Hey <<First Name>>,
I have a hard time being creative and original.
My job can be mentally exhausting, and when I come home at the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is flex my right-brain-muscle into a new side project.
I used to hate doing prescriptive creative work. I used to believe that because I went to ART SCHOOL, I was above sewing patterns, craft tutorials, and paint-by-numbers. I didn't want to do any type of craft that came with instructions or had a pre-determined outcome. It's too constraining! It's too obvious! Of course, I can make something better than this craftsy tutorial is telling me.
As a result of this unnecessary pressure I put on myself, I just didn't make anything. My creative pursuits outside of work for most of the past 6 years have been few and far between.
Just last year, I started working with instructions more intentionally. I took a sewing class at Patch Halifax and made a shirt. I took another sewing class and made a quilt. I bought a dress pattern and a t-shirt pattern and a quilt pattern and made them at home. Even in my cooking, I stopped improvising as much and started following recipes to the letter.
It's so much easier to start a new project when I have some direction for how it will turn out. I get to practice making things and make little alterations and iterations as I go along. I may not end up with something that looks exactly like the instructions, but I end up with things that have my own mark on them.
If you're feeling the same way, I encourage you to follow someone else's rules a little bit and see where it goes. Maybe a paint-by-number, a colouring book, a dress pattern, or unfamiliar cookbook could be just the thing.
Recommended reading this month:
🔨10 things to DIY instead of buy. A head start and some good ideas on some instructional creative pursuits! My next project is roman shades for several windows in our house that still have those ugly blinds from the 90's.
🏃Last Thursday, I ran my first ever design sprint review. I'm taking these tips from LEGO on how to do the next one.
🌸A history of floral prints in design. I love how florals are always present in interior design but in such dramatically different ways over the years.
👗Do you have a dress code? I love the idea of limiting colour palettes and silouhettes in my wardrobe, but I feel like it's such a commitment. Also, the lady in this article is super brave for going all pastel. I would need to have a Tide Pen in my back pocket all the time.
😂Related: how to get rid of clutter.
📈All the internet trends for 2018. The one that surprised me: "More people start product searches on Amazon than search engines ". WOW.
👠We just passed the 20 year anniversary of the premiere of Sex and the City and so the internet has been reminiscing for the past week. Fifteen writers share the moments from the show they have not stopped thinking about. I relate to the "You are comic?" one so much. I don't know why that scene appears in my brain every few months but it DOES.
💰Attention freelancers, solopreneurs, and remote workers: Vermont will pay you $10k to move there and work remotely. In Nova Scotia, we have the same problem where too many people are ageing out of the workforce and not contributing as much to taxes. This is a really interesting and creative solution on how to bring more young people to a place with an ageing population.
⏰Startup Timelines is a fun way to see what websites from big tech companies (like airbnb) looked like inthe early days.
Recommended Listening & Watching:
A few months ago I start watching Lost and The Office. I know it's not 2005 anymore, but they're two TV shows that informed SO MUCH of pop culture and I hadn't seen a single episode of either one. As a result, I'm on season 5 of Lost and season 8 of The Office and I'm not up to date on ANY current media whatsoever.
I did listen to a great episode of This American Life recently that had a segment about a puppies-only TV channel and it was delightful. I can't stop thinking about it.
If you read all the way to the end:
I've been looking all over for a sewing pattern that closely mimics this amazing romper worn by a young Martha Stewart. If I find it, I will cast aside all my other summer projects for this.
PS: new here? Check out the archive of past newsletters!