January is always that ‘get organized’ month for me in the studio. It generally starts with a little reflection of the previous year which leads to a few weeks of goal setting and finally action planning. This whole process has been a lot more relaxed for me in the past, however, the anticipated arrival of a new family member has put a bit of a fire under my you know what. I’m feeling pretty motivated to get a bunch of work done earlier in the year to accommodate the big change that is going to happen in our lives this June.
Planning to take time off has meant some busy weeks of figuring things out and putting them in order. MindNode is where this process all begins for me. This handy app available (for free) from your local Mac App store makes mind mapping so much easier and a heck of a lot more fun. Much like a hand written mind map, this app helps you visually outline information. In this case the map was for my 2013 Biz Goals, of which I have six major ones. In each of these areas I spent some time developing action plans and setting myself some deadlines. In some cases I get detailed and down to the day for hitting deadlines in other cases it’s a little more relaxed. For the most part it’s more about recognizing the work that needs to get done. In the day-to-day things often get shuffled around and I try to be flexible. Really, I do work for myself and that’s one of the perks of being self-employed! The next step is taking that information and putting in into my year planner, monthly planner then day-to-day. I’m sure that this sounds like major over-kill on the calendars but hey, this is what works for me. I need both the visuals in the studio as a reminder of the bigger picture and monthly breakdowns while on my computer I track the day-to-day so I can see what I’ve accomplished.
The yearly planner is an overall visual of what needs to happen in each month so that I stay on my game in the studio as well as in the industry. Being in the textile and design industry I have seasonal deadlines for print, creative, buying, production and delivery.
The monthly calendar helps me to focus in on my goals and incorporate the bigger picture. I break down my workday into am activities, pm activities and evening activities. I find that the morning is good for thinking and writing, in general my mind is fresh after I’ve rested. In the afternoon I schedule physical studio activities. It’s like a reward for getting through the brain twisting in the morning. The evening is relax time this means reading or research. After some quality time with husband over dinner, I gear down with some light reading or surfing the net.
Lastly and most importantly is my daily activity planner. This is a Microsoft Word calendar I keep on my desktop. For the most part it’s where I give myself gold stars for accomplishments. I only plan out activities a week at a time to allow for flexibility. The best thing about this calendar is looking back on the year’s work, everything I’ve done and how far I’ve come in that period of time.
After a busy holiday season in the studio, I’m back at it and have acquired some new tools. While I was away from the blog this past month I was constantly reminded about the importance of social media.
Being on the road and having access to all the social media platforms is a great way to stay connected with customers and the community. This past year I connected with the world on Twitter and about 3 weeks ago I connected to Instagram, thanks to Samsung! Seriously – what a cool tool! It really is a fun, creative way to upload images to the web and share what you’re doing in life and the studio. I have to say I’m hooked…
It seems that there are so many ways to connect these days that it’s almost hard to keep up with them all. I’m slowly figuring things out, deciding on my fave’s and getting connected.
Here are a few fun shots of some outdoor activities from my time off after the busy holiday rush!
What feels like a life-time ago, during my undergrad years, I was lucky enough to be one of the recipients of a travel scholarship that took me to Central St. Martins for summer programs. My on going love affair with London blossomed that muggy summer and I was introduced to a new view of the world through surface design – which until that point was focused around fashion.
William Morris’s designs were a huge part of that…
While doing some research I came across images of his fabrics and placed them in my sketch book as references for a project I was working on. Later while wandering around the Victoria & Alberta museum I mozied into the textiles library and was perusing through the catalog when, ‘lo and behold’, I look up and there’s the original right in front of me.
That was one of my ‘design fuzzy moments’ that I’ve spoken about in past posts and it has stuck with me for some 10 or more years.
Some how I seem to have come back around to the same thing. I’m still so inspired by the pattern and colour I see around me but the difference now is that I’m not thinking so much about the end result. It seems that somewhere along the way my journey has become more about getting back to the basics. By that I mean, the surface of the materials that I’m working with rather than its outcome.