Side Projects Save Your Soul

side projects save your soul

The worst client I ever had pushed me to the limits of sanity. I’m not proud to say that I did reach a point where I was avoiding their phone calls. A cheap client who wanted everything for nothing and project creep was out of control. I reached a point where I just wanted to get the job finished, get the guy out of my hair and write it off as a bad experience, but it felt like it would never end. I found the client so demanding, difficult to work with and the project so soul destroying that I stopped building sites for clients for a few years after that.

I have been through several creative incarnations over the years, changing focus to keep chasing money and make a living. And, recently in the last 12 months I have been through massive personal change which has changed my whole outlook on life and by inclusion the work that I do. I have now begun to change my entire approach to ‘making a living’.

The secret of a happy life

I now realise that the secret of a happy life is found within enjoying the action of your work, what you are ‘doing’ in the moment. Not to be driven by awards, recognition or even money, that only serve to feed your ego. If you can get out of bed looking forward to your day and enjoy each moment of your day, with joy and humour, as you undertake your tasks, then you are a success. Material rewards are not a measure of success – they are merely numbers on a piece of paper. Your soul can only be satisfied by enjoying what it is ‘doing’ in each present moment. If you trade off a high wage for work you do not enjoy there is no pleasure in life to be found. Many high-earning CEOs and workaholic executives are living empty lives and are desperately unhappy.

It’s inevitable that you will have to accept projects, to pay the bills, that aren’t your dream brief or from your dream client; but, when faced with the mundane reality of business and life, how do you maintain enthusiasm, inspiration and motivation? [Read more…]

In-Depth Guide To Creating Personas & Why They Help Produce Better Content

how to create personas

Jane Walker is 34 and lives in Manchester with her boyfriend of 5 years. They have a city centre apartment and one car. She works in a designer clothing store as a manager and loves the perks of discounted clothing. Her parents live an hour’s drive away and she sees them on average every two weeks. She has one sister who lives and works in London, but they are not very close. Jane works from 9.30am till 6pm and has to work every Saturday. She goes to the gym three evenings a week and meets her girlfriends for a drink every Friday night. Jane is internet savvy and uses email, facebook and twitter on a daily basis.

Do you have a visual picture of Jane in your head? Can you relate to her and imagine her as a real person? [Read more…]

The 12 Best Fonts For Design: Inspired by Massimo Vignelli

The 12 Fonts You Ever Need

Celebrated Italian designer Massimo Vignelli controversially claimed “we use too many typefaces“. Depending on where you stand on typography/design will depend on whether you agree with the statement or not, I personally whole-heartedly agree with Vignelli and call for a greater degree of discipline in the usage of fonts. You can read an opposing article about this statement and listen to an interview with Vignelli here. [Read more…]

Prankvertising Halloween Viral Videos for Inspiration

prankvertising leeds trinity shopping centre

Maintaining creativity requires input of ingredients. You get out what you put in. A selection of material ranging from reading a diverse section of books, magazines and blogs; cultural stimulation from galleries, cinema and video; and keeping abreast of what others in the industry are producing is minimum requirement. Prankvertising is a relatively new viral genre for YouTube. Set-up a practical joke situation, film, edit and post. Big brands are investing heavily in ever more sophisticated viral videos to expand their reach. [Read more…]

2 Brands Using Pinterest Creatively (the right way)

best brand review pinterest

Being a creative type I have always been a visual hoarder. I would collect ideas, images, illustrations, ads, magazines, photos, leaflets, flyers. In fact anything that had a visual appeal to me would end up in one of my huge scrapbooks as a reference for when I wanted inspiration on a creative project. This led me to perfect the cough-and-rip technique for removing pages from magazines in public places such as libraries, waiting rooms and hairdressers. If I saw something that sparked an idea to me there was no way I was leaving without it or my creativity could potentially suffer a lifetime. As you can imagine I ended up with boxes full of reference and huge cumbersome scrapbooks that were a weight round my neck as I moved from house to flat to room to flat to house when I was a student and through my twenties (I moved about 18 times in my early years).

Fast forward – internet – google image search – and bam! – Pinterest. Possibly my most favourite tool ever to be invented as it allowed me to save, file and reference a ton of visual imagery at the click of a button. And no more shelves full of dusty clippings. My life is now a minimalist, serene haven free of clutter.

If used the right way Pinterest can refer high levels of traffic. It’s easy to use and you just click on the stuff you like; no brain input required. Perfect brain candy. Subsequently Pinterest had a particular high uptake in fashion, weddings and recipes.

Two brands that show us how you should be using Pinterest are: [Read more…]