I’ve just been watching Stefan Sagmeister’s Ted Talk on The Power of Time off, thanks to the lovely Julia from the NHS Institute who sent it to me. Every seven years, designer Stefan Sagmeister closes his New York studio for a yearlong sabbatical to rejuvenate and refresh their creative outlook. He explains the often overlooked value of time off, which I’m wondering if you can or can’t draw parallels with when you are on maternity leave?
Archive for the ‘personal thoughts’ Category
October 12, 2012
February 24, 2012
I’m loving the fact that one of my extended family members (somewhere along the line of Bearded Collies) has become a TV star overnight in the new Halifax advert the Furry Hero. Great choice of dog Adam and Eve London.
Just in case you need another hero I’m always available and I’m pretty good at football too!
October 27, 2011
Last week I decided to spend a day in the British Museum. I drew everything that caught my eye in a little book. I wanted to condense the enormity of the museums collection into a small personal exploration. On my journey I met (to name but a few); a water spirit, an earth spirit, the lion-headed goddess of healing, a superb starling, and a fish headed sea spirit, and grumpy owl. Each object revealing new possibilities and ideas.
Drawing is my way of seeing and understanding things.
When you are struggling to see or understand, I recommend getting a pencil and paper and trusting what your head and your hands can create.
October 17, 2011
I’ve just spent the weekend trying to avoid connection with all things digital as a quest to find the “creative pause” that’s talked about in the Fast Company’s article, What Happened to Downtime? The Extinction of Deep Thinking and Sacred Space.
It was so incredible hard, as I feel so programmed and drawn to playing on my ipad, to check what’s happening in the World.
I always try to disconnect and recharge my creative self at the weekend, letting my mind wander and play with ideas without interruption. I do find this then helps me start the week a fresh with new ideas.
The article talks about how now we crave distraction over downtime, and when we do get a chance to be alone with ourselves, how we search out connection to something digital. ‘Our insatiable need to tune into information–at the expense of savoring our downtime–is a form of “work” (something I call “insecurity work”) that we do to reassure ourselves.’
My worry is if we are always connected, how do we really deeply think about things and reach solutions that are well thought through. I don’t want to live in a World where we make important decisions as quickly as sending a tweet. When we have down time we need to develop the capacity to use it and protect it.
October 4, 2011
I was invited to speak at the Business Analysis Conference Europe last week about the strategic importance of creative thinking and innovation for business analysis now and in the future.
After a long discussion on why we thought creative thinking and innovation was important, we ended up discussing the basics of bringing ideas to life by drawing. Which was prompted by a story from one of my panel members George Sadler, from Npower. Many years ago he had inserted two chapters from Moby Dick into a big report and it got signed off with no changes! I loved that story, for me it just highlights the importance of visualising your thinking to excite people and to make things happen. I then shared the simple tools we use like story boarding, journey maps and animation to bring an idea to life. Clive Holtham for the Cass Business School, who was also a panel member, then told us that they are now teaching all their MBA’s how to visualize their ideas too!
My personal action is now to sharpen up my drawing skills, to write less and draw more!
(This drawing is quite clearly not by me…I still need some practice, watch this space).
September 24, 2010
As some of you may be aware, my nan has been suffering from cancer for many years, and was recently told she is coming to the end of her life. This letter, a version of which I exhibited, is something I wrote when I discovered my nan was likely to live just another 2 weeks. You can see a full image on the Strive for Happiness website.
It’s hard when sad stuff happens, and grieving itself is different for everyone, but I believe that there is amazing power in sharing such intimate experiences. This is why I decided to exhibit the letter, because sharing always helps… along with swimming!
Often I think people write letters to people, draw and make fabulous things, and the process of doing so is really therapeutic. But often they end up under your bed, or hidden in a secret draw with a pad lock on! At The Strive for Happiness we are encouraging other people to write to angels, because we recognise that value in expression and sharing.
So this experience has launched the start of the new Strive for Happiness project ‘Writing to Angels’. If you would like to send your own letter to the angels, (Ella and I have their direct line…) you can post your letters to: 81/2 Glynde Street, London, SE4 1RU.
March 26, 2010
It amazing that 12 months has passed since thinkpublic was selected by NESTA as one of twenty-four high growth companies of tomorrow.
Over the last year I have been mentored by John Bartle co-founder of Bartle Bogle Hegarty. We have enjoyed working together so much from next month John is becoming our non-executive Chair.
To reflect on how mentoring has helped over the last 12 months, I was asked by design week to share my learning and give some tips to other creative businesses thinking about getting a mentor. View the article here.
March 2, 2009
Finally it’s trendy to be social and I would say the thinkpublic team is right at the forefront, enjoying the benefits of working on projects that really make a difference to society and to personal wellbeing.
An article in the Sunday Times last week interviewed Alnoor Ladha a trend forecaster at ad agency Mother, who predicted that if in the 1980s, you were distinguished by your wealth, and in the 1990s by how much you’d traveled, then in the late Noughties you are defined by your social value, the impact you have on the world beyond yourself.
I love the idea of this and it’s so timely.
Whilst enjoying my pancakes last week, I decided to give up buying plastic for lent! Recently I have felt myself buying vast amounts of fruit and vegetables covered in unnecessary plastic packaging. Seeing that my main reason for being vegetarian and non-dairy, is for environmental reasons, I therefore wanted to try and change my plastic ways.I want to see if I can survive for 40 days without the need to buy anything plastic!
It did though feel last Friday – when we received some printing from kinko’s in the biggest plastic bag I have ever seen – that the world was saying ‘why bother!’. Sometimes it can feel that issues like climate change are so huge that there’s not much we can do. But I do believe that by making small changes to every day life we can make a difference, and our power as consumers is phenomenal.
If anyone has any good ideas or uses for this huge bag, then I will send it to you (in a re-used paper packet) for recycling.