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Taking breaks.

February 21, 2013

I’m slowly learning to take breaks in between long periods of working at my computer coding until my eyes start to burn (hah, sounds great).  I think it’s really important in productivity for a few reasons –  1.  If you’re getting stuck and frustrated that probably means you’re thinking way too much and need a break from incessantly thinking, worrying, working, etc. 2. Taking breaks allows you to want to finish rather than get worked up about the project, deadlines, other projects, etc, it clears your head and refocuses your energy.  For me when I don’t take breaks I’m more likely to stress myself out, make more mistakes in the process, and get stuck on something for longer than I should have, which wastes a lot of time especially if you’re on a tight deadline.

Anyway, that’s my rant for the day.  Moving on to some pics of my random trip to the MET. I’m taking these from my flickr because I’m too lazy to resize them and re-upload them here, hah!

MET Museum 1

MET Museum 2

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MET Museum

Also, I know I’m totally failing at this 365 Photo Challenge, but I think I’m getting better with my new DSLR! Which is what matters in the end, right?

Morning errands.

February 14, 2013

The thing I like the most about freelancing is getting my errands done before the afternoon rush.  My typical morning errands are usually going to the post office to ship Etsy orders and going to the bank to deposit checks, and if I need to pick up food or misc things for the house I’ll do that too.  This month has been a hectic mess for me, so having this morning free was super nice and it was sunny today too!  I love that the weather after “Nemo” has been nothing but sun and not too cold, even though I haven’t really had the chance to be outside much.

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Also, Happy Valentines Day!  I’m seeing a lot of hearts overload, but these made me smile:

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Every day things.

February 8, 2013

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I’ve been neglecting this blog even more as this month progresses.  Out of nowhere really I just got swamped with projects and clients.  It’s funny how you can go through lulls in the week (or month) and then all in one day everything comes pouring in from all different directions!  I’ve been working 11 hour days (which may not seem like a lot of hours for some people, but since freelancing it’s my first taste of it) and it’s both tiring and exciting.  At night my brain feels like mush but my body feels awake and that’s probably because I’ve just been sitting at my desk all day, so it’s hard for me to fall asleep at a decent time lately.

I’ve been forcing myself to write lists of things I need to take care of, whether that be sending designs to the client or a long list of changes for a site I’m developing, I think it’s a good feeling to cross things off a list.  Usually I’ll run things I need to do in my head and get through them project by project, but I realize it gives me a good sense of accomplishment and order.  When it’s all in my head it puts more stress on me with all the things I need to remember and reference back to in emails, but if I just took the time to write things I need to get done down on a list as I got them it would relieve my worry a bit.  I’m going to start to use TeuxDeux again and hopefully this time I won’t neglect it.

Last night I finally got around to watching this Creative Mornings with Ping Fu and I just ate up everything she talked about.  It’s amazing what she’s gone through and her words in the end are so powerful and something I’ll always remember whenever I feel like something’s missing in my life.

“Pleasure, flow, and meaning…If I’m not happy…I can ask…which part is missing?”
— Ping Fu

End of the month – Last day of January 2013

January 31, 2013

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I found this cute blue (arrow/feather…?) pattern accordion file/folder in the dollar section at Target (that section is dangerous).  I’m using it to keep all of my receipts for this year.  Last year I made the mistake of throwing misc receipts out just because I thought I didn’t need them (and I didn’t have anywhere to put them in my already messy room), but I think it’s always a good idea to store them just incase for filing taxes.  This folder also adds a nice pop of color on my table.

I’ve also begun to fill out and use this calendar planner for the month of February (and end of Jan) because a bunch of projects and deadlines are happening within these next two weeks.  I always seem to start, but never see these calendars to the end.  Anyway, I know I’ve been neglecting this blog a bit and haven’t been posting my 365 Photo Challenge photos, but for busy weeks like this you can find my photo updates on my Instagram!

Progress, not perfection.

uploaded-file-35532Yesterday I had to bare the cold weather when I went to Dana Tanamachi‘s talk at Parsons that AIGA hosted.  I haven’t been back at Parsons since graduation and it was one of the best reasons to be back.  I don’t remember the first time I saw her work that completely mesmerized me, but I was hooked instantly.  I’ve always been a sucker for hand lettering work. I would kill to have any ounce of that kind of talent and patience.  I blame my lack of patience for being able to go into that field of work.  I also have horrible handwriting, so I think I’m all out of luck in that department.  Anyway, hearing about anyone’s process I think is inspiring and her’s included, she mentioned a book that my sister actually recommended me read a few months back, which was Quitter by Jon Acuff.  To be honest I only read through the first couple of chapters and I never finished (haha), but I do think it’s a really helpful book for people at a crossroads between their day job and their dream job.  I agree to staying at your day job while doing things that you love on the side, however, if your day job is burning you out then I think it’s at your best interest to leave.  Once you feel burnt out you have no energy to be creative or feel inspired, honestly you just want to go home and sleep.  I guess I speak from my own personal experience.  Everyone’s different.

Dana spoke about anonymity and how you can use that to grow, make mistakes, and learn without the pressures that comes with being in the spotlight.  I guess I never thought of it that way and now I realize it’s so important to focus on the positives while growing in your creative practice, and anonymity isn’t such a bad thing.  Towards the end of her talk she did a brief QA with the audience and something  she said that really stuck with me, which I think is relevant for everyone in any field, was:

Progress, not perfection.

Keeping chugging along, you’ll get there as long as you keep going.

* Image above is of alphabet paperweights by Dana Tanamachi with West Elm.

Bearing the cold weather

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It’s been freezing here in NY and it’s supposed to snow soon.  I hope the weather where you are is the complete opposite, it’s not enjoyable having your face, toes, and fingers feel like icicles the moment you step out the door.