perfectionism is the enemy of the creative

June 26, 2014

“do you mind even a little that you are still addicted to people-pleasing, and are still putting everyone else’s needs and […] career ahead of your creative […] life? giving all your life force away, to ‘help’ and impress.” —anne lamott
what does people-pleasing have to do with perfectionism? let get into that right after we establish a common understanding of perfectionism.

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why ants can never be creative: teamwork can kill creativity

March 11, 2014

you’ve watched ants at work. you’ve seen them collaborating as a unified entity. a feat of teamwork that’s remarkable. ants are social insects. because of this social aspect, ants and productivity could be synonyms. us humans are social too. we have an intrinsic need to belong. however, another need could be even more powerful in certain situations: the need to individuate—to be unique. with a strategic mindset-switch between belonging and individuality, we can hack our intrinsic needs to our benefits…

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tunnel vision vs. imagination: a designer’s cheat sheet

January 23, 2014

an uncontrollable cough wakes you in the middle of the night. you look to your side and see your wife coughing too. it takes you a moment to realize that you’re inhaling smoke.

​without thinking twice, you turn on the lights and run to your son’s room. you pick up his limp body and make it to the front door. you turn the door handle and pull. nothing. the smoke is building up. the flames are getting closer. in your panic, you keep turning the door handle repeatedly, harder and harder. you don’t know if your son is unconscious or sleeping. you start violently kicking the door.

if this was any other uneventful morning, you would’ve been relaxed. without thinking, you would’ve already known that you lock the door every evening and keep the key in the door for easy unlocking.

a negative environment can make simple tasks difficult.
a positive one can make difficult tasks easier.

this is called ‘affect’…

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does emotional intelligence make you a better designer?

November 14, 2013

customers buy on emotion and then justify with logic. emotional intelligence does make us better designers. a substantial body of research supports this. better designers understand the relationship between their designs and the resulting emotional experience. that’s because the emotional connection to a design is what engages us in the first place. then we attempt to rationalize those emotions. the iPod was not the 1st mp3 player, but it was the 1st to be delightful. so what is emotional intelligence really?

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don’t know where to start or how to move forward? try an elastic process.

October 17, 2013

ften you can’t see a solution to your problem. sometimes you can’t even see the problem. here i share with you my own elastic process that has been refined over 15 years of experience as a creative. this has worked every time for those i’ve shared it with and myself. why elastic? you’ll find out towards the end. these are the four steps that i loop through until i’m unstuck…

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stuck in this maze? 3 ways to get unstuck.

September 15, 2013

you probably know exactly what it feels like to be stuck in a maze. not because you’ve actually been in a maze. but because you’ve had a similar experience.

it’s the feeling of choosing between left or right when you have no idea which is a dead end and which is salvation. it’s the feeling of reaching a dead end, and realising that you’ll have to backtrack and take the other path. it’s the feeling of having to do this over and over again until you spot—if you’re lucky—the light at the end of the tunnel.

we all get stuck sometimes (or often) working on a project. more so when creativity is involved. it’s very likely that one of these three reasons is the culprit:

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what is creativity anyway?

August 15, 2013

there are hundreds of explanations out there for creativity. we believe the simplest is often the right one. Michael Mumford suggests that creativity is both ‘novel’ and ‘useful’. yet there’s a catch…

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are you truly a self-employed creative?

August 15, 2013

even if you’re self-employed, you’re still ’employed’. you have clients (think: bosses), and being creative and innovative is risky for them. the hospitality industry hates high-risk scenarios. this kills your creative freedom. but there’s a sure way around this…

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tigers and inspiration

July 24, 2013

you’re either a designer or hospitality concept-owner. you’re standing before a tiger ready to leap at you with his claws. naturally, you don’t take notice of the wet grass, nor feel the warmth of the sun. instead, you’re so tense that you’ve isolated out everything but the tiger. it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get a spark of inspiration right now. when we focus on a project, it’s just like facing a tiger…

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you’re the designer in charge

June 12, 2012

technology has modified our lifestyles. it made us redefine our needs, perceptions, and likes, by privileging only the indispensable and the poetic. we are reassessing the true meanings of objects: what is real luxury today? what do you value and why? brands, tags, and outrageous prices are obsolete. in this fast-fashion world, full of lookalikes […]

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