Traditionally at this time of year I travel with my family, to reconnect with our extended family and get some space from the every day grind. Coming back always leads to introspection, me reviewing the year and acknowledging wins and losses. This year I spent more time than ever trying to surround myself with resources meant to inspire, educate and motivate. My favorite, and most influential, is Amy Cuddy's TED talk on body language. I used her advice and heard her wisdom in my head several times this year. I'm also continually inspired by Design * Sponge, the amount of creativity that is sent daily to my in-box is amazing and the pod casts a great resource. Plus, the blogs creator Grace Bonney, is very transparent about the journey her business has taken, what she has learned and still wants to learn, who has helped her and supported her creative endeavour. From that site I'm sure I've whiled away hours going down rabbit holes into others blogs, projects, web sites. I'm not sure if it's all that productive, but it's been pretty enjoyable. It took a bit, but I realized the perfect life crafted on the web is really fantasy for the most part. This makes it a lot easier to take in, I give myself a hard enough time already without taking on that too! The last bit of influence comes from Ali Brown pod casts that document setting personal goals, having realistic expectations and working with what you have.
So with the new year, I would like to keep focusing on self-improvement. The feedback I receive from my employer is that my technical ability is excellent, but my design skills are an unknown. In the work we do I think design skills are used every day, perhaps not overt like a new building but small moves that overall create a successful end. My focus is to find my own inspiration, realize my own potential in design be it small or large. I'm starting with taking a jewelry fabrication/metalsmithing class and I know this will positively impact my architectural design process. Keeping inspiration strong and being engaged is a constant battle when a lot of what we do is mundane. I end this post with a link to Tim Brown's blog, CEO of a global marketing firm he lays out a process to negotiate this balance and provides many ideas surrounding "design thinking".