I've come to give an update on the things that I have been doing daily that have been helping me out.  In a lot of my old posts were talks of fear, anxiety from not being consistent, and regrets of not going after stuff...and I decided that that's old.  Time to wipe those away...but it'll take a while.  Like, I'll have to do it daily...if I want to grow.

The things I do daily are:

sketchingstretching, praying, and reminding myself I'm a badass.

Sketching used to make me anxious because I didn't think I was good at it...now I sketch everyday so I can get good at it.  The one thing I didn't expect from this was all the positive feedback I have been getting from it.  People saying how my sketching has improved, or is great to look at, or encourages them to get back to drawing is super encouraging.  This daily positive reinforcement helps to battle the negative feedback I give myself.  Even some friends who don't sketch, but have something they wish they worked on everyday say that my sketch-a-day inspires them to do whatever they have been putting off.  That's dope.

I used to down myself everyday.  Not intentionally, but the way I talked to myself was unhealthy.  "I can't", "I might", "I wish, but..." "I've never been good at..." and all those other predicates I would start my sentence off with set this mood of defeat before I even started.  I stopped myself from starting...but my line sister got me this awesome calendar called "You are a BADASS" and reading it everyday lifts me before I start my work.  I sent it to my friends too.  Post it on snapchat too (lol).  Today's calendar said:

"Energy needs to flow or else it stagnates.  Surrendering puts you in the flow.  Doubt is resistance; faith is surrender.  Worry is resistance; joy is surrender.  Control is resistance; allowing is surrender.  Ridicule is resistance; believing is surrender."

This struck a cord with me because I was doing everything to resist myself.  I was the obstacle to me allowing myself to get better.  The daily reinforcements lift me before I can put myself down.  

I've been stretching everyday.  You won't believe this, but over the last year and a half I think I have pulled my hamstring 4-5 times.  Partially because I'm inconsistent in working out, partially from not treating my body well during stressful school semesters, and partially because I don't know my body well anymore.  I'm not a collegiate athlete anymore, but my mind only knows those workouts and that intensity.  It's been a crazy adjustment, but I'm building back slowly and learning what it takes to take care of my body right now.  And for me, that's a morning stretch to loosen myself up and wake myself up.  I worked out for the first time yesterday and its the first time that my hamstring hasn't locked up on me in a year.  Pray it stays that way...I'm slowly building (like everything else in my life.)

Lately, I have been in my Bible daily.  I used to be afraid to pray!  (I know.)  Honestly, I thought I didn't have anything worth asking for.  I thought my goals were unattainable or irrelevant in the grand scheme of things (I mean people are dying and I want to design a sports bra...doesn't sound like I'm doing much to solve any real problem).  Other times I didn't know what to ask for, I didn't know where I was going.  Other times I just wasn't thankful.  I felt like I wasn't going anywhere or doing the right thing and God wasn't putting me back on the right track.  Who can pray with that mindset?  I didn't.  I didn't pray.  But hey, I decided I'm going to pray everyday, out loud (so I don't fall asleep) and believe that I matter.  That God gave me these desires for a reason and I should go after them.  That whatever I do end up doing will still give God the glory.  The Bible is truly legit.  Truly a story.  The bible plans in the bible app break it downnnnn...and I feel empowered in the morning after praying and making proclamations.

So, this is me daily...and I plan to keep it that way.  If i fall off, remind me.  I hope you guys find what lifts you and grows you daily...then do it daily...then share with someone who is holding themselves back.  #daily



Why I haven't wrote a post in 7 months

You know...I haven't wrote a blog post in about 7 months.  Before that I hadn't wrote one in 3 months.  (Mind you, the goal was to write every 2 weeks when I started Aug. 2015).  When I was an athlete, I never went a day without practicing, but even a day when I didn't practice, the rest and rejuvenation was vital to my training.  I've realized that I am not treating design like I treated track.  I've expected myself to be great since day 1 and if I wasn't, then I would go into a downward spiral.

I can't do that.  I have to give myself room to go through the process of becoming great.  In track, I knew I wasn't the greatest, but I was always striving to get better.  If I improved my long jump by a quarter of an inch or by a foot, I was happy!  I went out there everyday, whether I felt great, sore, happy, or fearful, and I trained.  I did what I had to do everyday because I believed I could pull the best out of myself.  

Now that I'm not a (practicing) athlete anymore, I've decided that design needs to be my track.  Sketching needs to be my laps.  Projects are the only way I will get my reps in.  Each rep will get better...some days I won't be able to lift it because I'm sore or overwhelmed, but that doesn't mean there isn't tomorrow for me.

Re-reading my last post from Apr. 12, 2016 about "Becoming a Finisher" put me down for a second because I didn't believe I had came far enough.  I wondered how could I still be struggling with the same thing - fear of finishing, fear of doing, fear of making.  How can a designer be afraid of making when that is all they do?  I realized that I had given myself unrealistic expectations without putting in the right kind of work.  That everyday work.  The work when I'm tired.  The work when no one forces me to work.  The work that says you'll get better even when I'm not there yet.  The work that doesn't give up when I'm not there yet.  The work that believes the best is within me and I just have to pull it out each day.

So my goal for 2017 and on, is to treat design like a sport.  I'm training everyday like I did for track to keep pulling better and better out of me...but celebrating the wins on the way and not giving permanence to the losses.  

I'm excited for this new mindset and this journey.  Y'all have a great 2017!



Becoming a Finisher

As the first year of my graduate schooling nears its end, I have realized that design is hard to finish.  Where do I stop iterating and start deciding?  Where do I draw the line?  This may be hard for every designer, I don't know.  I have one classmate who always knows exactly what she wants to do straight from the first idea, but that's just not me.  But I think it's more than that...it's fear.  I'm actually scared to finish a project.  

Why?  Well...I'm scared it won't turn out like I had hoped.  I'm scared I will have put in all this time and effort and it is actually just...horrid.  I'm scared that I amped it up during the process, then I hit a wall, and find out I'm not that creative because I can't figure out another way to do what I set out to do.  

I actually have about three unfinished projects in my queue right now.  (a metal pendulum, a suspension shelf, and a game controller)  And it's not that they aren't close to being done, they are literally one good day of refinement and tweaking from being done...but I just cannot finish them.  It's like I am scared to touch them because I am scared to make something that isn't perfect.  Something that my classmates or my professors or strangers won't praise.

This makes me feel pretty sucky, but I have really come to recognize this flaw...but how to fix it?  I don't know yet.  My first thought is to just make stuff so I can be more comfortable with making.  Get all the mistakes out, figure out what I do and don't know...then just accepting a non-perfect result.  That may be the essence of the journey actually being the destination, because I swear I have a great time making, but I sure do hate the end result most of the time.  

This post isn't as insightful as my others...it's more of a vent.  I'm insecure about putting effort, time, and care into something that won't come out the way I envisioned...and this is why I am scared to finish.  


Relativity and Proportionality in Design School

Let me start out saying this...

Designers don't solve math problems (but we could), we don't apply Newtonian mechanics (who wants to do that anyway?), and we don't have a given solution to reach before we start (wait...what).  In fact, in design school, we go searching for our own problems...in fact, we hunt for them.  Then we search for a solution.  Sounds kind of backwards right?  

Well, this is why we put so much of ourselves into our projects.  We bring these problems upon ourselves, with no clear way in which to solve them, no proven theory, and we give it our all.  Sometimes its a shot in the dark, but all the time it takes more than one person to solve these problems.  So we bare our souls - show all our work, our thought processes, our grand attempts at a solution - to those around us for feedback.  

This open environment is good because you can learn from the person next to you, but you can also easily fall into the trap of comparison.  Comparing every line you draw, every idea, every layout, to those around you.  When used correctly, this comparison will make you work harder, longer, and smarter.  Even then, it can be disheartening to find out that 10 hours of sketching a day hasn't made me any better than the guy who does it 1 hour a day.  

Comparison will drive you crazy.

Yeah I almost crashed one day.  It's a constant battle; one you have to fight everyday, but the thing that helps me fight is is my theory of proportionality and relativity in design.  (Disclaimer: when I looked these words up they were basically the same definition but uhm, I'm warping it to fit with my theory anyway.)




considered in relation to something else.

synonyms: comparative, respective, comparable

Relativity in design school is when you are constantly comparing yourself to someone else.  You always consider your abilities, your drawings, your ideas, and maybe even your behavior in relation to someone else.  Then, what makes it worse, is you start do do exactly what they do in hopes of achieving their results for yourself.   

That happened to me last semester.  I stayed up until 4am doing work like a buddy of mine, I would check out way more books than I could even read or skim, and I stopped working out so I could be in the studio 24/7 because design is round the clock work.  I did this because these were proven working theories for people I knew.  They were knocking sh** out and it looked great.  And I will say, I did some great work, but sheesh was I unhappy.  I was tired, depressed, getting cellulite, oh my gosh.  It was bad.  The means didn't justify the ends because it just didn't fit me...it wasn't me.  

I had to sit myself down and talk to myself like...girl...

Juh stahhp. - JK

You'll never be the person next to you...why?  Because you weren't made that way.  I have different things that motivate me, make the tick, and different methods that work for me.  Society and the world want us to think the same, assimilate, globalize, all that jargon, but we all have different influences, perspectives, advantages, and disadvantages.  We are all programmed differently, so in accepting those differences in all aspects of my life, I realized that I must be proportional.  




corresponding in size or amount to something else; having a constant ration to another quantity.

I must live in proportion with myself.  Ten hours a day of sketching will drive me crazy, but I can give a good hard 2 hours and get something out of it.  I don't have a natural knack for graphic design, so I may need 10 books from the library, 5 projects, and frequent feedback to get better at it.  I can't stay up past 1am and still be productive, I need 7-8 hours of sleep, so no, I can't crank out a design project with my friend 24 hours before the due date because you know why?  I wasn't built for that crap.  So to explain what I have been saying in short, I've provided a few here's a few formulas for you to stay stay in proportion with yourself.

You: Your actions

Yourself yesterday: Yourself today

Your capability: Your potential

Your weaknesses: Your resources

Your emotions: Your support system

Your energy: Your time 

At the end of the day, what's right for you may be wrong for another.  And what's wrong for you, may be right for another.

Let's all live proportional lives, not relative lives.  Live your life and be your best.


"Dark Night Of The Soul"

It would be remiss of me not to blog during the worst part of my current design project.  Have you all ready Austin Kleon's "Steal Like An Artist"?  Well if you haven't, you should...and that's what this blog post is based off of.

Austin Kleon "Steal Like An Artist"

Austin Kleon "Steal Like An Artist"

A lot of design can be lost in illusions.  We can draw and render and talk all day, but until we build...actually make something, it's still just an illusion.  Like Mark Hanna would say (Matthew McConaughey's character in Wolf On Wall Street)... 

"It's all a fugayzy, foogahzee, its a wazeee its a woozy its a fairy dust...it's not f****g real...We don't create shit, we don't build anything...because that would make it real" - Mark Hanna

And we see where that put Jordan Belfort.  Anyways, back to me.  So, we are currently doing a wooden pull toy project to help teach us about mechanisms.  I have to make a wooden animal or insect, of my choosing, and replicate 3 motions through simple (or difficult) mechanics.  


I'm going to make a rolly polly (because everyone loves rolly pollys!) walk through the "forest", roll up, and aimlessly move it's antennas.  Sounds simple enough, with a tad bit of a challenge so I can learn something, but all in all, it's going to be awesome.  I throw down some sketches, research some mechanisms, find a few videos, and figure I can piece these things together.  What the heck, it'll be a learning experience.

Okay, this is harder than I thought...

I get into the shop and I find all the holes in my sketches.  This is supposed to move this, but what is this connected to?  Where is the space for this gear to be housed?  How big can this gear be?  How much wood do I have?  Gosh, wood is sure expensive...what thickness?  Can I bend this?  How long will this take to dry?  Okay, I just spent 5 hours researching and sketching that, another 5 building it...and it didn't work.  When is this project due?

This is going to take some work.

But it's totally possible, right?  It'll just take some elbow grease, some thought, and quite a bit of trial and error...but I can do that.  Yeah.  I can do that....I think.  A few more encouraging words and some actual working sketches...maybe a cardboard sketch model or two will get me in order.

This sucks...and it's boring.

Two weeks later, I am out of pocket about $50 and 0 working models.  I don't think I actually have enough time to fail to figure this mess out if this project is due---wait f**k, this project is due in 3 weeks.  WHO. MADE. THIS. TIMELINE.  You know what, no, I'm going to give it a good try, putting it all out there on this wood so I can make this terrain move...I'll figure the other 2 motions and connections out later, I'm SURE if I get ONE THING to move, my hope will be resurrected.  

Dark Night Of The Soul...

*currently*  Am I really a designer?  Maybe all I do is come up with outlandish ideas that can never be truly distilled to reality.  Why am I here?  Why did I pay for this suffering?  I don't want to hit a brick wall, this is actually what I want to do with my life...but now I'm here...consistently failing.  My rigid scratch model did not work...I have 3.5 weeks to make this...I won't sleep all of November...what. the. heck.

Yeah, so...this is where i am currently.  I wasted a week of depression, excuses, and intimidation only to go make something and it not work either.  Well, semi work.  Either way...my back is against the wall, so I've got to figure something out quick.  

If there is anything I've gleaned from this (neverending) night

it's that if you're going to fail (which you will) you must do it fast.  Expect it too, so you don't get so down in the dumps when something doesn't work the first time.  Every moment you aren't making and discovering, you are wasting time.  With that said...I don't have much time to waste...I'm hoping to leave this purgatory soon.





Dear Alden

To all of my beloved readers...excuse me, reader...Alden.  

Dear Alden,

This past week was so stressful for me.  I mean, I stressed myself OUT.  I was staying up super late, sleeping for like no hours, I had bags under my eyes, and on Wednesday at 9am I thought it was Friday.  You saw me lol.

I just had gotten so fed up with our teacher being so vague and then wanting to see so much out of us for the final presentation on this ridiculous due date that I was just ready to pull my braids out.  But being the person I am, I accept the inevitable, and I decided that whatever was done, or not done, by Friday's due date, would just be what it is.  So I bought $90 worth of party/event tickets to Howard University's Homecoming that weekend.  Presentation files due EOD Friday, presentations on Monday and Wednesday...all of this was out of my hands so...YOLO.  

But YOLO I did not.  No YOLO was had.

I put my best efforts forth to YOLO.  I did not sleep Monday through Wednesday, but by Wednesday, I felt like it was Friday.  Then I decided I needed sleep and then I decided the need to adult; i.e. the opposite of YOLO.  Fortunately for my conscious, Hurricane Joaquin put a damper on the logistics for me to get up to Howard.  It just didn't make sense for me to drive up four hours alone in a storm to party in a storm for a day and a half.  So...I adulted...and sold one of my tickets and charged the other two to the game.  

I felt relieved now that I had more time.  I had gotten so much done and now I could actually make what was needed for the presentation without stressing.  Surprisingly, I was enjoying myself doing so.  I was proud of the work I was making, although there were some more things I wish I could have done, I was pretty content.  I had tried my hardest with the skills that I now at this point in time...and I was happy.  

Then that got me thinking...yall know I be thinking.

Normally when you are doing a project, you are trying to please the teacher.  Of course you want to be proud of it, but at the end of the day, if the teacher is grading it (approving it, verifying it, justifiying it), you would want them to be the ultimate voice of affirmation, right?  Well, I actually didn't care what my professor had to say.  He did say good things...but he also said good things about everybody.  I'm not sure one piece of constructive criticism came out of his mouth in his efforts to not deflate anyone's self esteem.  And that annoyed me.  Don't give me the same feedback that you gave a person who spent 1 hour on their project as compared with my weeks of work.  

But I quickly stopped myself with this thought, because I wasn't actually doing this assignment for him.  He didn't require out of me what I required from myself.  I nurtured it, created it, polished it, refined it...that was me, I did all that...and I did it for myself.  I gave myself the positive affirmation that it was a good project, could be better here & there, but I said that.  Not anyone else.  So no one's criticism, or lack there of, could take away the work that I put into it, and the room for improvement that it has.  

Then that got me thinking...AGAIN.

When is the last time you have done something for yourself?  For your affirmation?  Verification?  And no one else's?  Often, in life, we do something and look for someone else to pat us on the back.  Especially as women.  We dress up for a man's verification that we are pretty, or we cook/clean for others affirmation that we are "domesticized", or we strive to do great in school or our job for affirmation from a co-worker or our boss that 'yes, I have a mind too'.  But when is the last time that you have done something for yourself?  So that you can say, 'yes, I am beautiful', or 'yes, I worked hard and it shows here', or 'dang, that meal was damn good and it will be damn good for my banging body'.  

Like, I'm serious.

It's awesome when others can see our greatness, but if we don't recognize that for ourselves...is it really there?

Well, i challenge myself to exceed someone else's expectations today because mine are much higher for myself.  I challenge myself to make myself better today...to make myself proud today...and to sow into myself today.  

Hey Alden, I challenge you to do the same :)



Become A Librarian

Sometimes I joke to myself wondering why I've paid for school...for someone or some people to teach me stuff, when I could just google it, or youtube it, or check out a book on whatever the subject may be.  There is an abundance of resources...scratch that, TOO many resources, available at our fingertips.  Information is pulled from primary, secondary, and tertiary sources, others are made up, some content is created by your average person like me, and it's just so hard to know what is helpful, what is real, what is necessary, and what is plain crap.  So at the end of the conversation to myself, I've decided that I've paid people to point me in the direction of the correct resources, because you can get stuck in a rabbit hole trying to find what you need.

With that in mind, I realized that I was not taking advantage of any of the resources I had.  The extent of my research would be one to three words in a google search bar.  I was not even scratching the surface of what was available.  So I decided to meet with a librarian to teach me how to actually research.  I figured all these books aren't filled with nothing.  

I spent an hour with our Librarian and it was not enough.

Have you heard of microfiche?  Microform?  WorldCAT?  Triangle Libraries?  (Well, maybe not Triangle Libraries since that is unique to NCSU, UNC, Duke, and NCCU)  ARTstor?  Thesis Databases?  Patent Databases?  If you have, you're way ahead of me -insert crying laughing emoji here-  I feel like the world just opened it's doors to me.  Being smart is a thing of the past...resourceful is the new smart.  Become a librarian.


First Month...check

One month can go by so fast.

It makes me feel like I have no time at all.  How do you gauge how you're using your time?  How do you gauge how you think about time?  There was a time in my life where I thought in hours, minutes, seconds...and I got so much accomplished because I felt that my time was so valuable.  Then there was a time when I thought in days, weeks, months...and I was literally floating through the universe.  

What's your relationship with time?

I treat time with the utmost respect.  I wake up early so I can enjoy breakfast, get ahead on some work, or read my daily fill of design news, news, scriptures, or the funnies.  I relax while I lunch to decompress the first half of the day.  I (attempt to) block off portions of the day for specific work so I can give it its due time and effort.  I enjoy my little dinner in studio and get back to work right after if I don't take a break to go box.  Out of all the measurements of life, time is the greatest.  

By greatest I mean the most telling, it contains the most information, and sometimes it even transcends itself.  

That moment was timeless. - jK

I know we have heard that a million times.  In my quest to make time king, I've realized I want to transcend time through emotion.  

You can spend hours laboring, but if you're not happy, you can't get that time back.

You just can't get it back.  So no matter what I have to do, who I have to see, or my perception of my situation, I am happy.  Because I don't want to look back and wish I had those years back.  As much as I use cmd + Z in my school work, I cannot cmd + Z my life.  I want to be happy in the time that I have...all the time...everytime...instead of being so stressed about how I am using my time and what I am getting done.

When I began to value time so much so that I stopped procrastinating, I became the most happy and productive person alive.  My love for self increased exponentially. - JK

Value every day, hour, and minute you have...

because the thing about life is...it's measured in gratefulness.  


I am so grateful for this past month - let's have a recap:

Aug. 10 - began the move to Raleigh, NC 

Aug. 13 - moved into my apartment

Aug. 19 - began graduate school

Aug. 23 - found an awesome church home

Aug. 24 - started boxing with my cousin

Aug. 26 - became Head of Hair & Make-up for Art2Wear

Sep. 3 - verbally committed to research next semester

Sep. 4-7 - Made In America and NYC with my best friends, cousins, and brother

Sep. 11 - made a friend pursuing her PhD...I'm not so alone now.

I have a lot of work to do to top this next month.  Leggo shawt.




First Week of Graduate School

For those who don't know, I am getting my Masters of Industrial Design (MID) from North Carolina State University (NCSU).  It is a three-year long program that I started this past Wednesday (August 19th).  I don't normally blog, but there seem to be a lot of people out there that one, are interested in grad school, two, wonder what it is like, or three have pre-conceived notions of what graduate school is.  Well, I can only share with you my experience and hope that it can help you make a decision or just get a genuine perspective of what this is really like.

Let's put some context before I tell you about my first day...

Now, I chose this three-year program instead of Georgia Tech's two-year program because I'm an amateur at Industrial Design!  Yes, Architecture (my undergraduate degree) is somewhat related, but I never had to prototype to the degree that ID students did...I never had to sketch to the detail that ID students had to...and although we all use the Adobe Creative Suite (with different levels of mastery), I did not know how to use their basic modeling software SolidWorks.  So, in my mind, I did not have the fundamental tools or knowledge to hit the ground running with this two-year program.  Hence, I chose NCSU's three-year program, amongst other reasons.  But ironically...

I freaked out the first day.

Yes, yes I did.  My first class was an Ideation I course where they teach you how to sketch.  Thankfully, I had taken John Lau's sketching class at GT, he's probably the hardest most challenging teacher you will get, but he brings the best out of you.  So, I'm here expecting to start out with the basics...some lines, line types, a few handouts with directions, maybe even a short introduction to horizon lines and perspective; no sir.  Our teacher - great guy, great sketching style, knows A LOT - started off with a sketching demo where he went off into many different tangents.  It was awesome to see how he works and be reminded that sketching can take you places, be refined, and refined again until it becomes something.  It was actually quite inspiring to see how he found the forms in his lines or his mistakes.  

The only problem was, I just couldn't keep up.  I could see what he was doing, I could even enjoy it, but I couldn't replicate it...there was no structure, no handouts or examples, just us watching him how he sketches and in his style.  I was lost...and then class ended.

The difference between undergrad and grad is that I know how I learn best. - JK

Knowing what I know about how I learn and what works best for me, I was already doubting my decision to come here.  I am still freaked out because I know his teaching style does not match my learning style.  I figure, you know what you know, but...

You don't know what you don't know.

Some things you can only find out when you start it.  When you arrive.  When you actually do said thing.  I tried my best to be prepared before I got here...I laid a foundation of ID, I researched curriculum, teachers, attended conferences, visited...all of that.  None of that can tell me a teacher's teaching style.  That parallels to anything in life, you can prepare all you want, but you still don't know what you don't know until you start.  I'm glad I have started, now it really puts my faith to the test as well as what I am willing to do on my own to make myself better.  I thought that a teacher could teach me everything I needed to know, but... 

You can't get taught everything.

Self-learning is a real thing.  Yes, teachers are here to teach you, and even the best teachers can teach and do, but the real learning comes when you do something.  There is a such thing as a stupid question, except no one will tell you it is stupid, they just won't answer.  When they don't answer, that means there is an accessible resource out there that already answers your question.  When you go to find that resource, test it, try it, fail at it, try it again, THEN come back with a question, you'll get a hell of a lot more help than if you asked before doing.  Reason being, you will always come back with more questions once you start!  If you can...

Find the best question...

then you will get a better answer.  By best, I mean specific, thoughtful, insightful, inspiring, or valid.  When your question is none of the above, it doesn't get answered.  Last thing before I sign out...

Make a routine and stick to it.

I've found that grad school is lonely.  You are with likeminded people, yes, but that doesn't mean you are with your peers.  People have full lives!  Some are married with kids, some STILL have jobs, and some live in another city all together.  You won't have a ride or die going to workout with you in the morning, eating breakfast with you, walking to class with you, taking that class with you, and then working on that class's homework with you after!  Who would've thought that I would miss being stuck around my teammates and sorors THIS MUCH...but I do.  Why?  Because they kept me accountable.  They kept me from procrastinating.  They encouraged me, helped me, and taught me.  Then if they were down, I would do the same for them.  My teammates, sorors, and friends are the reason I made it through undergrad...now, its just up to me.  I can't make my schedule off of the next man or woman, I have to make it off of what is best for me.  

My teammates, sorors, and friends are my best network since undergrad.  - JK

Knowing this, it's time to put the band back together.  It's a bit tough when the graduate program is so small and then the undergraduates all have their cliques...but It is something that I have to do.

Get a support system. 

I'm terrified of not having people to forcefully be my friend.  But knowing what I know, I should spend the next 8 weeks making that...

Until next week.






"Imagination is more important than knowledge.  Knowledge is limited.  Imagination encircles the world." - Albert Einstein, 1929

30 Weeks

Today I read about this Experiment Design School called 30 Weeks in Fast Company.  I think it is the perfect thing for me...or anybody in fact.  I've been trying to explain to my friends what "design thinking" is and just how it has driven the success of the top companies in the world.  However, they continue to think that that manner of thinking is only for creative or artsy people.  They've only known me as a creative person.  

Little do they know my parents were molding me to be an engineer.  I took no art classes after elementary school and excelled in math, sciences, and Spanish.  Shoot, I thought that I was supposed to be an engineer...whether I liked it or not.  But when I went to my first orientation at Georgia Tech, I changed my major to Architecture from a gut feeling.  I just couldn't do it.  Nothing inside of me was inspired by engineering and everything inside of me was already feeling regret for doing something that I didn't choose to do.  I chose Architecture, it inspires me, it amazes me, it is influential, and it is all around us. 

My journey to get my Architecture degree was a tough one; full of sleepless nights, teaching myself programs I had never heard of, and learning how to design space.  Being a D1 student-athlete didn't make it any easier.  The thing is, these obstacles weren't the problem, the problem was that I wasn't enjoying the process, only the result...and that was seventy percent because it was finally finished.  I was detached from my own process and I didn't know how, but it became more apparent when I produced projects that I didn't like.  My professor would, maybe even my studio would deem it exceptional, but it was like I didn't know what it was.  

My final year of college I clustered out of studio, meaning I could take 10 hours of another major's courses, with Industrial Design Courses.  I took Visual Design Thinking, Design Sketching, and Advanced Design Sketching.  Man did I fall in love with sketching and the design process.  I felt like no idea could stay locked up in my brain; that it all could be seen and I could draw it.  This totally changed my course in life.  I knew it was right because I was in love with the whole process - the thinking, the making, the redo-ing.  From this point on, I started researching ID and design thinking.  I needed to know what this new thing was that I enjoyed so much so I wouldn't repeat my past.  I knew I needed to make decisions that were all or nothing.  I need to love it all so I can dedicate myself to it, like I did to my ID courses.

I'm still on this same journey, tracking what makes me happy and what doesn't.  Searching for inspiration each day through pictures, TV shows, blogs, small adventures, and more so I always have an idea in my pocket.  Reading Fast Company has gave me so many different sources of inspiration that I just go to it first before my browser gets filled with tabs.  

I don't know why I always feel the need to tell this story.  Maybe it's because I don't want to feel like a failure at Architecture or a failure at something I set my mind to.  I think I am still trying to connect the dots of my journey, but I still don't see how they come together.  30 Weeks may be that culmination, bringing together design thinking, leading, and the entrepreneurial nature of our society.  This story is far from finished, but in the mean time...


I want to make another dot.

Austin Kleon

...is inspiring me lately. 

"The classroom is a wonderful, if artificial, place: Your professor gets paid to pay attention to your ideas, and your classmates are paying to pay attention to your ideas.  Never again in your life will you have such a captive audience." - Steal Like An Artist

Well folks, I have lost my captive audience...time to put on a show.