This is As Real As It Gets

 Some people may not like it when you spill your guts online. They believe you are seeking for attention the wrong way. Who gets to define what’s right or wrong anyway? People’s experiences differ from one person to the next. When I first started this blog in 2009 I wanted to be able to look back and see the progression of where I was – a sophomore in college to when I am today. Instead I got distracted with other platforms. (I first began on blogger, then came to WordPress, then went to tumblr, then square space. I now use WordPress for my personal site and squarespace for my design stuff.)
I’ve redefined my goals and I spent a lot of time in discussion hoping to have everything planned out of how I plan to get to a new work place – that place being IDEO.
I spoke to countless people, got feed back about what to write about, how to approach it etc. At the end of the day none of that matters because right now I lack the number one thing they look for in their employees. Creative confidence. (This is my own conclusion by the way). They even wrote a book about it – which I’ve read. I have come to the conclusion that I’ve spent too much time gathering information and not enough time doing and creating. I’ve seen job posts come and go of what I wanted to apply for – I simply felt that I don’t have enough to offer or that I am not good enough.
Funny because Justin and I “spoke” through email over several months – and he gave me that same advice. It’s the whole reason I titled this blog “from here to there“. When I think of what I want to come of this, these writings, ramblings etc. – the only thing I hope from this blog is that it encourages someone to push past their own fear and do what it is they’ve been wanting to do for years (as long as it is deemed legal and good). I’ve watched (and continue to watch) as my own mother set her dreams aside year after year of wanting to take up her seamstress and tailoring services full-time. I am not at a place to help serve her full time. At times I think of the Airplane advisory – to put your own mask on before helping another person. If I can pay down my student loan debt and she was willing to really do the work, I’d be more than willing to help her launch her business and find people willing to help support her. I believe as a creatives we struggle to show people the value design and creativity has to offer in their business. The world is filled with color and different forms of creativity and I often wish people could see that.
After reading Justin’s email these were a few thoughts I was able to jot down.
This is as real as it gets: (yes, I’m about to spill my guts on the internet, turn away if you wish not to read).
There aren’t many people who look like me in creative spaces. Better yet many people that look like me don’t have the opportunity to pursue a higher degree due to lack of finances, education, knowledge exposure.
I hate to have you think it’s all about race. For me it’s not, but it does play a part. I have to think about things like does my hair look professional, are my colors shouting too loud? is my hair too big. are the fragrances I wear too infiltrating? When I open my mouth to speak, do I sound intelligent enough? Are my morals in conflict with what I’ve learned? and ultimately the biggest question of them all will doing this get me fired?
This isn’t so much of me starting over – but this is me getting beyond frustrated and just saying F^&* it! and see what happens.
My goal: Work at IDEO by next January 2018.
What I am doing to get there: taking all of their online courses and in between that I am also doing client work. It includes hand lettering, graphic design, web design and learning more about product design. I’ll also be practicing my sketching to help me get better at my visual story telling.
I’m working on my conversational skills. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it in my blog but I really despise small talk. I do enjoy deep conversations and I am  genuinely interested in what people have to say and talk about. I love learning about what people do and why they do what they do, how they ended up there and if they enjoy their life. However when conversations are surface level its a huge disappointment.
Where I’m at now? Well right now I’m siting on my couch in my little makeshift of a room. However in life… sigh… I have a lot of roles that I am wearing. I have a problem saying NO. I don’t like to disappoint people. So in that sense I feel that I am obligated to follow through because I am needed. Not many people are willing to step up. On the contrary, I am working to change a few things and encouraging other people to step up.
Some of the ministry roles I have in my church are: I switched into a VP role (previously the president) of a singles ministry at my church. I am working on delegating more as the previous two years I wore the hat most of the time. I struggled with wanting everything to be perfect and ended up taking on the responsibility for everything.
Basically, It was hard to trust that other people would come through and not disappoint. (This is a work in progress). I am working on playing up the supportive role and encouraging other people to take on roles in leadership. I believe there is a lot of stretching and growth that happens in a leadership role. It changes the perspectives of what and how you think.
I am the treasurer  at my church for my youth group. As of right now it doesn’t take up too much time. However, (there’s always a but…) meetings can be more efficient. How? In terms of knowing what goal(s) we’d like to achieve before we start, setting a rigid time, people staying focused on the subject, and sending the agenda before we actually meet.
My living situation: I still live at home with my grandmother, mom and younger sister. Anyone seeing the situation would tell me to move out. I can’t do that just yet. In the Haitian community women don’t move out until they are married. Otherwise it gives you a “bad name”. For me though, I’m still saving up my coins and paying down my expenses.
I volunteer with the All Stars Project. It’s where I first learned about professionalism and learned how to properly shake someone’s hand. It’s where I learned to put a resume together. I volunteer helping Inner city youth – like myself – get exposed to business professionals. In the end students gain real life work experience while getting paid through an internship – and I don’t mean getting coffee.
Haiti Trip: About a year ago I mentioned to one of the leaders in my church that I wanted to go to Haiti. While that’s where my parents migrated from, I’d never been there. At times I do feel a bit of me is missing. I’d like to see my homeland – or my moms homeland. I’d like to see where my mom and granny grew up. I’ve written a proposal, and well…. it’s currently in the works. We are set for December of 2017. Hopefully I can update in the future in a blog.
Side projects:
There are so many. This year I wanted to start a YouTube channel making videos about design thinking, and human centered design. I’ve published a few, and what I’ve learned so far is that it takes much more time and planning than I initially thought. I didn’t really define my goals and what I wanted to be doing on there. I did have a few personal goals like tracking my weight loss progression, work on my public speaking and other things of that nature. A few of the videos well… they aren’t good. I’ve decided I can just record myself drawing and painting and post those up for now and when people start asking questions I can answer them.
I wanted to post daily on IG – I have yet to get past a 7 day streak – with lettering and graphic design. I am constantly fighting the urge of not wanting to be boxed in as a lettering artist/designer. My formal training was in industrial design – what attracted me to that is designing products with purpose for people. Which takes me back to IDEO. I read Creative Confidence by Tom  and David Kelly – and I am sold on what they are doing for people through design.

I believe that design and creativity can change the world.

Regardless of how small or how big the company design plays a role and I just wish people could see that. I wish people would pay designers well so we can quit being known as the starving artists.
Lastly, is my goal list of someday. These have to go on the back burner as I work towards my short-term goals. I’m listing them here as a reference.
  • make a podcast
  • help my mom with her business
  • take my mom anywhere in the world she’d like to visit (even if just a day)
  • research ways to help people with Alzheimer’s disease
  • attend Stanford d.School – Graduate degree?
  • public speaking
  • teach design
  • create an e-book about nutrition and health
  • change-up a few Haitian dishes and make them healthier

but really, there’s one more thing….

The big Question

What am I doing to get there?  Well, well, well. That is it the question right? Lately, I’ve been spilling my guts on the inter-webs for some time now. And most recently I enrolled in IDEOU’s design course (of which I am behind because I haven’t dedicated the proper amount of time to work on it). I am determined to finish each and every course. And While I’d love to share the process, it is a paid course – I’m not sure I can do that.


I am seeking new ways to be creative and fulfilled outside of work. Volunteering helps. Being involved in ministry and leadership helps. Yet often times there is still a void I am looking to fill. I feel most fulfilled when I am doing the work I believe I was put here to do. That is doing work and solving problems that matter. I think back to the design solutions discussed in the book creative confidence, where they are designing an infant warmer for premature babies. This hit home for me because I was born premature. MY mom told me about having to be in an incubator and she has pictures and photos. To me this is designing for people.


I think about my grandmother and how she has bed sores due to lack of mobility, rotation on the bed, and service. Can there be a product to help minimize this? People forget that service touches so many aspects of their business. They forget that compassion is important. People matter! We have aids that come in to provide service, yet they become lazy and not do their due diligence and perform the proper exercises for her. I am certain this is something many other people can relate to. Is there a way this can be changed?


Currently, I work in packaging design. I thought I’d be creating packages for people to be excited to open. Like for me, when I am at the retail and drug stores – shelf presentation is everything. I remember when method soap came out. So elegant, yet simple. It definitely stood out on the shelf. So the types of design I do revolve around packaging and display. However, I’m interested in doing design that impacts people’s lives in a different way.


Other than taking the courses I know I will also have to create some new work for my portfolio.

my biggest fear.


One thing I’ve forgotten to mention: my biggest fear. My biggest fear is getting fired and not being able to pay my bills. Why would I get fired? I don’t know. Talking about where I’d like to be and how I’d like to service others full-time through designing for another company…. Is that grounds for termination? If it ever happens I’ll let you know. But it’s probably me just over thinking and over analyzing.

I’m working on documenting the process of going through it.

Now, what questions do you have?

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