The Art of Patience

I haven’t posted as much as I had originally intended. Sitting down to write is a practice of patience for me. I had been having a hard time thinking of good topics to write about and didn’t want to write just to post something every week if it wasn’t something I felt driven to write about. I’m all about quality over quantity and I want everything I write about to have depth and meaning to it and to leave you all with something to think about. So here I go, today’s post is all about a topic most of the world including myself seem to battle with and that's the ability to practice patience.

In this day and age we are all so used to getting things immediately. The very idea of waiting for anything has increased anxiety among people who normally never had any anxiety. We’ve all become so accustomed to getting things instantly and the mere idea of having to even wait five minutes drives most of us mad. What I want to focus on in this post is that feeling between the action and the response and what wonderful things can come of it.

Throughout my life I have battled with living in the waiting space. My mind tended to feel so free of certainty that it would create alternative endings so that I could protect myself from what I didn’t know. This affects more than just relationships with people, it had extremely affected my career and blocked me from my full potential.

In the past six months I realized that how I practiced patience was my problem. Since that realization I have explored how I can respond in the waiting space. Here’s my top five methods that have been very helpful in practicing patience while in the waiting space and how they have help:

1. Closing Eyes and Taking Deep Breaths
If you close your eyes and put all your energy on visualizing air coming in your nose and out of your mouth even for just a few minutes, you can calm yourself and just be where you are. This method is an extremely effective solution to taking you from anxious to zen and making waiting in that line tolerable.

2. Appreciate the Moment
We all get so caught up in planning and expectation that we forget about where we are at in that very second and how that moment is all you have at that time—so take it for what it is—it’s the only time you’ll be in that very moment in time so enjoy it. You may meet a new friend or learn something about yourself you didn’t know.

3. Be Positive
My brother is a great example of this—he always takes any situation and sees the positive and how a problem can be fixed when looked at positively. This may sound feel-good and hippie of me to say and I wouldn’t have believed it ayear ago, but negativity attracts negativity and positivity attracts positivity. I’ve really taken this method to heart and when a situation looks negative I turn it around and think positively about it and since I have been doing that only good things have come my way.

4. Exercise
There is nothing better than working your body out and for me at least it is a time when my mind is blank and nothing else is interrupting it—plus it’s good for you. It’s like pressing the reset button—we all need it and it creates an uplifting spirit and keeps you healthy, which is a win-win.

5. Create a New Routine
Something I found to be very helpful was establishing a regular visit to my local coffee shop, where I have now developed a “regular customer” status and have established a sense of community with a place in my neighborhood that feels nice and safe and comfortable. This has helped me find new music I like as well as new people to add to my ever-growing fabulous friend family.

Although these may not work for everyone, I have found that by practicing these methods they have made me more successful in my career and relationships and have helped me enjoy “the waiting space.” I still struggle with it and I most likely always will, but for now I can say I feel at peace knowing that I’m OK with not getting an immediate text response back or waiting to hear back from a potential client. A wise friend of mine once pointed out to me that the word response is part of the word responsibility and how we choose to respond to things is the very act of being responsible. I think about that a lot and I think that it’s good to take that to heart when we don’t get what we want immediately.

How will you choose to be responsible while practicing patience?

Thanks for tuning in!




Why Designers are Valuable

I grew up in the midwest where being in healthcare, engineering, law and business were the favored professions. I had it hammered into my head that in order to make a handsome living and be respected I’d have to choose between one of those. Art and music were just fun hobbies to do on the side, you’d probably starve otherwise.

It was just my luck that what I excelled most at was art. I enjoyed science and really tried to motivate myself that becoming a doctor was what I should do. Multiple low math and science grades later I realized maybe I need to lean into what I’m good at, art. I wanted to figure out how I could make a respectful living doing something I loved. Being that I was never going to be a fine artist with my work in the MOMA, I stumbled upon graphic design, which housed two of my favorite subjects; art and science. It was like my whole world fell into place and I was able to be a cool artistic person while exercising my inner geek. I do what I love and I intend to prove my midwestern relatives wrong through my journey of this career path.

A Career in design is competitive and also seems to be the first to get rid of when it comes to budget cuts. This is a problem and it needs to be fixed. I think it all needs to start with educating companies on what values designers can bring to business. 


Here are my top 5 reasons why designers are valuable:


1.  They bring a creative perspective to problem solving

Some of the most intelligent people I have ever met have been designers. These people are able to think abstractly in a way that leaves you thinking “where did you come from?” This ability is not easy for most, but it’s much needed in our ever changing world and these types of people can help solve more than just visual needs. Design minds are extremely broad and feed on solving problems and thinking deeply about things, they need to be exercised not just put behind a computer to pixel away.


2. Their talents elevate business 

As much as I’d like to say looks do not matter, they always do when it comes to attracting attention and gaining business. You can have the most wonderful product in the world, but if you don’t have good branding and working website, you might as well look forward to a low revenue of sales as a business. Designers add value to your business by taking what’s great about your company/product and translating it into a visual story. This then attracts more attention and adds to a companies success. 


3. They lighten the atmosphere

Most designers are a child inside of a grown ups body. Our minds have the tendency to want to make every aspect of our life an experience. You’ll notice if you ever go into the marketing department of a company how the atmosphere just changes suddenly, you’ll see a ping pong table or small basketball hoop and think “Do these people actually work?” As much as you may think no, playing is an integral part of creativity and it helps to step away and play to maintain productivity. The ideas need to come from somewhere and online inspiration is just not the same as playing.


4. They're detail oriented

There is not one single person who calls themselves a designer who is not OCD about something. Whether it be typography, color or even the details of a wireframe. The absolute best thing you can add to your team is someone who cares about the little details so you don’t have to. Although they may seem inconsequential to an outsider, it will show in a final product and be taken more seriously.


5. They're tech savvy

A good portion of people who become designers enjoy working on a computer. They embodied the intuitiveness to know what to do and how to use it. Even if they don’t use a program they are able to sit down and figure it out in a matter of minutes. In a fast paced tech world these types of people are needed in a company to teach and keep the company up to speed with everything thats coming out. 


Like all things, change takes time. I hope in my lifetime (which could be 101 years from now) I get to see graphic design in the United States valued in a way where young creative mines are able to go into it and know at 18 years old that they can get a job and not have to struggle. It’s important those creative geniuses in the making do not shy away just because they are told something else through societal stereotypes. You never know who could be the next Steve Jobs!


My solution is creating  positions at in-house companies where designers are put into a role to  problem solve more in strategic sessions, a creative brain has so much potential to add to innovation it needs to be utilized. There's a need as our world keeps wanting to do the next best thing and young creatives could be the the next person to invent it. Let's not discourage that growth.





The Top 5 Things I learned from my Grandmother

I recently lost my grandmother this past weekend. She in a lot of ways had a hand in raising me to be the woman I am today. She was 101 and therefore taught me a thing or two that has helped me grow in my career and personal life.

Here's what I've taken away from my time with her:


1. Be Independent

I will always hold this quote from her near and dear to my heart, when asked after my grandfather died if she thought she’d ever get re-married again, she responded with, “I don’t need a man around to tell me what to do!”  As a woman born in 1915, it’s pretty remarkable that she knew her self worth wasn’t based upon being with a partner. Now I’m not saying being alone is what everyone needs to be, but being ok with it and learning to be alone is important because as much as you can have friends and family around, it’s important to know who you are and how to take care of yourself. My grandma was a beautiful walking example of this.


2. Demand Respect

My grandmother was the type of woman to call anyone out and was not afraid to do it. I never met anyone that didn’t respect her. Honestly I think it’s cause her main goal was to scare you a little until you won her respect, but it worked she was respected by men and woman equally and I always admired that about her. She raised four girls and all four of them were instilled with that Bad Ass no bullshit trait. Sometimes not always being nice 100% of the time pays off in the long run.


3. Practice Kindness

Don’t get me wrong, my grandmother terrified me sometimes and at one point I classified her as the “mean Grandma”, under all that she had a heart of gold. She always gave back for good causes and helped out whenever she could in anyway. Even if it was just a dollar or driving her friends that couldn’t drive to the beauty parlor, she was there to help. It was important to her to be a good person and be kind to others. She always told me that kindness doesn't expire. she's right.


4. Be a Natural Beauty 

I developed white hair by age 25, so I began dying it. After the first time I dyed it I went to Florida to visit my grandma and she looked at me with a very stern face and said, “Did you dye your hair?” I replied, “Why yes do you like it?” with an even saltier expression on her face she replied with, “No it’s too dark!” I then replied with, “But Grandma I’m getting white hair I’m only 25 not an old lady!” Now with a proud smile on her face she replies with, “I started getting white hair at 20 and never died it and all I ever got were compliments.” I’m still not warm to the idea of letting my hair just go white, but I appreciate how proud she was of her natural beauty, it takes guts to feel that way at 20 years old! What a brave woman!


5. Work Hard Play Hard

I grew up on two acres where there was always a lot to be done. Majority of my weekends consisted of yard work and cleaning the house. My grandma ran a tight ship and had a very set way of doing things, so as long as you listened to instructions and did as you were told and did not complain, you were golden. I’ve always thought there was something special about the midwestern work ethic and that’s just it, even if a task is unpleasant or boring you do it to get it done and don’t complain about it even if the weather conditions suck. There was always some aspect of a reward after working, which was anywhere from snacks to a boat ride on the lake. She believed in the "Treat Yourself" mantra even so much that she would take the liberty of calling my father while he was at work at 3pm on a Friday and tell him to come home it was cocktail hour!


It is with a heavy heart that I bid my Grandmother, Bernita Klokner Goodbye! May she have an eternal life with endless dancing and card playing. 





The Grammar Error Queen

Throughout my life, I have always struggled with writing. Grammar rules and big vocabularies are things I have absolutely no interest in and therefore try to write as little as possible to avoid the criticism that goes along with it. A majority of people who have met me would most likely label me as the Error Queen and that’s absolutely true. 


It used to bother me (OK, and it still does) when people corrected me if I use grammar wrongly or misspelled something. I was so thankful when auto correct became a thing; it allowed me to get some slack. (Thanks, auto correct!) Over the years I have found that I have been pushed to write more, not by choice, but because I had to for work, friendships, relationships, etc. Writing is absolutely unavoidable in this day and age. And, lucky for me, I have had the pleasure to work with many talented copy writers which has given me some great perspective.


The best way I can spell this out is through comparison. As a graphic designer, colors, imagery, textures, and typography are the details I get anal about. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen poor design and a little piece of me dies inside. That feeling, the little piece dying inside, is, I’m sure, what copywriters must feel when they see poor grammar, spelling and vocabulary. I had a copywriter tell me that once and then I connected the dots – it was my “Ah Ha!” moment. Although I am not an unintelligent person, when someone reads what I write it does not represent me to my best self, much like the poorly designed logo for the great product. 


After that “Ah Ha!” moment I decided to challenge myself to become a better writer. I know the only way to do that is to write more often. I have started this blog in means to do so. The purpose of this blog is to become a better writer while I enlighten you about what I do and the journey I am on as a independent business owner. I look forward to sharing and hope you enjoy it. 


Feel free to email me if you would like to have any further discussions on the topic.

(And don't be a Grammar Nazi!)