Living In My Spring

I may have mentioned this before but my creativity and mood are very aligned with the seasons here in Ohio. In the winter, I retreat and hunker down. Our hope is that next winter, we literally retreat to someplace warmer. I also tend to get lazy. Lazy in a physical way. Lazy in a creative way.

When spring arrives, I feel my curiosity return. This spring, I’m finding myself creating boundaries within my curiosity. We’re in the process of re-designing our website, we’re in the process of refreshing what our workshops and events look like, we’re in the process of revamping our internal processes. Instead of looking at what other people are doing (creative studios, agencies or coworking spaces), I’m forcing myself to find inspiration elsewhere.

I already do this in a few ways. But I’m adding to the list. Here’s what I’m at:

  1. I try not to follow “competition” unless I have a personal relationship with them. I use quotation marks to indicate that I don’t truly believe in competition the way most do. You can read more about that here.
  2. If anything, I look to creativity outside of my industry (design, marketing and photography). I love staying connected to painters, chefs, musicians, textile designers, interior designers and even athletes.
  3. As of late, I’m making an effort to move every day. This has never been a habit in my life but it’s doing wonders already.
  4. I don’t spend a lot of time consuming things on the internet. I stick to my Twitter lists (I have two lists: one called “Friends in Real Life” and one titled “Interesting People That I Don’t Know.” Instagram knows who I want to hear from and what I want to see.
  5. When I do take the time to consume other peoples’ content, I seek out content created by women and people of color in longer form. This is usually books but sometimes articles online.
  6. I’m writing every day, here. I’m adding in writing-that-I-don’t-share-with-anyone this week.
  7. I’m slower to accept new clients. I’m more apt to experiment with smaller introductory projects. More inclined to ask more questions.
  8. Something that I’m not good at making time for: drawing and painting. These two forms of physically creating with my hands are something that I need to prioritize. It’s so difficult in my digital world of editing, design and email.

That’s my list for now. I hope to produce work that I’m proud of over the next 4-6 months. Oh and take lots of breaks, too.


Photo taken while on our walk tonight!

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8 Comments
  • Rachel A Dangerfield
    Posted at 16:11h, 19 April Reply

    Love this one <3. Interestingly, your Spring is my Autumn. Something about going back to school (even though I haven't been in school in nearly a decade) ignites my creativity.

    • Allie
      Posted at 16:18h, 19 April Reply

      Ah I love hearing how people approach their own seasons. Do you tend to feel like summer is your least creative time? Or is it still pretty rad?

  • Thea
    Posted at 16:42h, 24 April Reply

    Had a big aha! moment when I read #1 & #2. I’m a graphic designer and get way deep in that comparison game when I look at other designers – I’m going to open my horizons and draw inspo from other fields. Brilliant. Thank you.

    • Allie
      Posted at 11:17h, 25 April Reply

      I love hearing this! Let me know if you find any non-design specific accounts that you love!

  • Bri Kapper
    Posted at 10:27h, 25 April Reply

    I should have done #1 sooner. Most the people I followed on the account I deleted were freelance designers. Everything started to look the same which made me doubt myself and my career more than I realized. But that’s just my take on what “competition” is to me.

    • Allie
      Posted at 11:18h, 25 April Reply

      Trend is huge and I totally understand it when I see it. It’s hard stay above the trend or “original” – I’m glad you don’t have that as readily available now.

      • Bri
        Posted at 11:53h, 25 April Reply

        I’m hoping to find some in real life creative community when we move. I value true relationships. I don’t want to be part of people fan girl-ing one another just because they have 15k IG followers.

        You can create a cohesive personal brand and IG feed that people follow, but that doesn’t mean the work has substance.

        I don’t know. Having more followers doesn’t make someones knowledge more valuable or better. Sometimes it does.

        I’m still processing this, obviously.

        I don’t want to be famous. I just want to work hard and do good design.

        • Allie
          Posted at 12:59h, 25 April Reply

          YES! Real life community > anything online. I know what you mean though. I also very much value work for real clients (not just “cool looking design”). I chose a long time ago to design for real small businesses and I don’t always think my peers see it as sexy/cool.

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