Nov 24, 2015 | Freelance


I recently attended my first Creative Mornings event last Friday in downtown Dallas to listen to Jason Franzen of speak about his journey through design and how he eventually wound up working for his lifelong hero, Prince.

It was an amazing event full of inspiration, emotion and some great take-aways. Those meetups can always be a bit intimidating as an artistic introvert, but every time I attend something like CM I leave recharged with new friends. It says a lot about the creative community here, and as a whole. During this week of gratitude and reflection, I really want to say thank you to the creative communities out there. I think as creatives, we sometimes are the only ones who understand the time, turmoil, and processes we go through in order to fulfill our personal passions.

We know how easy it is to feel burned out, lose inspiration or become cynical towards clients, so it is critical that we support each other and keep the flame alive. And I don’t know about you, but sometimes just inspiring someone else to push through their wall reminds me to stay true to my process and fuels my passion as well.

So thank you to all the beautifully open and welcoming people I have met and connected with over the past month at Creative Mornings,Dribbble meetups, morning coffees and the best connector of all: the internet. Words of encouragement and affirmation can go a long way for those who put themselves out there and create for a living.

Here are some notes from Jason’s talk that I hope you find applicable.

1. In order to be the most productive and do our best work, we need to ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS. Create for yourself an environment with minimal distractions, meetings, or responsibilities other than to create. Turn off your phone; close your email and browsers. Interruptions can snowball very quickly and sometimes you need to be a little more selfish with your creative time.

2.  Work life balance is extremely important. But LIFE AND WORK CAN BECOME ONE, especially as a creative. If you’re not having fun, you are doing it wrong. Refine your process until it is. Practice until you are attracting the work you want to be doing!

3.  TIME IS AN ILLUSION – it can be compressed or stretched. Have you ever had days where you thought to yourself, “Wow, how did I get all that done in one day?” If we eliminate small chunks of time in between emails, meetings and errands, we have a better chance of entering into our flow state and owning time. This also gives us a better chance of completing an idea. If we carve out enough time initially, the smaller the chance for our passion and inspiration for that idea to stall.

4.  We can and we should AIM HIGHER. Sometimes it takes the same amount of effort to make something 2X better as it does to make it 10X better. The extra mile typically isn’t a full mile.

5.  Try to MAKE EVERYTHING AN EXPERIENCE. The measurement for an experience is: “Was it memorable?” Once your work is “finished,” what elements are missing that could take it from good to memorable?

6.  We can BE MORE SELECTIVE about what we share. Be more conscious about what you are putting out into the world and what that says about your brand. Everything should pass the test of quality and excellence. If you don’t have those standards set, focus on sharing less and more on importance.

7.  People expect you to ZIG. SOMETIMES YOU SHOULD ZAG. We all need to go down new paths to experience new things. This leads to new inspiration and personal growth.

Hopefully you found something valuable here you can apply to your routine. Enjoy the slow week ahead for Thanksgiving and time to be with loved ones, there is so much to be thankful for. Happy holidays and thanks for stopping by!

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