Becoming a better Designer

Around this time last year I started blogging regularly and I wanted it to document my journey from here to there – there being IDEO.

I'm not there yet but a friend of mind posed a really great question. What if the industry still existed but ideo no longer exists? Then what?

This question was posed to ensure I wasn't putting ideo on a pedestal and for me to research and figure out other ways to do the work I'm interested in. It floored me. I had no responses and began to wonder," are there any other companies that do similar work?"

Regardless of the answer, I believe that I first have to become a better designer. I need to be designing for people in need, and to be solving real world problems. They can be small or big- but the best ones are within reach.

Most of design today is based on existing products that are slightly modified, but planned for obsolescence.

I keep debating if it's wise to return to school for a graduate degree or if I can continue in my field to gain additional experience. The field has grown exponentially and it's become competitive in a different playing field. But IDEO.org stands out to me as they focus on designing for people in poverty.

This hits home because my family knows what it means to grow up in poverty and struggling. Ever since I learned the power of design, I've wanted to use it to do good and to service people. It's what drew me deeper into the world of product design- designing products to improve people's lives.

So where does one start to improve themselves as an industrial designer? Especially when access to tools and understanding of engineering is limited- insert me and my scenario. Often you'll hear people say scratch your own itch. But for me, industrial design is all about scratching the itch for other people in need.

Behind the scenes painting process

Behind the scenes painting process

So as many people know – especially if you are following along my Facebook timeline and maybe even my twitter feed, I’ve been using my art and design to help raise funds for my missions trip in just a few short weeks.

I found out today that my campaign is trending. (Yay) But trending won’t get me to Haiti 🇭🇹 Donations will. As an incentive to encourage people to give more, if one donates $100 or more I’ll create a custom piece for them.

Today I’ll show you behind the scenes of painting number three. I can’t show you the completed painting of number two because well, it’s been shipped out and the recipient hasn’t gotten it just yet. I don’t want any spoilers and I have no clue if she reads my blog.

Where it Starts

After someone donates I follow up with them to see what they’d like me to create.

Each canvas is 18 by 24 inches long. This canvas is being prepped for a hand lettered quote. I use various brands of paint but DickBlick has really good acrylic paints. The colors are vibrant and they dry with a semi-gloss finish.

Painted canvas


Typically I use larger paint brushes to cover large canvas but since this is a painting with such detail and precision I’ll be using these fine brushes I purchased on Amazon. If I want an easy cleanup, I use this wax like sheets for a pallet. I can’t remember the brand and the cover has been torn off. I also have different containers to put my paints and mix in but since the colors on this next piece will be limited I’ll stick the the above paper like a pallet.

I’ll sketch out ideations for the hand lettering piece and work on the composition for the best way the quote can be read with impact.

(No previews because the canvas is still wet and I wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise for my donors).

After finding the right layout and sketch I will use tracing paper and carbon paper to get the image to the canvas. Since this canvas is black I’ll be scanning my sketch into the camera and projecting my image onto the canvas.

I can show you a finished piece that has been delivered – she made a video about it on Facebook.



What can I make for you? Remember to donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/haitimissions17

Something Is Happening Here

Something Is Happening Here

It’s getting easier to share my writings and as comments pour in there is a new found motivation happening. So far the topics that seem to resonate the most are fitness/wellness and health, beauty, faith and spirituality, and a few of the life lessons learned.

While this is an assumption, it informs me that the writing needs to be relatable and not always offer a solution-  but perhaps invite someone to share their experience, thoughts and opinions. A common ground really.

But something else is happening as well, showing up to my blog allowed me to talk freely (where I felt comfortable in sharing publicly) about myself, my struggles, fears and dislikes – but as new people come along for the journey I know I don’t wish to sound like I am rambling. It’s forcing me to choose my topics a bit more intentionally.

But my writing were (selfishly) for me. A place to clear my head, improve my writing style, “find my voice” as people like to say and just explore. But more people are peeping in. Curiosity is striking and I see you! 🙂

One thing I believe is that we have one life and everything is interconnected. From the choices we make, to the people we meet, the seasons of life and everything in between its there with and for purpose.

I want these writing to help me articulate better and help me in finding clarity – especially when it comes to designing for people. This thing thats happening has only come through experimenting, showing up consistently, and being authentic.

Perhaps a crowd is forming- and I’m not gonna lie – it’s interesting to take note, to point it out even. Perhaps an audience is forming.

 

365 Days of Writing: An Update

365 Days of Writing: An Update

365 days of writing:an update 

First I want to thank you for subscribing. I always find it interesting that people subscribe to blogs of those they don’t know. Typically something has resonated with you for you to subscribe – so thank you. You are among several that hit the subscribe button over the past month or so- and if you haven’t checked the about page I figure it would be wise to give an update as a post (and if I’m honest with myself I wasn’t sure what else to write about). 

Back in September of 2016, an online design community I am a part of decided to go through a course that’s made free if you are a member. It’s called 30 days to better writing. This blog however has been around for some time. I started it when I transferred schools in college. I wanted to document my journey to becoming a professional designer. Back then for me professional =paid and my views have since changed and it would have been great to have the documentation of it but why remince on the past?. I hadn’t seen many people do that – document where they want to be or how they got there. Instead it was often a story told in hindsight. Through writing and blogging, I’ve since learned that it ought to help someone (even if it’s just for the author). 

Currently, I’m on a mission to write everyday. There are times where I’ve found myself to write multiple times a day – some are kept in a personal hand written journal or through an app called day one. 

Writing has been a form of expression for me growing up. Yes, I was one of those kids that kept a diary or a journal as some people called it… until my mom came across it. She yelled at me for some stuff I was planning to do – oh the joys of childhood and the little I really knew about life. When that happened I destroyed all my personal journals. 

Now as I write, it helps me clear my head – it’s become a form of therapy, and a way to articulate myself. 

So Welcome!, and Thanks for joining the journey – my writing hasn’t been specifically only about my design aspirations of hoping to work for IDEO, but more of the day to day experiences in between. Thus far I’ve written about my faith, disappointments, fears, concerns, lessons learned and experiences I’ve had from the culture I’ve been raised within (I’m Haitian American by the way).

As I hit publish today, it marks my 228th day of consecutive writing. I can’t wait to hit day 265 because I can then do a 100 day countdown. What I’d really like to start implementing are interviews, diy, and even more lessons learned, more about my faith and how it leads me in my decision making, and other side projects I’d like to explore along with book reviews – the list can go on and on. 

As more people subscribe to my blog I find it interesting and and feel that there needs to be a more coherent purpose to my writings. I believe that clarity comes through searching and implementation and showing up to write everyday has been a part of that process. 

If there’s a specific post that resonated with you, let me know. If there’s a topic that you’d like me to write more on let me know! I like when the blog is interactive. It lets me know I’m not alone in this massive world and that the issues I face are not that of my own. 

If you subscribed via email and are a bit shy of leaving a comment you can always hit reply and I’ll see your message.

See ya tomorrow on the blog!

In Two Years

In Two Years

This morning I was scrolling through my photos on my phone and I came across one that was taken during my brother and sister (in law) wedding shower.

I was so happy back then.

I was working out, I enjoyed the outfits I was able to wear and well… two years down the line, and a whole lot of stress later – I’ve gained nearly thirty pounds, a double chin and then some.

However, looking at those photos made me realize I can still change a few things.

It motivated me to take my behind to the gym this morning. I did 45 minutes of cardio. I figured that 45 min on the treadmill is more than I did yesterday. I also figured if it means walking the pounds away – so be it.

I’ve been researching more about nutrition and health. Fun (random fact) I always told myself if a career in design didn’t work out, I’d go back for nutritional health. I’ve since reached out to several people that are well versed in the subject and I’m slowly but surely working my way back into better health.

I’ve found that it can be difficult to be well when your state of mind isn’t in the right place. In the past month (March) I’ve had highs and lows throughout the month. Having the right people in your corner is so important for growth strength and improvement in this thing we call life.

 

Waiting For Inspiration

Waiting for inspiration is probably one of the worst things you can do. There is no guarantee that inspiration will motivate you to take action on what you’ve been stalling on.

I’ll admit, I was stalling on writing today. I completed an entire paragraph only to l feel that my topic wasn’t genuine or interesting. In my opinion it was full of fluff. I was writing just to write. It then made me think – what was it that I was searching for? Why wasn’t I writing? Then the thought crossed my mind, “I don’t feel inspired.” It’s true, I wasn’t feeling inspired. But should we wait to feel inspired to take action? 

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A Life Of Waiting

How many times have you said these things?

I can’t wait until I’m an adult! 

I can’ wait until I’m older!

I can’t wait to get to high school, college, graduate…

I can’t wait until I’m 21 

I can’t wait to have a boyfriend

I can’t wait to get married

I can’t wait to have children

I can’t wait to get that promotion….. 

As you get older the “I can’t wait turns into something else. Other people are waiting to see your life transform. Maybe its so that you can share experiences and stories (that’s the positive spin on it – but not everyone is for you). It doesn’t help that when I walk into certain premises the “expectations of other people in their waiting” are reinforced.

All too often I hear, “When are you getting married?” – excuse me but I can’t propose to myself.

“When are you having children?” – see the above.

“It’s time to change jobs.” – Are you hiring and willing to pay well? 

“You should buy a house.” – I believe in no debt, and I’m working my way out of it.

“You Should move to get a better job.” – Family is important to me, If I move it has to be worthwhile.

“You should go back to school.” ….. But should I? Will you give me the funds to go? Will you create the time in my schedule for me to attend? I am an advocate of education – it doesn’t always have to be in the school system. Besides the world is changing, technology is emerging, yet it seems that our systems are not evolving. 


 

One of the best quotes I’ve heard while indulging in youtube videos is this:

Opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has them but they don’t really matter.

This dialogue that I constantly hear translates into a life of waiting. I don’t believe that life is intended to be lived that way. It causes anxiety, unnecessary stress, and you never know what you may be imposing onto other people. I believe that life should be lived to its fullest. It should be filled with lasting experiences. People need to learn to develop their own thoughts. They need to understand who they are – and yes I realize people are “developing later” i.e. moving out of their parents home later, having children later – just every thing extended later in life.

Rather than impose on people see where their hearts and minds are, see what their dreams and aspirations are. Get to know them.

While hoping and expecting for certain life experiences is a good thing, I personally don’t need the constant reminder that I am aging and that “time is running out”. Yes life is short, but its also life-long.

Things I wish my mom taught me sooner… Part 1

Things I wish my mom taught me sooner…. Part 1
Let me start by saying I am not a parent.
While I hope to be one in the future I hope that this post would come back to me as a reminder to my future parent self.
Now that my formality introduction is out the way here are a few things I wish I learned sooner in life.

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