Time to think

Number One Highland Park

Treating myself to a celebratory almond milk iced latte and grain-free muffin the other day, I stumbled across a thought-provoking article in Darling Magazine. Bre Scullark writes,

“Masking the motive behind our actions subconsciously gives us permission to live an inauthentic life.”

Leading an inauthentic life is the last thing I want, but I’ve found lately that it’s an easy place to get to. I’ve had a ton to process in the past half year: engagement, a new job and leaving a company that felt like home, ongoing health flare-ups, my grandmother’s passing, marriage, moving into a place with a guy (my husband, but still), my first and hopefully only lay off, another new job… That’s some hard work, ya’ll. That I haven’t been doing.

The article goes on to say that “when we numb our emotions we deny ourselves the opportunity to find acceptance and peace uninterrupted.” Compulsive behavior like eating, shopping and entertainment are all ways we continue this pattern of avoidance. Interestingly or perhaps fittingly enough, these are also all ways to consume rather than create. Producing creative work requires things like processing and feeling.

Since I got married a little over 2 months ago I’ve become fast friends with the consumption and distraction part of this equation. I’ve read 6 books and started 3 others, watched all 5 seasons of Brothers & Sisters, caught up on the full seasons of 4 other shows, spent two weekends out of town, added several blogs to my regular reading roster, pinned countless pins and obsessed about apartment decor with the receipts and return slips (and then receipts again) to prove it.

But when all these fun things aren’t balanced with any time to reflect or engage in creative outlets of my own, they become stifling. I have been learning firsthand that laziness and self-indulgence are not the same as rest.

This quote from Louis C.K. also hit me hard, talking about people’s need to constantly preoccupy themselves:

“And that’s why we text and drive. People are willing to risk taking a life and ruining their own because they don’t want to be alone for a second because it’s so hard.”

It is hard. I’m slowly trying to take stock of my reactionary habits, to be more mindful about how I’m spending my time and why. After all,

tom ford quote - time and silence

 

Finding creativity

inspiring photographs

Creativity is like luck.

It’s always a bit of a gamble when – or you fear, if – inspiration will strike. You hope. You have your go-to tactics to encourage it, not unlike a superstitious tick…a certain playlist, position or activities.

And just like actually saying you’re lucky seems like a bad idea (wouldn’t want to jinx it!), it seems rather presumptuous to call oneself creative.

But here I sorta go.

I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t call myself an exceptionally creative person. I constantly see seemingly effortless but flawless and original writing and Instagram photos and think, “Why didn’t I think of that?” 

I do think and hope I lean more that way on the scale than anywhere else, though, and I try to feed my creativity as much as possible through browsing design pins, trying my own hand at photography and reading about others’ inspired ideas, blogs and entrepreneurial spirit.

Receiving anonymous “snaps” from all my colleagues (an agency annual tradition) citing my creativity came just in time. I’ve been feeling less than inspired so far in 2014, and it has helped to have the external reinforcement. After a week of brainstorms and ideas I’m truly excited about, though, I feel like I’m emerging from the professional portion of my creativity slump.

The personal side, on the other hand, could use some of your help. What sources do you turn to for inspiration?

 

P.S. I highly recommend the Stars Pandora station for your next writing playlist. It’s inspired.

Photos (clockwise from left): 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Inspiration: Creative Folk

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This week I was inspired by three powerfully creative people, and it is totally worth waiting for this page to load with all its images and videos to make your day too.

Like Sarah in her in Media High + Finding freedom post, I was also inspired by some industry genius. This week was another installment of DSVC [Dallas Society of Visual Communication] meeting. Now, folks, I am not a designer. But I love learning from designers about communication, as it all plays into my passion for branding. (I also happen to secretly wish I had the natural inspiration for the perspiration it takes to be an artist and/or designer, but I digress). Our speaker this week was Erik Marinovich, a letterer and designer. Aside from his amazing talent, what I also found interesting about Erik was his initial career path. When he graduated he couldn’t get a job or internship (preach it). So he took to following in his father’s footsteps and taking over the brick laying business and had completely let go the idea of being a designer. Until his girlfriend, later turned wife, told him she was selling all her things and moving to NYC. He could either do the same, or she was breaking up with him. So he went. He took an internship, worked till 6 AM most nights, had some amazing mentors, and went on to becoming this amazing letterer. I think all young career driven people love hearing these stories, the ones that sound like theirs. It gives us confidence that if we do continue to work hard, we will succeed. And the fact that no one would hire us straight out of college, has no bearing on our lifetime success. I think I speak for Sarah and I when I say that we both had a rougher time than expected finding positions in our industry, and it was such an initial blow to our confidence and determination. We, as a 20-something, often struggle with the idea of why am I not there yet. Or at least, I do. To survive, we need mentors and role models like Erik to tell us to calm the freak down. Erik also reminisced about his time interning as a time of learning and great inspiration, he was young and still finding his way. Erik reminded me to work hard, work smart and stay passionate. In his presentation he instructed us to follow up on an idea. If you have a good one, go for it. Worst case scenario, it won’t work out, and life goes on. Erik was incredibly relate-able and truly put some fire under my feet this week at work.

Also, a quick note on the images above. They are from a site that Erik and Aaron Carámbula started one night a few years back around 4 AM via iChat, called FriendsofType.com. It’s awesome and you will no doubt get stuck clicking through the pages for a few hours. So be sure to only visit the site when you have at least 10 minutes to spare. Kidding, kinda. The wood one featured above was actually painstakingly carved into wood. Talk about dedication to a craft.

The following two videos are other nuggets of inspiration for me this week. I’m going through a Beethoven phase and believe everyone should be in on it too. It also happens to be fantastic work music. The other is poem by the Austin-based poet, Anis Mojgani, that a friend posted on my Facebook page. I love his message and the almost rap-like style of presentation. I haven’t had a real opportunity to explore his work further, but it is certainly on my list.

Have a great weekend everyone!


 

Looking Ahead

New Year Quote

happy-new-year-cupcake

 

I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions, but clearly we’re goal driven people around Finding Tiffany’s. I do believe in striving to my best self every day, and I’m excited to continue learning and growing in the year ahead. The new year holds exciting opportunities at work, plenty of occasions in the works to play hostess for people I care about and travel sights set on D.C. and Chicago.

2012 was the year of…

Career. I launched my first blog and received two job offers to start my first “real” job.

Travel. New York City, Austin (twice), Atlanta, Fayetteville, Boston, Norman (three times) and New Mexico.

Community. A best friend moved back, I met two roommates, bonded with coworkers, joined a bible study with 20 amazing women and reconnected with some old friends in the area.

Independence. My own apartment, a new car and bills…all paid by yours truly.

2013 will focus on…

Health. Commit to yoga, run, eat (way) less sugar and finally follow through on some long-postponed healthcare appointments.

Relationships. Practice intentionality by actually responding to Facebook messages and in a timely manner, remembering birthdays and embracing snail mail for cards and notes.

Creativity. Learn photography with my new DSLR, dedicate more time to watching documentaries and independent film again and continue writing and blogging.

 

What do you think about resolutions? Have you set any goals or themes for the new year?