Take Two and Call Me in the Morning: 10 Quotes for Creatives by Symptom to End the Year 2020 Healthy
2020 has been the kind of year that you will tuck inside a box in the side corner of an attic, on top of your most coveted (or eroded) journal, that's locked with a combination you either can or will never remember. Regardless of how you felt about it, the year has cause serious inconveniences in every aspect of our lives. As I reflected on the year, feelings of being an imposter seeped through where I didn't know I stuffed it...anxiety lingered and I needed a quick meditation session (and Calavados) to help me realize the real truth. Since I can't be there with you today to help with either one of those solutions, I put together a list of inspiration I hope will help. Here are 10 quotes, by symptom of what you might be going through, to end the year on a healthy and buoyant note. Let me know which one you gravitate toward the most. Enjoy and Happy New Year.
1. Imposter Syndrome:
"Think of the most attractive person you know, even that person at some point, as had raging diarrhea." -Pop Sugar
2. Anxiety from Changing Jobs:
"Sometimes it's not what you know, but what you feel that takes over. And that’s ok." -Donny
3. Stress finding Another Job:
"Take on a 30 day challenge until you find your perfect job." (not a quote, just the best advice from a friend)
"Be the thunder….lightn' then the thunder." (be the spark in someone else's life) - Imagine Dragons
5. Stuck: You can't create originality, it's something that happens to you.- Tyese Cooper
6. Fear of the Blank Canvas:
"Maybe art tools should have expiration dates on them." -Tyese Cooper
"To live is to be willing to die over and over again."-Pema Chodron
8. Solo Syndrome where you feel have the do everything yourself:
"A hug to yourself is a drug."-Unknown
9. Doubt Over Covid Vaccine:
"Artists are people who have learned to live with doubt and do the work anyway." - Julia Cameron
10. Worried Getting To Close at a Dinner Party:
"Garlic, like perfume, must be used with discretion, and on the proper occasions." -Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Since my parents' 49th wedding anniversary is today I wanted to surprise them something amazing...something fun….something that would really knock their socks off...or at least shoes.
Well, because of covid restrictions in France (uh hummm... cough) procrastination, I didn’t have very much time to put the “it” together...and mail it... and arrive, well... today. I thought about a personalized card but La Poste usually takes 10 days to arrive. I would have asked a friend to pop one in the mail from San Francisco but I felt guilty to have made no effort at all. You know, I had a vision of something really special as a personalized surprise. I envisioned some sort of nouveau telegram service and searched apps like Taskrabbit and Yelp but nothing stuck. Then I remembered that @tenhundred, this artist I follow on YouTube, provides personalized illustrations, in his style. He uses lots of vibrant colors, features couples in weird animal disguises and fantastical made-up characters from the social media world. Could I imagine my parents as weirdo cartoon characters on an e-card? Considering my parents are the ever so slightly conservative golfing buppies in their 78th and 88th year, I gave it a big “naaaaaaa I don't think so". Buuuuut it did give me inspiration to look for other unique artists on Fiverr to create a personalized message for their special day.
Looking at some of the talent on this site, makes you blow your mind! There are ultra realistic portrait artists, rapper/singer-songwriters and yes, psychic readers. Since its a general freelance site where you can contract for any service you want, there are also SEO magic makers, marketers and people who can create you an app to automatically send out birthday cards to your family so you don’t have the same uh um (cough) procrastination issue I had.
In the end, I sided in mom’s favor - singing a message with a slant to spirituality. I even dreamed of singing the ghost written song to them myself! Then I remembered I didnt inherit *any* vocal ability. I found the perfect gospel singer and I simply messaged him a few keywords and phrase: “met on a blind date”, “49th anniversary” and “opposites attract." Three days later, @talk2francis emailed beautiful lyrics and sang them in a piano gospel arrangement. If you are curious how it turned out, click here. How could I not create a cheesy slideshow to accompany the song? What a surprise it was to my parents!
Since then, I've used the site 3 more times for other gifts - all of the creators received 5 stars from me...and a tip. It's a misconception that Fiverr is simply a pay-for-service site. Think of it more as a site where you "design your own experience". If you give the creator a vision, you are the one designing the experience for your user (person receiving the gift or using the resulting product), not the one you are hiring. You turn the verb of "hiring" into "receiving". You are the one who gets the pleasure of for example, what the character would say; the feeling of receiving the pop up page; the enjoyment of singing that special song; the ad for the discount.
By designing the project, instead of listing "to dos", you enter the first step of envisioning the result as a user/receiver. You give them pieces of inspiration, emotional keywords, film, audio, anything to help convey what you want, the user/receiver, to experience...and you in turn, to experience as the designer. You potentially receive something such more than what you are actually contracting for - an experience. If you tried a google search or even looked for facebook friend recommendations, you would contract a service. Though it’s not a replacement for the “who do you know that does...” contacts of your networking groups, you experience creativity in a totally different way. You are the one involved in the designing of your idea and you decide to experience the process of its creation. So go ahead and be creative! Be ridiculously creative.
Here's an idea: reach in your dream bag and pull out two random ideas to see how your Fiverr creator will take on the creative challenge. Let's say your project is to create a tech pack for a factory or potential partner. Sure you need the basics like jean measurements, kind of stitching, etc but give the creator room to create and give them a vision so they don't only complete a typical online template. Automation? 3-D rotation? Then choose your creator accordingly. Maybe you find yourself hiring an engineer instead of a fashionista or a photoshop expert. If you think your project is not a creative one, think about it again.
In another life I would definitely have tried being an ice skater like @jeremicesk8er. At this point in my life however, I don’t wanna spend $50k in schooling and 10K hours of practice to try and ice dance to a song advertising my services. Why not create something unique and fresh like that for an Instagram post. Maybe a quote or a discussion question could work to engage people and who knows? You might go viral. Let sites like Fiverr be your excuse to “go there”.
Here are some usage tips for you:
What do you have on your to-do list? Design a 3-D image, a croque for a collection or a logo? Create a gift for a friend? Perhaps invent a project that would not only help you get work done faster, more engagement on social media but also give you an unusual experience.
I don’t know about you, but I have a lot more imagining to do!
PS Fiverr did not sponsor this post.
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 summertime memory in Brittany on the terrace. Instead of the people bundled high in their belongings they were in decorated in bouquets and market vegetables and ready to be festive. Sigh. Yep, and just like that, the clouds shewed away my remaining glow. I looked through the wrought iron balcony gated swirls. 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, 47 min by metro...so very 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; and who are great at giving me honest and authentic feedback. I love them. Some I know really well like for 5 years and 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 and vulnerability is work but with them, I'm in a safe space. So who's in these groups and how did I find them? The deal is that everything is free, organized and perfectly random.
I belong to a creative expat group on facebook and I organized a quick co-working session yesterday. Who knew the two people that actually showed up were going to be the partners I needed this week, giving me great feedback!? It was a little website critique and a lot of listening to blog ideas. And I, in turn, was able to give them feedback as well. The learning? Everything happens for a reason and sharing and giving is goooood.
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. Don't worry, they will be mostly strangers. Perhaps you will make it a theme under creativity or travel lovers. 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!
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. [Insert evil laugh]
It doesn’t matter if you are ‘ready’ for a break or not. We need to clear our head and get a new perspective about an underlying issue you (I mean me) 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? If you’ve been in that situation, the last thing you need to hear is another “I'm sorry.” So, say specifically what you want them to say or how to react. “How’s the audience effect, sound quality, color tone, shape, etc of this piece?" If not, they may fall into the loop of the general, “yeah, it looks good.” We aren’t 15 years old 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…cough...mom. "Wait, who said that?” It’s just that we leave the question too…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. [And...enter loop of confusion stage right]
3. You’re cheating on your BF …with Google
You know you are in the loop of confusion when we look up stuff on google when we already know the answer…or at least most of it? We spend hours and hours on google hoping it gives us ideas for what we want to figure out. Hours of productive time and then we get frustrated or down a rabbit hole in the "Loop." Why not just ask ourselves a super specific question about what we really want to know BEFORE we click on google to give us an answer? It's more direct, takes less time and we spend more time with a `BF than hours of what we call “research” online. I got news for you, it's not research…it's 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. I could have just thought about it for a sec, brainstormed what I really wanted to know and then 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 in a field somewhere hot, made a vegan burger from it and ate it by the time I found the answer I really was searching for. With google, do you see, we use it-not for research but for brainstorming. This is very very bad for creative thinkers. We put in keywords hoping to “get close.” Let's campaign to use our brains a little more before we do that actual search. #gobrain!
Let's off the white picket fence and give ourselves a real definition of what “perfection” actually means. Perhaps it’s a checklist of criteria of what the perfect project entails: does it have at least three colors in it; does it communicate three aspects of my mission; does it have 300 resolution, etc.
Perhaps you can assign it a percentage of what you mean by perfected. "If it's x% perfectly completed, that will be good enough to `pause’ and stop." It will most likely never be “perfect”. Pausing between version 1 and 2 and 3 could be 1 day, 1 week or 1 month, but sometimes we need to get paid and better yet, move on with life to get out of the "loop." A brilliant author told me just yesterday that she is working on her 3rd draft. She said that 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
If you use the "H" word to frequently, you can get stuck in the loop of confusion! Its the word, "how." 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) is always the loner. We use the 5Ws for everything light and fun and interesting. Where is the party? When do I get paid? What's 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. It's like my mom asking but “how” are you gonna do fittings in Paris when there's Covid? Am I talking about my personal life too much?
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 solve complex solutions to problems made bigger by our big ‘ol monster creative imagination. We have enough stress and worries in the world right?
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.