So I finally created a due date for the first draft of my book: May 1st 2021.
How did I almost forget I had that as a goal? Last week I was making a list of my 6 month objectives and what I needed to do to accomplish them by May. I went through the list and I was like, ok….create new classes check, revise website check, write more consistent blog posts check. But there is something else...something about writing..what is that again? Write ..write….oh! Write the BOOK! Ok. I'm nuts.
It's cold and it's confinement here in Paris. About an hour earlier the sun was blasting through my 3rd floor flat and I bathed in a memory summertime in Brittany on the Terrace. Instead of the people bundled high in their belongings they were in bouquets and ready to celebrate something. I blinked and just like that, the clouds shewed away the remaining glow. The pigeons didn't even stick around...the last two cracking on a walnut casing at the Primer downstairs.
It's back as I would have imagined a November fall day to be while stuck indoors.
Honestly I shouldn't say it like that. Even before confinement I worked from home. Just at the moment you actually do want to go to the 14th arrondissement, you can't. And most of the time, I never have a yearning to take a voyage to the 14th, so far away from me.
I will say that my tribes have been helping to keep me sane. These are small groups of people who support me and what I do. Well, if you ask them that, they may not understand it in the same way. They are the people in my world or who I choose to be in my world, who have similar goals and objectives as me; same energy level or positivity; or who are great at giving me honest and authentic feedback. I love them. Some I know really well like for 5 years, others I see randomly online every couple of months and none of them are family.
As I work on my business, I find I'm not alone and it's easy to be "not-perfect" with them. Phew! Being honest in the vulnerability takes practice lol. So who's in these groups and how did I organize them? The deal is that everything is free, always organized and random.
There are tons of events online to connect with people these days but I find I am still quite a solo person and I like working alone, one on one or in very small groups. In case, the choices above are not available to you, check out these ideas DIY and quite formal:
Random Virtual Happy Hours: DIY it with a group of very random people in your life and invite them to a Google hangout, Jitsi or Facebook video chat. It doesn't have to be formal with a zoom account either. These are people you met one time and always said, sure one day we'll do something....but never did. They are mostly strangers, perhaps you will make it a theme under creativity or travel. See what happens!
Focusmate is an online accountability session with an actual person over video for 50 min. Of course you pay for this so try apps to help with your productivity like Social Pomodoro. Work for short 25 min sessions with no distractions thanks so some handy tech.
I will try Cave Day just to have something different to do today for an hour. Though its paid, sometimes they sponsor these free sessions called: Get Sh*t Done in The Cave: Deep Work Remote Session. They talk about “flow,” the science of productivity, and all of the distractions that get in the way. They do a deep work sprint, where they claim you "get more done in 20 minutes than you have in most entire mornings." I'll let you know how it goes.
If there are DIY methods you've learned and would like to share, let us know!
Ok, sure, we could go down the path that artists aren't paid what their worth, etc but that's not the point.
The point I learned was to be creative and move on. That a creative expression is always there but that a piece or collection flows and ebbs in cycles. If you just want to be creative, be that, own it, make your stuff and be regale in its process.
But with that vision, don't open the atelier and 'pretend' to sell your pieces like you actually want to have a biz. lol. You are just fooling yourself. Maybe its better in an atmosphere of a gallery or online space to simply share your talent. If it's a biz, make it a biz, not your baby. Woah...I think I needed to ear that lol.
Oh...and the designer is actually Chloe believe it or not. Karl Lagerfeld designed for the brand in the 80s and did other surrealism inspired pieces. This was a great time in fashion, hiring other designers to collaborate with the brand.
Generally, we designer creatives work alone with 2-3 colleagues. I think by working with a team of support, that's different. Forming a team of mentors, friends, a stylist or a curator to give feedback, gives a feeling that the brand is a biz, not just a project...that we are open to changes, available for another pricing structure and stopping where maybe its not 100% perfect ...where you are not your biz.
#makeitpersonal but #notyourbaby #creativelearnings #designingideaswithtyese #designthinking #designingideas #designmentor #fashionmentor #makermentor #creativementor #creativeclass
So since I begin most of my streams of consciousness with the magical word, "SO...," I will this week as well.
So...last week I wrote a huge post on my 5 tips to get myself out of the infamous "Loop of Confusion." I wanted to do an audio version of that blog post, mostly out of convenience for you guys. If anyone is like me these days, we try to multitask while doing other things and it's easy to just click on an audio button and let the computer talk to you. Instead of listening to the news first thing in the morning, I look for something to listen to while I get my burpees on, do the dishes, put a load of laundry in and edit my to do list for the day. If the youtube suggested music doesn't get me, I opt for an audio version of...something easy, positive on my psyche, just not to attack my brain first thing.
Last Wednesday, I finished the written blog post and thought hautly, "how multi-media of me" to put an audio version link as an option for people to click on as well. I discovered my mac had a built-in memo recording feature and, I thought, well that's easy. Of course 5 practice recordings each of a 20 min written script later, I thought, well that WASN'T EASY. I clicked to finally edit and found you could only edit the start and end point of the recording. Here is where the Homer Simpson meme " Oof!" would come in. Now what? Well, I'm a flexible being...I'll just go to Quicktime Player! You can't stop me! (uh hum..let's just say that app was also just painfully too basic and needed another option to edit.
Now you do realize that as I was creating my business plan...I mean my masterplan, that I wrote down that I thought it would be "way cool" as my 'valley-girl' side would say, to do a podcast. I just thought it would be fun to try a "quick and easy" way to get out my thoughts without having to get dressed, put on makeup, get the 3 point lighting on point to create a youtube video to post, etc. I -thought -it -would -hap-pen- in the....fuuuuuture (in my staccato Ali Wong voice) .
Ok...so this next part is the "I can't believe it" part of the story, stream of conscious. So... I'll give you the same option I always give to my boyfriend: you can to skip to the end of my obvious monologue for the message of this long story. Feel free.
The future is well, always now, right? What they say is, don't stifle the flow. When you have flow, just go with it and be open.
What's the big deal Tyese...I mean it's just editing your voice so find an app to do it. 1 more hour later...
Yeah well...it's not just editing, but that A. to spend so much time on this -NOW...TODAY, was not the original plan! B. editing? I didn't realize my semi-perfectionist self would step in C. I would say that Anchor.fm "tricked me" into it but that's dumb to say. They are good at what they do...offering to record my voice for free, add free music...license free and as me clicking on the last step, them, agreeing to upload the cover art for me. And of course I was obliged to then....create the actually cover art....and a NAME for the podcast. What audacity! ...And to make me do it in one seating. I had other things to do... like watch you tube videos to help me procrastinate my day further and chips to eat while pondering the rest of my day. But no...because instead, this simple free program was easily taking me through the process even when I wasn't ...ready. Are we ever?
Anchorfm.com had probably the most fluid approach to the typical "I'll wait until next time" procrastinating creative lol. I definitely recommend it seeing how in less than 45 min it was all done up. Most of that time was me trying to edit what I was saying and deleting weird clips and starting over.
Now comes the tough part...the follow up ones.
Next tuned. The one blog a week plus a podcast challenge is in effect!
Instead make a list of stuff you love to do (guilty pleasures not that you need to do), takes literally 5 min and that’s not online. Then tape the list on a wall by the coffee or the fridge or bathroom and each time you are there, just “take 5” on one of the things on your list to get yourself out of the loop….of confusion.
Draw your neighbor freehand into a fantasy character (and then show them you get bonus points)
Count the number of people going by your window with just their nose sticking out of their mask
10 Burpees (if you don’t know what these are, ask Google or Siri. These quick exercises will change your life)
It doesn’t matter if you are ‘ready’ for a break or not, its just to clear your head and get a new perspective about an underlying issue you are evidently having and just not doing anything about.
People don’t know how to react to anything these days. They mostly do/react how society tells them. A friend experiences a death in the family so you say “I'm sorry.” Why? Most of the people if you’ve been in that situation, the last thing you need to hear is another “I'm sorry.” So, you’ve got to say specifically what you want them to say or how to react. “How’s the audience effect, sound quality, color tone, shape etc of the work. If not, they may fall into the loop of the general, “yeah, it looks good.” We aren’t 15 any more and don’t need someone to blow smoke up our A**….well, anymore. We need the a real opinion.
Don’t be sad if someone doesn’t ‘understand’ your work (uh hum…,my mom. “Wait, did I say that?”) It’s just that we leave the question to …vague. Either they will like it or not. Either A. Don’t ask them. or B. Stop telling everyone you are creating this and that. It’s like secretly we are asking for validation. And when we don’t get it, we feel like we haven’t accomplished what we wanted or we second guess our talent.
3. You’re cheating on your BF …with Google
Why do we look up so much stuff on google when we already know the answer?… Or at least most of it? Why not really just ask ourselves a specific question about what we really want to know BEFORE we click on google to give us an answer? Its more directly, takes less time and we spend more time with a `BF than hours of what we call “research” online. I got news for you, its not research…its a time suck.
“Okay, Google” (or Siri)…”What is the best website tool for bloggers?” I really just looked this one up and it was the most timely-ness time-suck ever. When I could have just thought about it for a sec and asked “Which blog sites offer features to make online classes?” I spent like 2 or 3 hours searching for just that right answer. I literally could have found a jackfruit, made a vegan burger from it and ate it by the time I found the answer I really was searching for. But with google do you see, we use it …not for research …but for brainstorming. This is bad for creatives. We put in keywords hoping to “get close.” Lets use our brains a little more before that actual search.
Get off the White picket fence and give yourself a real definition of what “perfection” for you actually means. Perhaps it’s a criteria of what that entails: does it have a least 3 colors in it, does it communicate 3 aspects of my mission, does it have 300 resolution, etc.
Perhaps you can give the project a percentage of work completed thats good enough where you can take a `pause’ and stop . It will most likely never be “perfect”. Sometimes we need to get paid and move on with life. A brilliant author told me just yesterday that she is working on her 3rd draft. She said once it’s 85% ‘good enough’, she’ll submit it. If the book is any good, the publisher will ask for another edition later or have an editor finish the process. What a good outlook? Take a deep breath guys….because if we don’t let “it” go, (…let the baby go and do its thing), you’ll stay on that white picket fence and not go anywhere else fun.
'5. Worried about the “H” word
In the English language, it’s like the 5 Ws (who/what/when/why/where that start a question) are in a cult always hanging out and the “H” (How word that starts a question) is always the loner. We use the 5Ws for everything light and fun and interesting. Where is the party? When do I get paid? Whats the book about? Maybe it’s because asking “How” is so……well, horrible! It’s heavy, big, complicated and generally asking it has a very uncertain answer. Its like my mom asking but “how” are you gonna do all that in Paris when its Covid? (oops…am I talking about my personal life too much here?)
Anyway creatives, why do we need to use it at all? Asking “how” can stifle our creative process. How do we make the money? How to transfer my passion to selling my work? How to find an apartment in Paris? This question should be replaced by three simple words, “`in-what-way.” There…now, doesn’t that feel better? The pressure just lifted, temperature on your forehead dropped and now you can simply list the countless fun ways to find that apartment, unique ways to locate an audience, create classes, etc. Listing things is easier than trying to form complex solutions to problems made bigger by our big ‘ol monster creative imagination. We have enough stress in the world right?
I moved to France 3 years ago to help other Americans find sustainable clothing brands when travelling to Paris.
As a personal stylist, how can I feel guilty about finding people clothes to wear? It’s my job and it makes people happy. But having an ethos of zero waste makes things complicated. This is my Jerry Maguire quandary. Sometimes I want to stand up and just scream "stop buying more stuff!"
But I silence myself and dive deep back into the romanticism of shopping in Paris boutiques. It’s one of the reasons I decided to do this job. It’s one reason why my christmas season in the past had been so , well, merry.
You’d think that shopping for products that were actually good for the environment was the solution. But is it? I guess it depends on what you assumed was the problem. That there were products not good for the environment...ok, and is that it? Is there another presumption? I always presumed that there were good and bad things for the environment and for the most part, our society as well. That’s why you have brands like Method cleaning products, Typology cosmetics and H&M Conscious Collection.
I never thought “shopping for ‘good’ products” was an oxymoronic phrase until now. A red light buzzes slowly flashes on and off on the word ‘shopping’ like a misread credit card. After a couple years living in Paris, my thoughts have changed...a lot.
Shopping is very much an action verb, generally implying to buy something.
As an image consultant, I talk to people about their insecurities around their height, their beauty marks they don't want seen, not feeling ready to be visible, others wanting to be more visible. There is always something to buy, even fabric to recreate items they have in their wardrobe already or tailor items that compliment their body better.
It’s harder than you think though. It’s always the little stuff that gets in the way…like ethos.
Here is where it gets sticky as I polish off a pistachio macaron. It’s the eventual buying of products that mostly one doesn’t need- that is the problem. And as the French Minister of Ecology, recently said, the problem leads to “overconsumption.” I’ve heard that activist statement from a political before.
It seems as though when I moved here from San Francisco, I had all that I needed: a job as a personal stylist, a project with the government of France to expand my vision globally, of sustainable fashion. I was excited to bring Americans here to learn all they could and buy all they could of ‘good fashion’ in Paris.
Who wouldn’t like to do that? To shop for people, just sustainable products? I can show you how to put together an outfit in 2 min, create your next interview look in 5min and buy a whole new wardrobe for you in under 3.5 hours. I am one of the best, most efficient shoppers you’ll ever meet.
There is this huge problem. What are we to do with our extra income, our extra time and our alternative therapy sessions? And what are retailers and designers (to which I was one) to do with their our designs, creativity, and ...extra inventory?
It makes me feel in a very precarious position. I started putting disclaimers on my marketing materials about me recommending products to clients. "Buy at your own risk of over populating the planet with more clothing." `or... "Hire me only if you need me." I felt like patagonia instead of saying “don’t buy this jacket,” say “don’t engage me as a stylist and personal shopper” ...if you don’t really need me. Of course of their campaign sales increased for that 2013 Black Friday sale but I digress.
Maybe we should just ditch the whole thing and focus on what’s most important in life, like family and love and laughter and deepening of our own soul. Until then, I have to get ready for my next client and meet them in the Marais.
Why Paris? (The Interview 11/9/19)
What made you decide to help young designers in this consultancy?
I've made so many mistakes from design school to fair trade design to sales and marketing and I refuse to have others make the same costly errors. I didn't have a mentor starting my business nor for school. It's totally necessary but we think we can figure it all out ourselves. Yes, you can, 5 years later and 50K in debt maybe.
Which consulting do you like best? For a client's better wardrobe or for a designer's better fashion business?
I can't really choose - they are so different and both so neccessary. Sustainability can mean so many things to different people. And there's lots of words to describe it. There's eco, eco-friendly, eco-chic, environmentally friendly, sustainable, fair trade, handmade, locally made, slow fashion, upcyled garments [where you use the existing resources that you have to create something new], vintage, recycled/second hand garments and more. The French are famous for these things and creates a feeling here, that is quite special.
What makes Paris different for eco fashion?
There are many young designers who are committed to the environment and changing the way people think about clothing as well. They are the ones who are using organic materials, vegan leather and deadstock [which means recycled materials from huge fashion houses], give a new face to the word eco-chic. Because these designers come from France who's design and fashion heritage is so rich and deeply ingrained, designers are creating garments that are chic, forward-thinking and original. There is no "patchwork craziness" here - there are interesting and of great quality!
We discard clothing like trash, have an unawareness of who is making the items we wear, and the materials used that we put closest to our bodies.
Sustainability is everything France represents as a culture:
small, handcrafted, local, lean, natural.
Working exclusively with small designers and independent studios in France, my mission is to give my clients an exclusive, inside look at the creative process and inspiration behind clothing. My hope is to give people another way to think about clothing, in an inspirational environment. It wasn't too long ago that people associated Sustainable or "Eco" fashion with patchwork "hippie" looks. By showing you the makings of a lean wardrobe and the "haute" side of Eco, I'll give you another way to think about clothing, in an inspirational environment.
This is an interview transcript when I did a workshop about goal setting earlier this year.
What makes these 5 ways to manifest your 2020 goals so...unexpected?
Sometimes we think obtaining goals is such a hard thing to accomplish. At least for me, at one point in the not too distant past, I considered it a big project! I had to make time for it, maybe do a workshop or get a life coach to help. The task seemed so large, I didn't even want to tackle it. So....I didn't. These 5 ways are easy to do ...take like 5 min out of our day and are creative...an unexpected way to get what we want.
What are your 5 unexpected ways and why do you think they are a part of sustainability? I thought sustainability had to do with saving our planet. It's true, sustainability can mean so many things to different people. And there's lots of words to describe it. There's eco, eco-friendly, eco-chic, environmentally friendly, sustainable, fair trade, handmade, locally made, slow fashion, upcycled garments [where you use the existing resources that you have to create something new], vintage, recycled/second hand garments and more. Usually these terms effect the OUTSIDE things like landfill or less waste on our streets. But it means also that we are careful to put things on our bodies and inside our bodies things that matter. Sometimes these "things" are thoughts and energy and positivity instead of objects. Let's think of it as perfectly sustainable things that last like images.
So then what are your 5 things?
The 5 unexpectedly ways to manifest your goals are things like vision boarding for life changes, mood boards as a career guide, closet clean-outs for clearer thinking, anti-plastic diet for more conscious living and new cleansing habits for a more zen and thoughtful attitude around your goals.
This is super interesting Tyese. There is a lot to unpack here. Where should we start?
Each month we will dive deeper into each of these items on my blog, You Tube and of course my instagram page. First, we will talk about creative vision boards for the goals you want. My clients and I mostly talk about fashion style goals, business goals but their everyday habits in life directly effect those goals. We will dive deep into why it effects you and what to do to advance your goals.