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Sketching in a Digital Industry

Back when I was a kid I liked to draw. Sketch, really. I was not, or am, a talented artist but studied my comics and later advertisements. I wasn't a doodler then but now… It has become a key part of my design process to utilize the primitive toolset of a pencil, paper, and eraser. Rulers? No need to be accurate. Protractor? Nah. Just my imagination and a pencil sharpener, if I can find one. There is something to be said for creating some with your hands that did not exist before. Sketching is an accidentally mystery; when you get lost in your distracting thoughts and inscribe them to paper, suddenly you have direction. Sketching in a digital industry is something we should all practice. You don’t have to be a designer or an artist. Think of it as a list. The world seems to be based on lists that we...

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It Feels Good to Say No

Many times over I have been apart of a “Yes! We can do that!” where it resulted in a total disaster and unneeded stress. Does that sound familiar? Years back I was working with a startup that used the answer “That’s our specialty” for everything. When I heard this, it was a “you’ve got to be kidding me” moment. When disaster strikes, we are not typically prepared for the situation. It’s like watching the football get fumbled and everyone is trying to grab it. It gets hit and kicked all over the field and you cannot help to wonder if you feel like the football or wondering how it was fumbled. In the last month I can think of three times when I said no with full confidence that I was making the right decision. Not only did I, I also found that I gained more respect and received a few more projects...

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Why You Should (Not) Fear the Youth

Throughout my life I have had many ‘nevers’. I am never going to own a business, I am never going to public speak, I am never going back to school… When I was asked to present to high school students about my path to design I did not hesitate to accept this invitation. Even my wife, an educator, was surprised that I seized the opportunity. Why did I? In the past I faced many failures and humiliated myself on my way to a career in graphic design. Life lessons I could not have possibly been taught. [caption id="attachment_3667" align="alignleft" width="300"] If you look closely I’m discussing the importance of swimming, ROM the Spaceknight, Misfits tapes, and BMX (my upbringing)[/caption] We are not instructed about failure and certainly not how to rebound from it. Even the word failure looks brutal. If I knew now what I could have known then is not something I...

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