Sharpening Creativity

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At some point during my life I stopped drawing. I don’t remember when it happened exactly, although I’m almost certain I stopped because of computer-aided design.

As I’ve been preparing for my talk at GIANTConf next month, I realized I hadn’t been pushing myself much lately. I stopped doing things that I loved because I was too hard on myself — and frankly, too lazy to continue pursuing them. Once I realized this, I started drawing again. Some of it’s been based on pictures I’ve found online. Some of it’s been based on toys I own. Some of it’s been completely freeform. But all of it’s been incredibly liberating.

Creativity, left unused, is a blade that dulls over time. Practice is the only way to sharpen it and improve.

Am I where I want my skills to be at yet? Nope. But I know that the only way to get there is to keep trying. I’m still overly critical of what I’ve been working on lately, but I know that I’ll get better if I keep with it.

Deciding not to do something because you can’t do it well is a cop out. I’m tired of having a dull blade.


 

2013 Jingle Jam 10K

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Last year, I joined the Jingle Jam 10K’s Board to assist with design, marketing, and social media. And I’m doing it again this year! (It’s amazing how helping to plan a non-web event can help change your perspective on planning things.)

It’s been a very rewarding challenge to work on the Jingle Jam 10K. I know that it’s supporting an excellent cause, SafeHomes of Augusta, and that I’m doing work that raises awareness of domestic violence. And being able to design things for all aspects of the race, both online and off, has been a great exercise in branding.

2013 JingleJam 10K Run/WalkThe Jingle Jam 10K is a fun-filled, Christmas-themed road race. Runners receive a long sleeve Dri-Fit shirt, jingle bells, and other awesome giveaways! (And there’s also a costume contest!) I would love it if you’d consider participating.

Sign up between today and 10/5 with the code GINORMOUS and you’ll save $5 on registration for the 2013 Jingle Jam 10K. Visit jinglejam10k.com for more information, or head directly to raceit.com to register.

On the fence about whether you can finish a 10K? As long as you can run or walk 10K (6.21miles) within 2 hours, you’re golden! (That’s something even I’ve been able to do!) Need help getting ready?Something like Couch to 10K might help.

Back to Basics

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I haven’t given up on Tersus. I’m trying to get into the habit of posting more and I felt like having an incomplete theme was too much of a distraction for me (and for anyone else who might stumble across my site). In the meantime, I’ve switched to using the wonderfully designed, Twenty Eleven Twenty Twelve theme. Will it stay this way for long? I hope not. If it encourages me to write more, maybe.

Speaking of habits, I’m working on becoming more productive. How am I hoping to accomplish that? I’ve installed RescueTime on my Mac and it tracks my web browsing and app usage and has a running dashboard available that I can view and see exactly how productive I’ve been each day. The other thing I’m doing is using an app called SelfControl. SelfControl lets you create a blacklist of distracting sites. Once its running, you can’t turn it off.

I’m hoping  these two changes will help me stay more focused and, in turn, I’ll get more shit done.

Meet Link

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You may have seen on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or Path… But we rescued a puppy on Friday and adopted him into our family.

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This is Link. Link has a Twitter: @LinkTheHeroic. We’re not 100% sure what he is, but we know his mom was a boxer. We’re thinking he might be part Lab, which would make him a Boxador.)

Our other dog, Mighty Diego, is not happy about the addition. He’s tolerating Link but just barely.

Diego was an easy pup, relatively speaking. Link, on the other hand, is way more mischievous. We’ll make it work though. :)

WallaBee Item Browser

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WallaB.ee is a new location-based item game that I’ve become quite enamored with. Over the past couple of weeks, my friend Will McCain and a few others have been working on a Google Doc that documented all of the available items and mixes/recipes that are available in the game. This weekend I took the idea a step further and created a visual guide: ItemBrowser.com. (It started in a subdirectory on this site and then I decided to move it to its own domain.)

Right now it’s all updated manually. WallaBee has an API that I hope to leverage to automate the site in the near future.

Since it’s an iPhone game, the site is geared towards that device. Got any feedback or want to see something done differently with it? Let me know in the comments, or hit me up on Twitter: @itembrowser

Dwelling on the past

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Dwelling on the past distracts you from the present. 2011 was a good year for me, but I struggled personally and professionally with a number of things. Rather than rehash it all, I’ve realized that I need to learn from those experiences, try my damnedest not to repeat the mistakes that were made and head full steam into 2012.

To help me, I’ve set some attainable, professional goals.

  • Tweet less.
  • Blog more. Expect at least one blog post a week.
  • Create more. Expect at least one post to dribbble a week.
  • Build something I’m proud of.
  • Spend an hour a day learning/improving my skills.
  • Set realistic deadlines and expectations before starting any project.
Personally, here’s what I’d like to improve upon:
  • Get more physically active. Since March 2011 I’ve lost 150lbs, but I’ve done so with little to no exercise. I need to get out and do more if I hope to lose any more weight.
  • Make relationships stronger. I’ve sacrificed quite a bit by working too much. I’ve got to find a better live/work balance.

What are you going to do to make 2012 better than 2011?

Happiness is a Yellow Balloon

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Happiness is a yellow balloon

I let a balloon go in front of my son yesterday and he got really, really upset – like, “You’re not my dude anymore” upset. To me it was just a balloon. To him, it was something much more. I told him that we’d get him another one to replace it at some point. I tried to let him know it wasn’t a big deal. It didn’t work.

While riding with his mom last night he told her that he had wished upon a star that his balloon would come back to him.

Kim, being the awesome mom she is, devised a plan. Shortly after Tyler went to sleep, she found a yellow balloon, blew it up and tied it with gold ribbon, perfectly matching the one I let go. We debated on leaving it on the front porch, but decided it was too cold. So she tied it to his bed instead.

Tyler woke up and ran into our bedroom. “Daddy! Daddy! Wishes do come true. My balloon came back to me. I told you it would.” It blew his mind that the balloon returned.

Kim made his day. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bigger smile on him.

Walk from Obesity

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In cities across the United States, individuals affected by obesity, their family members and friends, healthcare professionals and many others come together and proudly walk to raise awareness of the disease of obesity, childhood obesity and morbid obesity in the annual Walk from Obesity. On October 9th, I’ll be participating in the Augusta Walk from Obesity. I hope you’ll consider walking with me, or making a small donation to support my effort. I’m trying to raise at least $200 and I’m 10% there already. Would you please consider helping out in some way?

Weightloss

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Officially I’m down 17.2 lbs overall, but I didn’t weigh-in this past weekend. (I’m certain I’ve gained since last weigh-in.) I’ve started making excuses for myself. I haven’t been active. I’ve been feeling pretty defeated. WeightWatchers works, but I haven’t kept track of my Points, and I’ve allowed myself to cheat far too often. When you’re losing a pound here and pound there without really trying, it’s easy to trick yourself into thinking “this one bad snack/meal/whatever” is okay this one time. The problem is that one time turns into several if you let it.

I’ve got a lot more weight to lose. So much so that I’m starting to consider seriously trying to get on The Biggest Loser or gastric bypass surgery. I refuse to give up. That’d be the easy way. I’ve got a long way to go and I’ve only just begun. I need to push myself harder. I need to be more realistic about what I can and cannot eat.

How do you keep yourself motivated?