Introverted Designer

Introverted Designer

About the Blog

Previously my blogs used to read more like a journal.

I'm going to try be a bit more mature about it now and post about... oh I don't know. This is going to be used as an outlet to my writing needs.

If music be the food of love...

CreativityPosted by Suki 26 Jan, 2017 23:48:39
So my insomnia has been back for a while now...

In the darkness of early winter mornings I've scribbled notes into my sketchbook (yes... I sleep with my sketchbook next to me...)

Thus today I write about a phrase I seemed to have written in the fuzziness of fatigue...
"Music education = best!!"


In stereotypical fashion I have learnt how to play the piano from the age of 3. And in my early teenage years I wanted to learn how to play something "cooler"... so drums and trombone it was (the trombone mainly because I had a crush on a guy the year above who was the only trombone player in the school... but anyway...). During that stage of my life I also wanted to be a music producer (there is a highly embarrassing track somewhere that was created then...)

I stopped because I moved schools, and I couldn't handle having to change teachers who just "didn't understand" what I was trying to do with "my music"....

Then at the ripe old age of 24, influenced by a friend with a beautiful voice, I started singing lessons...

With that background, I think I can say I'm somewhat knowledgeable about music education (anyone with kids who wants me to teach them how to play jingle bells on the piano? haha...)

Where was I going with this...


There's a lot of research out there about music education and the positive effects it has on child development/IQ/learning/mental health etc etc etc.

That's why, I think, in my foggy thinking I thought... hey, let's tie in music education into design!

Design has rhythm. You need breathing space. There are rules you follow to make the receiver "feel" it. Sometimes when you break those rules in the right way you will discover something amazing. Music is the same.

(By the way I write this as I listen to Josh Groban, because I've been jamming out to Ed Sheeran and Jessie J for the past 2 weeks...and...well, if I listen to them too much I'll start hating them. Don't want that.)

I've just realised I'm actually probably quite lucky to have been allowed to explore all aspects of the arts...


I suppose all I need to say is that... just like in letting yourself enjoy all genres of music (and it's ok to not like some... I'm picky about rap and modern pop...), design in different styles. Explore. Find out the rules. Follow them. Break them. But make sure you have the foundation...

CREATE whatever you want. LOVE whatever you want. ENJOY it. LEARN.
Learning is fun. Do it.

Because I have had the experience of getting blank looks when I mentioned grids to a "graphic designer"... and I have also had funny looks thrown my way when I mention how amazing Ed Sheeran is in the use of his loop pedals...

Beyond music I can hold a relatively interesting conversation about rallying, baking techniques, shortcomings in public healthcare in Kenya, addiction to self-harm/mutilation and gender equality in Japan.... amongst many different things.

These things have helped inform my design and work-ethics... as well as expanded my enjoyment of some music (because of the writing/style/history behind it).

I'm starting to ramble.

Here's a photo of a cheese and ham bread I baked a while ago.

Going to attempt to sleep now...

Still Waiting for That Wisdom to Arrive

CreativityPosted by Suki 23 Jan, 2017 16:31:05
8 days since I turned 30.

8 days of waiting for the wisdom and maturity to descend and enlighten me on which path I should take.


So I've decided to unleash the life lessons I've learnt so far. Because I think from the questions I've gotten so far about my life plans means I'm now "adult" enough to do so.

So, first lesson.

Something everyone has been told at least once in their life.

Learn to say No.

Yup. That's the one.

Now, personally, I learnt to say No in my personal life once I turned 21.

-Do you want to come back to my place?

-Let's go out, get stupidly drunk and make stupid mistakes
-Not today

-Does this suit me?

Alas, all that became easier as I grew older and my anxiety got progressively worse. I also learnt the generic "I won't say No outright, but please don't ask me again" way to say No.

But what I have found hard is saying No in my professional life.
For 5 years I have spent countless nights awake till 3AM trying to finish up a draft, not because I was spending the days enjoying myself, but because people don't seem to realise the importance of my time and sleep.

In the 5 years I've had at least 1 breakdown every 6 months. From lack of sleep, from stress exacerbating anxiety and from lack of respect for myself.

People told me that was what "working" meant. So I shut up and just did what I could in those lonely dark hours.

Do NOT do that.

I think this will ring true with everyone, but mine comes from a freelancer's point of view...
Yes, money is important. Networking is important. Building a client base is important.

But all that equates to nil when you spend your free time staring at a screen yet again, but instead of working you're watching other people's life and thinking "Why can't I have that?"

The cat became my best friend and my sleep companion.
My procrastination habits gradually grew worse.
Opening my e-mail account became a stressor.
I learnt to say yes to things I really shouldn't have.
And I learnt to say yes that helped bring me back to 'normal'.
I became very good at learning to running away from my responsibilities.
Many relationships ended/cooled down and I didn't notice till it was too late.

Eventually it all accumulated to me packing up my stuff and moving to a completely different country... Essentially I run away...and other than my parents the only people who knew I was serious were 2 friends who were fine dealing with my flakiness.

The fact I have those 2 means a lot.
One of them wisely told me a long time ago "if you have 3 friends by the time you're 40, you're fine." (10 years to add on that 1!!)

But if I had learnt to say No, I would not be sitting here writing this (well maybe, but not like this...).
I would have concentrated more on my relationships. I would have learnt how to build a relationship, rather than instinctively turning my back on them from fear of rejection.
I would love my job. I would have clients I love to work with. I would have the money in my bank I was proud of having. I would have respect and confidence in the work I do.

I would not be sitting here taking the steps to change my career because I'm starting to despise what I do.
I love to create. But I no longer want this to be my job. Which is a pity because the few clients I've had that I was able to build a relationship were brilliant... and I will probably keep working with them. But no longer do I have the will, or energy to have to deal with forcing myself to open my email everyday by bribing myself with a "new pen" or a "nice pair of socks" or a "cheeky half dozen doughnuts" ...

So learn to say No before it's too late.
Loving what you do is perfect, but that love is not going to get you through all-nighters, or hour long meetings that leave you wanting to pull out your hair... or make up for the time spent fighting about payment.

Love your work. Love yourself. Love to learn. Love to say No.


LifePosted by Suki 23 Aug, 2016 11:07:31

I have been wondering about what to blog about for a while.

Of course I could talk about design and all that… but that is all being stock piled for a later date.

So, I just thought, hey, let’s just discuss what exciting thing has happened in the past 7 days.

1) Whenever I’ve had to drive to work the traffic has been non-existent (partially because I leave the house latest at 6.30am). And whenever I’ve driven back home, traffic hasn’t been too bad. Yay!

*This is a photo from when someone else was driving... just in case people get worried I'm taking pictures while driving...

2) The coffee I had at Intercontinental Hotel was beautiful. I wish I had taken a photo, but I was still half asleep and the impact of the coffee was too much. Growing up in Kenya there just has never been a moment when I've had bad coffee. It all seems so normal to be able to have coffee and know that I'm not going to spit it out (I've had this experience numerous times abroad).
So of course I was just expecting the normal coffee... but this coffee had to take me by surprise by being strong and soft... it went down my throat singing about the beauty of life. The fact that I still smile at the memory of that coffee says something. I think I'm going to go on a search for good coffees now... there's an idea for a topic for the blog... hmmm

3) I’ve finally figured out which direction I want my career to take. If I say it out loud/put it in writing I feel like the magic will wear off so it's a secret for now. But just know I'm very excited about it.

No, it's not pottery. Pottery needs to remain a passionate hobby of mine so that there's a creative outlet I can run to when I crash and burn (which is a topic I'll be going into depth sometime soon). Pottery has helped me dust off myself and say 'Hey, I know what I want to do now'. Thank you clay!

Well, I can't forget the taste of coffee... and my appetite is suddenly knocking against my stomach....
Time to raid the kitchen.