My Design Enemy: Myself

It’s almost like design has become stagnate to me. I look around and see all these talented designers, artists and I look at myself and feel that I am not growing. That everyone is swirling around with me with talent and knowledge yet I feel I know nothing. I start thinking to myself: when was the last time I really made something I loved? Not simply enjoying the design process, but also enjoyed the end result. I am my worst critic and I feel like I need to improve both in self esteem and have that urge to improve. For me it’s almost like seeing incredible talent stumps me. Instead of it making me feel more motivated, it makes me shrug back and think “I could never make that”. It’s a bad way of looking at things and I am working so hard to improve such a negative outlook. I fight with my inner self all the time. My mind is constantly at war with my heart. I know that I am a talented creative in my heart, but my mind chimes in and starts to discourage me. It’s almost as if my heart is the dreamer and my mind only thinks logically and cannot be creative. I am still young in my career and have so much room to grow. Yet I have seen myself grow so quickly since I’ve moved to SF. So I do know that I can make things happen. But sometimes I truly do struggle with myself. So what do I do about it?

  • I fight it. After moping around for a day or two, I get out of my slump and ask people I admire on how they create things. I am only going to get better with practice and by learning from the best.
  • I suck it up. Getting over myself and looking forward is so hard to do!
  • I think about my dreams. Focusing on the future and my ambitions gets me out of the pity party rut and keeps me moving forward.
  • I surround myself with people who encourage me. I hang out with people who encourage me. I avoid those people who try to bring me down on every little thing that I do. I spend my time with people who have the same dreams and ambitions as me and lead a healthy and beautiful life. Being surrounded by people like this makes me want to live a life like that and lead by example.
  • I start my own projects. I have one project in the works right now that I have been enjoying working on. It’s been slow moving but I hope to release it this summer. Fingers crossed! Hint: Fashion & iOS

I’m far from perfect. I make mistakes everyday. But life is about battling inner demons and learning to grow and get better at the challenges that I face. I love life and I love people. Conquering this inner enemy will pull me closer to the dreams and missions that I have in my life.

What do you struggle with when designing? Do you find yourself battling the inner negative voice that says what you can’t do? If so, how do you rise above it?

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Awaking the Dreamers

I’m awake again. It’s 1 am on a Saturday night and while I could have gone out, I’m here writing out my ideas. Half of the ideas I ever write down end up getting canned for one reason or another. But I feel that anyone that has ever had a great idea for a company or an app, started with many small ideas. It’s almost like each idea gets greater and better and then one day it’s going to explode. I can feel it, this momentum building up inside my gut. There is something in me that has this desire to build and do something great. I wish I could explain it to you, but I just know it’s there. I feel it hovering over me constantly. I know I am destined for something so much bigger than myself, but what is it? My whole life I’ve wanted to be apart of things that are bigger than me. That’s why I really enjoy working in a larger startup, it’s why I love spending time with people of such a high caliber who are smarter and more talented. When I spend time with greatness I aspire to do great things.

A lof of my thought process is asking myself “How can I make people’s lives around me easier? What can I do to improve their caliber of life and what can I give?”

Is it a product, company, application or charity? These are questions I am always asking myself. I want to help improve the quality of peoples lives. Weather it’s finding people jobs in SF through connections, taking a friend out for coffee, or really sitting down with someone and mentoring them in design.

As my birthday rolls around, I start thinking to myself how I want the next year of my life to impact people. This positive impact, that changes lives and gives people the motivation to live their life to the fullest. To dream bigger than they ever have before to keep running when people say to stop. I’ve always had this notion and this self awareness of life and time. I know I am so young, but for me I can already feel time running out, that there is so much that needs to be accomplished in life, yet we truly have a ticking clock among us. Time is moving quickly, and the world is moving even faster.

I know it’s coming, I just don’t know what it is yet. It’s the calm before the storm. I know for myself that I need to make the right decisions in my life that will lead me to that place. To be cautious of my steps and to protect my work and ideas. I am sure many of you feel the same way. I believe the reason we wake up everyday with motivation is because each of us knows we are destined for something great that each of us was made for. The hard part is just learning to wait and grow and also have the ability to take the blood and sweat that will happen in the process. So many people feel the urge to be a “Mover” but they get half way up the hill, something happens, they get hit by a rock falling from the top and they never climb back up. Great things will not happen on a first or even a second treck up the hill. They will happen when the person refuses to give up and lives their life to complete their destiny and fulfill what they were created for.

When Ideas Come to Shove

Living in San Francisco, I can’t help but sense the energy of wanting to create something, anything. There is as pulse in the city that cannot be described but it is certainly evident. Just like NYC has a pulse, and so many other cities, so does SF. Before moving to SF I didn’t have any “ideas” inspirations to build anything.  Building an idea is like sailing into uncharted waters. You really don’t know what will happen till you’re there. But once I moved into the city, it was like a contagious cold. I got the start-up bug, that feeling of freedom from not working that boring 9-5 job. Moving to SF actual made my ideas tangible. It’s funny when people say “You need to move to San Francisco, it’s where it’s all happening.” but it’s nothing but the truth. Now is the time to get funding, to be a designer or engineer. Start-ups all over the city are lurking for designers left and right, if you have talent and a keen eye for detail, you have already paved your way. Great engineers are sought out even more. If you want to get your foot in the door this is the place to be. The small city, foggy weather and the sad amount of homeless people may not be your thing. But it if you can overcome that with incredible food, great dive bars, endless things to do and start-up parties, you’ll be very happy. I promise you, you’ll never run out of t-shirts from all the parties you will be going to. There is something about the heartbeat of San Francisco that urges you to create anything. You can’t live here and not be motivated.

Building an idea is like sailing into uncharted waters. You really don’t know what will happen till you’re there.

Rent in the city is pretty intense, but when you think that you won’t own a car and won’t be paying for parking, it all is relative. Although a lot of people do prefer to live outside the city, which us urban folk call bridge and tunnel people. Rent this year has considerably gone up, thankfully for people that got their places before this year, have rent control. I personally like living in the city, it’s easier to meet people, get together to work on projects and it’s great living so close to everything.

There is something about the heartbeat of San Francisco that urges you to create anything. You can’t live here and not be motivated.

Sure SF is cold and foggy, but it has a lot of diversity (Which I love) so  you can always find the right place for you. Overall, this city is the place to be if you want to build a new idea, get a round of funding and learn from the brightest people in your industry. There is something about the heartbeat of San Francisco that urges you to create anything. You can’t live here and not be motivated. I wouldn’t pass up a job offer for here if I was you, and you were able to move. Just to even test the city out for year, you don’t have to stay. Most people I know that have moved here, love it and never want to leave. But like a lot of cities, you have to find the one that works best for you and your dreams.