Whatever you give your attention to, you give your life to

To simplify this: “Garbage in, Garbage out",” as Darren Hardy says.

For a more familiar saying, “You are what you eat".”

What you consume through the media will consume not just your brain, but also your creativity.

Think about that. Whatever crap is on these “legitimate” news sources can dampen your mood and also take away from your focus and your inspiration/motivation.

But can I afford to live in what seems like a double edge sword of “Ignorance is Bliss?”

Well take everything with a grain of salt. Not exactly am I preaching just forget about all of the social issues of the world. But rather, control what your mind consumes.

Hardy says is that we should turn everything off and replace those negative news stories with positive ones or self development podcasts because there are a million positive things going on and sometimes just hearing someone reinforce a good old idea in our heads is just what we need to kick ourselves into gear and start creating again.

Since I’ve started this 30 day challenge to create something, I’ve also been listening to a lot of self development videos to help keep me motivated. It’s surprising how little a few words can change my laziness into productivity.

To some, me saying “it’s alright to be lazy at times too” is playing devil’s advocate, but think about it. Rest is important for progress. Even celebrities and people who have made need breaks. Beyonce recently said something along the lines that she doesn’t mind that her body has put on some weight after giving birth. In fact, she’s enjoying it. However, her resolve is seen in her declaration when she says, I’m going to enjoy this, but know that when I need to kick it into gear again, I will get that 6 pack again.

Beyonce gets it. Breaks are important. But the most important thing is that we keep going towards the goal or whatever we want to do. Laziness is only bad when you get complacent and stop going towards your dream.

For these designs, I couldn’t really take inspiration from other sources. I had to create what I thought were the best designs knowing what I know/ knowing what I’ve seen work.

3 things I'm grateful for on 11/28

3 things I'm thankful for today

1. Being able to freely use my body

2. Free food at work

3. My own space

Reasons why. I bike 10 miles to and from work. I'm thankful that I'm able to freely use my body to get me wherever I want to go. I make my own food when I go to work. I'm thankful that I can provide for myself, but at the same time, thankful that work gives me food every once in awhile. Like most designers, I like to keep to myself (partially because when my mom passed, we all dealt with individually and differently). I'm fortunate that I've had my own space for my whole life. I'm thankful that I can come home, not deal with anything (besides my dog), and just focus on what I need to do.

Tired of saying, "One day, I'll..."

I’m 24.

To most people, that’s a pretty young age. To me, that’s 6 years before 30.

The kids that I hang around through the Harold Hunter Foundation are between the ages of 13-20. Most of them don’t think of me as old, but it’s pretty wild to think that I’m 11 years older than the youngest and that I’ve been alive longer than these really talented kids. Most of them are on their way to doing what they want to do.

Me, I’m still chasing because I’m not focused.

Now this isn’t a pity story. I’m not asking for anyone’s pity or validation to make me feel better about myself. This post is my declaration that I’m making that “One day” today and everyday by making something every single day for however long.

As I do these designs everyday and track my progress in my Notes app, I’m seeing the progress and am actually very excited to be done with these self studies for Typography for a little bit. I’m thinking of coming back to this every single month for a week. What I’m more excited about is finally just doing the designs and the things that I want, but it’s always important to go over the basics and fundamentals which is why I’m doing these self studies.

Having a strong background knowledge is important so that I can break the rules later. The first step for me is to keep making something every single day. I don’t care if it’s not a master piece. It’s about quantity, not perfection ever actually. As Seth Godin says, “You can never overcome perfection, but you can dance with it.” It’s kind of a good analogy. Perfection is an instructor who I can never be like, but I can strive to model them. I’m going to fail, but small calculated failures is what will make learn and get better. Over time, and here’s the corny part, I’ll learn from Perfection what is good design and what is bad design and actually be able to describe why. All that matters is that I keep trying, be confident in myself, and try not to project other’s feelings onto me. Half of the time, those people don’t even know I’m in the room and are busy dealing with their own issues.

For these designs, I copied the layout in the slide if you press the next button. The parameters were to create a design that uses two weights and two point sizes.

There’s nothing wrong with copying because it’s like cooking as Chris Do says. I want to taste the original many times before so that I know what works and then eventually branch off and make my own dishes.

I'm just writing my darkest secrets like wait and just hear me out 

It’s a beautiful thing to feel whole, but still pursuing wholeness. There are a lot of things to be thankful for. For one, I’m standing up for myself and being assertive. There were 3 instances today and one of them stood out to me the most was while I was riding the subway. Usually, I don’t ride the subway because I prefer to bike, there are less people, and I’m not underground for hours on end.

However, another main reason is because the turnstiles like to eat my swipes whenever I swipe in. Today, it happened again. I was at the turnstile for a bit swiping and it finally let me in, but it took all of the money that I put on there. All $5.50 cents. Now it’s no big sweat, but for someone who is frugal, I don’t like getting ripped off and I’m practical. In the past when this happens, I usually just let it be, never pursue any questions, and end up paying another $2.75 because my initial thought was that there is nothing that the MTA could do for me. As soon as I thought this, the saying “The answer is always no if you never ask.” There’s always an internal battle inside me when it comes to matters of putting myself out there. I don’t like doing so because I don’t want to bother people/ be rejected. However, I decided to model off a grad school speaker who said to me after I asked a question about dropping out after getting your masters, “who says you can’t do that?” At that moment, my resolve was to go to the booth when I got to my destination and inquire about the subway turnstile eating my subway swipe.

When I got to the booth in Times Square, I told them what had happened and even though MTA couldn’t offer me a refund, they told me as a courtesy they would let me through the turnstile without having to pay again. Even though I was on my way to work, I knew that if I just went to the booth and asked the same question that they would let me through and they did.

Growth is sum of the small, but significant steps like these to be the individual you want to grow into. It doesn’t seem like much, but this was a good day navigating NYC on my own.

Regarding design, work was good. I was really excited to just make a lot of designs and at a certain point did not even want to go to lunch because I was having fun. It looks like my resolve is finally back.

For these designs, I copied the layout in the slide if you press the next button. The parameters were to create a design that uses any weight and any point size.

There’s nothing wrong with copying because it’s like cooking as Chris Do says. I want to taste the original many times before so that I know what works and then eventually branch off and make my own dishes.

a sunset I wish we didn't see

I know there are probably a lot of people who love to watch the sunset and I’m one of those people. But some sunsets, I wish my eyes never tasted them. If you’re not sure what I’m referencing, I’m referencing when someone passes away. If you look on some gravestones, a sunrise represents someone’s birth and a sunset refers to someone’s passing.

Back in 2002, my family lost our mother on this day. There’s no need to go that much into detail about it because I’ve already worked out a good majority of that trauma and because after 16 years, it’s just another day. When I first started working on my trauma 2 years ago, it was really hard for me to understand why I never could feel an emotion when I thought about my mom, but felt so worked up about a short term relationship. With some help, I found that my frustration is called complicated grief. What helped was skateboarding a lot and also getting a tattoo of my mother’s favorite flower, a pink rose. However, 2 years later, I still look at that tattoo every day, but I don’t really think of my mother still. It’s almost as if I wasted money and my skin (haha). But that’s not the point. Even though it doesn’t hurt as much as when I was younger, I think I’ve finally outgrown those feelings and don’t feel as frustrated. Sure with time, my wounds heal because I will outlive those painful experiences and replace them with better ones and sure I might forget over time, but the point is I’m alive, my family is well, and I’m still chasing my dream of recognition.

For these designs, I copied the layout in the slide if you press the next button. The parameters were to create a design that uses rules and shapes so I can still interpret this as trying to copy other people’s work to see how other designers design and as well, just improve by copying. There’s nothing wrong with copying because it’s like cooking as Chris Do says. I want to taste the original many times before so that I know what works and then eventually branch off and make my own dishes.

Ever heard that 20% of your effort leads to 80% of your results?

If you’ve ever heard of busy work, then you know that busy work is what it is. It’s work that keeps you busy. But does it make you productive? Even though you’re working and you’re spending so much time on different tasks, are you actually accomplishing what you want to do? As I’ve found out, probably not because I’m not focused on what I should be doing because as I’ve heard from a teacher on skillshare, I don’t feel that I have the knowledge to do so. One way to combat that is education. It’s taken me a whole year to feel fired up about graphic design again. I really coasted this past year, but I focused on getting into the skateboard world which is actually a good thing because that is my people. However, I’m not going to get far by talent alone, I have to keep working at my craft. To do so, it means cutting out the busy work and doing the really hard tasks that I don’t want to do, but know that I should be doing.

For these designs, I copied the layout in the slide if you press the next button. Since the assignment is experimental, I interpreted that to mean that I could make a real layout or rather just copy someone else’s work to see how they did it. I went on behance and found underneath the typography section several layouts that I liked and replicated. Currently, I’m learning how to write case studies, but I’m still in the learning and research phase. I’ll be adding to these after I learn how to write these case studies properly. These will be my warm ups.

Your passion will take you past the finish line

If you’re following, I’m doing this project so that I can get better at graphic design and track my progress. I’ve been doing this now for 11 days I think and I’ve learned a lot in the last week just doing a lot of designs even if they may not be perfect. With 11 days down, that means 19 more to go which doesn’t seem that hard because the halfway mark is coming up. However, I’m trying to go past this. In the past, whenever I would reach a goal, I would stop and not worry. I think that was a very college type of mindset and now that I’m out and don’t want to mess around that much anymore, I’m thinking big picture. At some point, I’m going to have to work a 40 hour week so that I can sustain myself. Right now, I’m getting by pay check to pay check, but I need benefits because I’m going to be 26 in 2 years. Time is running out and at the same time it isn’t. I don’t want to be a 30 year old still trying to make it. At 30, I want to have already made it. The question does become, what am I trying to make? Recognition is usually the answer for me.

For these designs, the constraints were experimental