Category: Uncategorized

Visual explanation.

Yesterday I did a drawing workshop with Dave Gray, who wrote Gamestorming. For me, any day with Sharpies and paper is a happy day, but this one was a particularly happy and useful day. It’s only my second week at Clearleft, so it was great to spend the day with the team too.

Despite being known as a content person (which often means ‘writing’ enthusiast) I like to think visually and I often use mind maps for laying out, organising and presenting my thoughts.

But then this handy little 9-box grid came into my life, and I shall be using it as a reference for creating diagrams around complex concepts. Dave encourages us to share the work we do with him, so here it is!

Constant minor failure.

Every day I walk past the skate park on the Level, sometimes I stop and look.

I’m no skater, but the thing I often see is the skaters’ persistence. To learn to skate is basically repetition in the face of constant minor failures.

Learning doesn’t happen without these little failures.

How can we make it feel ok to fail safely and repetitively in other contexts?

I was discussing this with a good friend today. We said that we should have a fail evening, where we can all slip up. Perhaps starting with banana skins.

You don’t have to be one thing.

It’s ok. We’re naturally inclined to pigeon-hole. Job Titles are the most inviting of the pigeon holes.

A job title is a form of archetype that helps us over the threshold. As humans we’re completely dependent these thresholds, these archetypal entrance ways through which we invite ourselves to an initial understanding of a person. We find it hard to connect to anyone when we can’t see the archetype emerging.

But then, when someone has two, or three archetypes, it becomes difficult. For example, we find it hard to see how a person can be both scientific and creative at the same time (a science-artist), than just be a scientist. There’s a cultural pressure to decide on what one identifies as.

But it’s ok.

You don’t have to be one thing.

If you were a grey area, what would you be?

I love this quote from Vladimir Nabokov:

Frankly, I never thought of letters as a career. Writing has always been for me a blend of dejection and high spirits, a torture and a pastime — but I never expected it to be a source of income. On the other hand, I have often dreamt of a long and exciting career as an obscure curator of lepidoptera in a great museum.