like you know like just riffing off those teaching others producing stuff that people respond to and I suppose like you Tom you do a lot of that with your Tom stripe and some of that you know just how you know knowing that you've made a difference in someone life someone's life is really when you're having a bad day and so on emails you or messages you and say oh thanks for what you posted there really helped me best I yeah yeah best thing especially caring about day it's just like oh actually I am making a small difference or some of that so that's what you know makes me yeah one of the things I may be happy yeah so true I mean when I'm I'm what actually still gets me down I try not to let it bug me but I'm any human is you know when you hear people of either you know these copyright issues or theft of your work or whatever and and then you just like so you can't even a whole about that and you're not really enjoying it and whatever but then you get an email from somebody saying your work you know makes me feel so happy and I kind of stuff it just it changes everything so at the end of the day like man that whole interaction with people and just getting is like having some kind of community on it Tom that's why you trying to pull you know Tom's tribe and everything it's just makes all the difference to it's like they're all rooting for you right which is everything exams that's right and I know a lot of freelancers that work at home they often get kind of despondent and feel like they really separated and isolated because you know you're not really interacting with people and I know what that's like is that I'm in the same boat but as bad as I am a social media that to me is actually it's it's a joy because the people that I get to interact with and people that you meet even though you've never met face to face you kind of get to you know you really feel like you know them yeah it's awesome I can't wait as much as I love everything we do I know we're trying to start getting involved with conferences and creative festivals and that kind of thing yeah hopefully at some point we're all gonna meet in real life to a pattern or that kind of thing I guarantee as much as I love everything we've done to date in terms of having fun that's going to be the most fun in the world that's that that's the stuff we have to pinch yourself and you're like can't believe this is my life you're like going to cool places around the globe and like meeting up with friends and chatting about what you're passionate about and hopefully bumping into the odd fan of the show that still hasn't happen because I'm based in the middle of nowhere in England but apparently it happens to the dusting quite a lot because he's whole thing sounds like amazing okay so would it be fair to say that if you're looking for contentment in your work you should do just that you should look which means be proactive about it so don't necessarily expect to just passively find contentment maybe take a bit of an order of what you're doing try and think what you enjoy the most like Ian said he likes teaching and inspiring and interacting with others take the time to actually sit down and don't just trudge in and do the same thing every day if you're not content be like what small parts of what I'm doing light me up the most and how can I do more of them yeah I think also you lose perspective why you started doing what you do in the first place you know what the what the joy was I think when we we so caught up in in projects and tasks and clients and all sorts of things that you you it you know you get lost in the fact that hey I'm supposed to be enjoying this and I think the best thing is to exactly what we're saying like get you know jump out of your daily grind and if maybe it means taking a walk like a routine walk every day maybe it means connecting with a friend whether it's a design friend or even somebody that you know it's not a designer yeah doing something in your community like there's a whole lot of stuff that but you as Ian said the more you get to know yourself and the more you get to figure out what's you know kind of lights your fire that makes it easier but you can't just keep going you know expecting joy I guess if you stuck in a rut will you've got to change something if you if you look at the light if if someone has a passion behind what they're talking about I can listen to anyone talk about any subjects if you you could have someone who's that it could be later still works and you're like yeah any and if the person is engaged in passionate about all they're talking about that literally can be any subject that they can take something boring and make it interesting but you can have the opposite to that way you have someone who is doing something they're not passionate about it and just and it could be the most interesting topic it could be about eye space travel but it could the way they're talking about it and they're not really excited about it you can just like turn this off it's just not you know so yeah and I feel I've never I definitely noticed the difference between me talking about graphic design you know when I was doing sort of websites and supple of that in come compared to when I'm talking about lettering you know specially lettering infrequently and I suppose other people have noticed that as well because it's normally my conversations with other people if they normally say oh I love seeing your videos that literally the first thing they say to me and then I find it hard then to sort of like you know they're talking about that and I'm like but I won't obey you you say it's you know it's you know you know that's showing that what I'm passionate about comes off and rubs off on them I then what I why I want to find out what they what makes them tick and there's a lot of people who don't know because you know they do a job they don't really enjoy which you know it's probably quite a lot of people but you know they don't have anything in the evening you know I was like I just try and quiz them okay well what do you like doing in your spare time I don't you know yeah and it's just like but then you saw drill down it might be I was speaking to one of my relatives or a wedding and it was like I really like doing poetry and that sort creative writing and then they go oh I could never you know turn it into a job I like this alright but you know and and it's hard to say but I know if you put a couple of years of posting as I every day yeah your you will but easier sales pitches if you love as much as you're telling me you would naturally prefer to do it than watching net Netflix or whatever you know I mean if there's the thing you can't stop thinking about it you have to do it it's nothing to do with the money you should want to do it regardless of money or penny or or career or anything I am I was gonna say something my mind has gone blank because then they've got like the brightest sunlight in the world shining into my left eyeball and that's really distracting I thought you got out a revelation oh sorry I just came back to me good well it while it's there it'll be gone again in a minute I'm getting on in years now this happens more and more you said are you the youngest of all four doesn't bode well at all so I get exactly the same thing with a lot of my followers and I see it everywhere in where you can tell they haven't quite hit their stride you can tell they're making good progress they're on the path but they're not fully doing what they want to be doing and they're not sure what they want to be doing it's not that they're like I know I want to be doing that and that would make me yeah yes in the world they just haven't figured out it is so difficult it's the same as finding or developing a style right exactly the same principle and we've talked about this a bunch of times on the show we always tend to say well the idea is to always be doing and trying things action over in action and the paths will open up in life and don't be scared just to explore and be like ok well as few options I'm gonna go for that one and you go down that path another part opens up you're like ok I'll try that one and you go down all these random little class until eventually you're further down in your overall journey and I would say probably correct me if I'm wrong Lisa I don't think any of us are a hundred percent there in terms of we are totally doing what makes us the most content all the time look obviously I think with anything there's gonna be good and bad stuff but I'd say I'm pretty darn happy yeah I think I think you might be the closest Ian I'm saying we're not there because for example you're saying how much you love teaching and that kind of thing but I know that's not all of what you do and you've kind of talked about you wish you could spend all your time doing that stuff but right now for example with like social media and that and that kind of thing you're doing it in many ways for brand awareness but it doesn't bring in all the money you need to with other things yeah it's just that I suppose that the confliction of you the sort of or the blurred light between making money from what you're doing and just generally enjoying what you're doing and sometimes I can I think when it's you would be you know you'll paying your bills with the thing that you're passionate bandies I suppose for me it was my hobby to start with it's a weird place to be in because you are like then sometimes like you know something pops up and a you problems your car and you have to get pay later bills to sort that out and you're like oh I need some more money that requires me to be more creative to be able to get more money in and say you're like alright suddenly it becomes like I just need to do stuff and you know you might I don't and then the thing is for me I get caught up in the fact that that my yn is based on my ideas so if my ideas on there then how are you so that's that's a state that's a really big sticking point for me because it's like ideas sometimes come really easily on one hand and sometimes just nothing there's just nothing this is like my brain is just full of nothing and I like come on brain you could come on you could just go to big psych yeah and yeah and it's just having like the summer has been quite like both me and my wife been working we try and chuckle who's looking after kids and trying it family they've got the kids stuff like that and so it's been a bit out of routine and that's been actually I found that quite high I didn't think I was personal for eating by actually I am so I didn't have time like I would usually like the kids go off to school and I go like half now listen to music and just yeah go for a walk and that was sort of sometimes clear my head didn't have that and so yeah it's been a weird weird we we'd we can now lost where we were going okay so I guess my point was let's say a hundred percent is the goal where you're totally doing absolutely everything you want to be doing you're fully content and you're not dealing with the crap that you don't want to be doing Jesus will you ever get there maybe maybe not but let's say maybe Ian and I are 90 percent of the way there and maybe you're like 95 percent of the way there Lisa I'd also say I'm 90 okay well all right we're all 90 then I guarantee a lot of the people listening might be 20 or 30 or 40 or 60 or whatever and that's totally fine but I think it's good to have the context of how long we've been doing what we've been doing and how many things we've tried like I what's the total meant for you guys because I know I'm young but I started this stuff when I was 12 and yes I was at school but I was spending serious time in the evenings like really pouring into learning all this trying different things out launching different things so I've been doing this for 18 years and I'm at ninety percent you know what I mean like how ya long for you guys but I think it depends on how you want to measure stuff because I guess I've been feeding my creativity and imagination my whole life I never let that go to waste or I never left that atrophy if I can call it that I think some people do though that's it I think they don't you know they don't play an experiment they don't even if I don't have a creative job well their job doesn't allow them to fully express their creativity they don't then have that thing on the side that still keeps them fired up and I think I never lost that I think I continue to do that even though I had the really stressful not so creative magazine design jobs I mean I work for a soccer magazine like that's not really that creative you know but I did that for like four years and you know then it was a wine magazine and then a wine that's more you you know say yes it's about I guess even you could say I've been I've been prepping for where I am today my whole life I don't know that's I guess depends on how you want to look at it but a long time basically a long time and I mean in you've been an experimental creative person probably your life too and if you weren't that way inclined if you weren't inquisitive and you didn't have that thing of well I want to try and learn something new you wouldn't have sat down and actually picked up that book you know calligraphy for dummies and actually worked your way through it you wouldn't have done that and so I think my thing is a lot to do with with attitude actually even though you have maybe like a really crappy job and you 20% happy there but at night and you know you might there's nothing stopping you from coming home at night and like you've got the set up where it's like just feeding your creativity whether it's I don't know you gotta let see shop on the side or you making jewelry or you're baking cakes or you whatever yeah I think I think it depends on harm back to what you're saying tom depends on how badly you want to keep that alive mm-hmm and I'll give you guys an analogy I I don't know if you're similar but I know with elements of my house I'd be quite busy I'll let them to generate and bits to add up over quite a long time so for example we've got a room in our house and it's been like a over a year of it getting like Messier and more disorganized and things around that have been like breaking around the house and never getting fixed and nothing big but it's all little things which kind of stress you out in the back of your mind and this was what my Instagram post was about Lisa basil yeah and had so much energy at the weekend that basically pretty much redecorate and organized that room fixed all the little bits around the house like got everything done basically in one swoop and I think life works similarly for many of us it's not that we're constantly like monitoring often things will creep in and we won't realise and then two years three years five years later you're like oh I hadn't realised it degenerates at that point where my focus had been lost but there's nothing to say that you can't do a bit of a makeover for things so if you've reached a point where actually you're a bit lacking in contentment for certain areas of your work or what you're doing there's no reason why you can't spend a day or a weekend or whatever and sit down and really kind of pour through everything you're doing and be like you know what I'm only doing things this way because it's been a slow devolution to this point and I don't have to and actually when I wake up and snap myself out of it and think you know what I'm going to change that I'm going to stop doing that I'm going to do more of that you can do that and I think that instant wake-up call of like you know I'm gonna fix things can be really powerful because absolutely as I say it's just the accumulation of like lots of little things slipping four years can get you to that point and you have to also sorry include not only the physical all the routine things but your mind and your thoughts as well because sometimes you before you know you're in this this place and you just think that you can't get out of it you think that this is it this is your life you just have to accept it and so true you know you can change the way you think about it or change the way you see stuff but doesn't always have to be a physical you know like move all or change jobs or whatever it can it can actually be something in your mind as well I'm becoming really fascinated with this stuff lately because I think particularly I know not everyone listening is going to be a self-employed but I think particularly if you are this stuff can mess with your head because you have more freedom than you realize I think it's human nature just to fall into habits and routines but their ultimate ly self-imposed it's like let's say you're freelancing from home you could like you know normally standing family commitments etc but you could technically wake up tomorrow and be like you know what I'm gonna shift my entire working day six hours later so I'm gonna start six hours later and finish six hours later just because I'm not saying that would be a good idea but it is pretty much the opposite of say a corporate office where it's like you work at these times you follow these protocols and this works so and that kind of thing like you can do whatever the hell you want if you like okay well starting tomorrow I'm gonna drink six coffees a day and I'm gonna turn things on its head and redecorate my office and try more of this stuff and every 15 minutes I'm gonna get up and do a silly dance at my desk like you can do whatever the hell you want but as humans we generally don't do that stuff because it's almost like there's some invisible force standing over us it's like an invisible bus right like kind of making us do things in a certain way and always reply well it's all self-inflicted so yeah I feel pity you know it's my own doing yeah so it's so illogical though it's like because that's a magnet of stuff that makes us miserable that's what stifles our contentment and then you like hold on I'm the only one imposing this exactly some deep psychological research on this I certainly will not say I understand it but like I said I'm becoming really fascinated with why we sabotage ourselves in these ways searching I tried to be more organized in here because my oh yeah I was just my stuff there is stuff still everywhere in this one but him other one which is pretty here everything was covered and I was like okay I need to get sorted because like I actually messy so I have to like really work hard not to be messy but it does help and it has really helped me you know every sort of clarity as you trying this'll do some stuff if you can actually find the thing you're looking for and I think that's the case we're not just you know we work but it's you know hope life you know making sure this thing sorted in there you're not like letting them step just because it's getting in the way of work and stuff like that because that can be like I say a mental block I've been like you know the summary is a good point to sort of do take things off your to-do list you know know um especially at home because it's sort of a slower pace over the summer and so yeah Oh for me I saw him get bursts of energy like that's it got to do it I got a you know paint this wall or whatever it may be do you find you can't stop I am so of that nature I'll start a project and particularly if it's something that takes a day or two it's like I can't stop to eat or sleep I'm I need to get this done now cuz I'm on a roll my my over the past couple years haven't done it actually not this year but the past two years for with that my process for making products was three days of light not much sleep and like working all hours because I'm not very good at doing long-term so I would like okay I had a deadline of like you know Tuesday Tuesday evening alright Wednesday waiting are gonna get it that's where it needs to be done that's really repeats be posted this is new come and get it please and I would literally work from like Friday night where I go to we came per then just Monday and Tuesday just finishing it off and just getting everything done because I I have to have that sort of pressure yeah yeah that's another thing I'd to work out he's like walk what mate what motivates me in my work well what motivates me to get jobs done you know in the house and it's that okay why maybe invite some around like two days time currently angrily curtains in the lounge they're gonna come and they can sit in a lounge you don't want to like you know because people walking past the house but they can see straight into your into our lounge they don't want that so that will give me like okay I gotta get it done you know booth it's like well yeah we just get it done whatever yeah later piece of string yeah I think circling around a lot of the stuff we're talking about today I got a question on Instagram from I don't if you know Laura Nifty Fox creative I think a little is yes lovely woman one of my favorite people on Instagram very talented letterer and designer as well and she was talking about hitting a bit of creative block and how maybe that was making her its discontent right being really ignorant here discontented discontented yeah I think how embarrassing but yes you know she was talking about that and kind of asking advice and I actually thought of you Ian with you I know we always come back to this your vegetable calligraphy and stuff and I was saying to her if you're feeling that way one of the best things you can do is get random and weird and have some fun and forget about all the day-to-day stuff you're doing and go and do that project that you've always thought about but never kind of taken the leap the project where you're like that'd be a wacky idea or you've kind of thought up in the shower or you're like that would be a bit of fun and you've never quite fit in go do that because I guarantee that would be the best way to get in a switch gears mentally and to get out of that funk because what have you got to lose like it's not for a client you know you're not gonna lose money or anything like that for doing it you're just gonna go do some like weird wacky random thing that you've had on your to-do list forever and I think that's one of the best ways to feel content and blow away their creative cobwebs that you have to do something really quickly like maybe come up with idea and do it really quickly before your brain has tire a chance to catch up with you because like I find a night like last night I had fight a really strong coffee like 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon I couldn't get to sleep till 2 o'clock in the morning because my brain was just on another planet just like going through everything like I was just like I just want you to shut up but it was just going through like a ton of different things and there was like a really cool idea problem was like you know sometimes it's good to let ideas mature and to develop it but then sometimes there's like ones where you like leave it and then you'll bring it oh it's not that good idea no one's gonna finish funny either or stuff like that and so they don't you know he gets the next thing that actually you don't do it and sometimes you need to act on it straight away just like say blow the cobwebs away just get yourself out of that creative block or whatever that may be yeah and sometimes they're sort of like trying out outwit your brain to think yeah I know no no it's not a good idea is this the creative equivalent of how your mind doesn't know your stomach's full for 20 minutes yes so giving it yeah so I did with those theatres before huckle and boy am i regretting that now over in a Mexican haze all right things I don't want to feel for that's my problem yeah I would just like no no no I just keep eating because otherwise I give it the chance to think like you personified your stomach I mean I think I think the minute we start thinking over thinking stuff I think that's where the magic just disappears doesn't it you know it's like that whole thing of okay I'm probably gonna get this all wrong and mix it up but that quantum physics it's like when you try and put your finger on it it's like shifts you can never quite get it it's yeah never mind of course you read quantum physics [Applause] but that one we did understand it but it's the same as dreams like them I need to try and remember them the next morning the point the harder you think about them the more they disappear I think it's the same thing it's yeah yeah we call it with the science stuff Lisa all right we're here for art dude casual stuff like that no I like it okay what what hours on the contentment front I mean around what we're saying would you agree is perhaps being more spontaneous would that be a good way to define it better definitely yeah way so that you're you know you're in a sort of creativity or spirit or whatever you want to call it can I at least have a moment you know yeah because yeah that old stuff kinda gets set aside and the kids stuff comes forward because I forget what you call it but it's like we're in certain types of therapy I think or maybe films about exorcisms they get you to start writing and it eventually turns into words right so it's kind of just lines and then your brain shuts off and your hand starts writing words yeah and in the same way imagine that pen becomes a paintbrush or a mouse or something like that you could literally just start creating and it could it will start like abstract and random but it will naturally move towards something because your brain doesn't like disorder forever so why not make that the exercise on the back of today's show start designing with nothing in mind and see how awkward it feels because you'd be like but I need something I need some direction just like make a line make a shape add some color add something else take something away and then just build it from there and a few hours later it could be the most cathartic thing that you've done a week yep something that I I've come to realize that play is just such an awesome part of what I do or what we do is creatives it's just playing around with different things you know like a child doesn't think oh I'm no good using paint brushes are not gonna pick well yeah I think it's I was listening to a short clip of a TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson and he was talking about how we got educated out of creativity and then he is really quite right to write down which was if you're not prepared to be wrong you'll never come up with anything original and just how the kids are just prepared to do stuff even though it might be wrong or you know they but you know what I see the most is when you get a kid to draw a person and they're quite happily drew a person you get an adult to draw a person they would just not even pick up the pen and try and do it because they're worried about what other people think or look a certain way whereas a child will will create something from what they think it should look like or what the dimensions they think it should look like and I think you know that sort of sense and someone left a comment underneath saying mistakes are part of the learning process in fact they are where the learning takes place creativity exploration curiously all take time and space and space is needed for these ideas to form and I was like oh so good you know in terms of like just how are we function is you know if everyone is creative I thought everyone is crazy I feel that there's just this sometimes people put a block up because they're not great yep yeah in their mind they're not great and yeah a lot B comes down to what other people will think oh if I do a person it would be rubbish you know but that's their own opinion it's and you have to start rubbish you know has to be roughly and there's so many variants as well and there's yeah sticking with the people example there are people that do photo realism because you can't tell the difference between that and it's crazy and you do people who do stick figures and you do people who do abstract cartoons for newspapers and people who do caricature ours and people that do cute illustrations and people that do somewhere between cute and realistic kind of like yours Lisa it's not it's not likely you know what I mean it has like nice and a and a B and stuff but it's all sake you see and thousands of other variants beyond that and so whatever yours yeah exactly whatever you like yours will fit somewhere on there I said won't inherently suck there will always be a space I couldn't do photo realism but I might fit into one of those other other pockets better hmm and the only way you discover where you feel like you fit and I don't mean fit in society or the art world I mean fit within yourself is to actually just do it sorry you can't there's no there's no there's no speedy way there's no shortcut there's no whatever it's just you have to create and I think going back to contentment there's there's such pressure these days which I understand why they would be but there is enormous pressure like I've got to find my staff got to find it now and I've got to like you know get my signature out there I think enjoy the journey of like the creating and filling it out and experimenting and playing and that's cuz it's those times that you're gonna remember and and to be honest that's that's what I love the most about what I still do because I mean I ain't no everyone's evolving all the time you know in you Tom we're all changing and evolving all the time and and it's only now in the last couple years of my life that I've realized just the act of doing the creating is the real kiff stuff that's like the amazing staff you know it's not the it's not the making money out of it or whatever it's it's the fact that you actually use and you're doing it and man that's awesome that's awesome stuff it is and I think we forget we forget about that you know I think I think what we forget about is just creating because we want to create yourself and I think it's we can't see because of social media I think you know there's bad side is that we're just comparing ourselves we'd make something and we look at someone else's and say to me don't think well that's just my family but we we don't know that they've been there now 70 and they've been practicing this since they were you know one or they're 30 but they're miserable yeah there was a on the radio there's a rebadged statistic about 1 in 300 for girls so yeah and do what's our self harming that yeah it's pretty soon you know and they think the main reason is that is because they see the perfect pictures on social media and inspire to that and that's you know in the creative way that's what happens we see these flawless pieces of art and we just think well I'm never gonna tain that you know in and stop doing what we do or you know just we go down a placement yeah and and and just because you saw that beautiful piece of art you didn't see the 50,000 I think the person did before they got there you know it's not just likes PR tha's perfect piece of our it was like a story you know so how about we're saying compare less consume less in many cases I assume less social media and stuff create more and have fun more yes it's not as good as your copy sir learn not to n I think that's the old time but yeah with that what that could look like in practice rather than just being like an airy very quite right is maybe get a tracker on your phone like I've done where it tells you how much time you spend on your phone every day and what apps because I found that really interesting and I spend it on godly amount of time on Instagram it turns out so I don't feel like it's making me miserable because I'm using it for certain things but I think for a lot of people it probably is it's just that consumption of content it's not really furthering what they're doing and in many cases it's making them feel worse so why don't you agree to cut back on that for an hour a day or even let's make it more manageable ten minutes a day you can spare them and that's right everyone can so ten minutes less consumption a day and then you fill that 10 minutes doing a ran and wacky fun project like we talked about where you either just start creating with nothing in mind or you do that project you've had on the backburner or whatever it might be you just do that and what your contentment go up definitely and all the weird and wonderful things that you start thinking about doing you know because from there it sparks something else and and you know before you know it I would be so cool to do this and then when you've done that you go I really want to try that and that's the whole point and before you know is you've actually you know five years down the line you now full-time something else hmm because you started experimenting you know yeah 100% hmm okay so any closing thoughts for the listeners in terms of finding contentment I think I think you're right I think you just need to say your yeah exactly compare less consume less create more have fun more yes love it all right there you go I basically just need what you guys are saying and just tied up with a bow at the end well thank you so much for everyone for tuning in this week yeah we will hopefully have Dustin back next week cuz we miss the guy we do miss you Dustin but I do hope that everyone got some value from today's episode I hope that you're feeling fired ups going a bit of fun don't take life so seriously remember the words of mr. peeler and get creating alright we catch you guys soon see right thanks so much for listening to this week's episode we hope that you're feeling fired up to go and create and most of all to enjoy it as always you can find full show notes over on its designers comm or find us over on iTunes and it now Spotify by searching for the honest designers shape and remember we're on social media too if you search for honest designers if today's episode helped you then it would mean the world to us we took just a moment to leave us a quick review over on iTunes as this is one of the best ways for other designers to discover the show thanks again for tuning in and we'll see you next week right here on the honest designers show

5 thoughts on “FINDING CONTENTMENT AS A CREATIVE | Honest Designers Podcast Episode 83

  • Enjoy this episode? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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  • I love your chats guys, been following and listening along since the beginning. Feel like I know you all even though we've never met! Just wanted to say.

  • Quantum physics on Friday afternoon ( in my case) :):):)
    Thank you for laughing at loud :):)
    Great episode though 🙂

  • Love the show, this episode made me subscribe! I appreciate how you all aren't stuffy and putting on airs for the podcast. Thanks for giving me a good conversation to listen to while I work!

    https://www.mattragan.work/

  • Loved it! I worry a lot and talk myself out of ideas and projects that I really want to make, I guess because of a fear of failure (or success?!) Would love to hear if any of you have this and how to tackle it. It's incredibly annoying! Love listening to you guys every week 🙂

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