Before the craft takes hold

There’s a period in the life of any maker when they’re making but haven’t yet begun to master the craft. Not even close. They’re simply, beginning. Fumbling around in the dark, putting together moments of light because of persistence. But they don’t know really what they’re doing.

There are several bands I grew up listening to where I think this applies. Before they knew how to make music the proper way—with the structure, melodies, or chords deemed acceptable by the masses or the powers that be—they made songs that may not have been considered great songs in any traditional sense, but my god they were glorious to me. They hit in such an unexpected way. As those bands continued to make songs over the years, they got better. They honed their craft. The songs were technically better and more refined. But they lacked something. The rawness. The edge, the imperfection. The fuck-it-all mentality. The old songs sounded like they were simply made and no one ever stopped to consider if what was being made was actually correct. They just created something, come what may.

I feel that way about design sometimes. Some of my early projects I look back on and marvel at. They hit something special. They did something unique. They came together in unexpected ways with unexpected results. Sure, they didn’t have the 10,000+ hours of making put in to elevate them to professional or expert. But they had something some of my work now just doesn’t. Maybe it was heart. Maybe imperfection. (That old work certainly isn’t pixel-perfect.) Whatever it was in those early years, the work I made was well before any sort of craft took hold. I’m a self-taught designer after all. Someone in college taught me how to think and that was all I needed. The craft, that took about a decade to perfect. And I certainly feel I’ve perfected it. This is design, not astrophysics.

I call myself an expert and the work I make shows that. But still, that early work. There’s something about it. Something honest. Something raw. Something wrong. Which is why I still like it so much.

Fake Fake Fake just ain’t a game I play

Thinking back to that first press conference the president-elect gave. The one with the stacks of paper that turned out to all be blank. Just another dog and pony show for the masses.

That press conference gave us the first real sense we were about to go on a terrible ride. It was also the first time he used the term “fake news.” As we all know, fake news is a real thing. It’s a terrible thing we have to deal with on the internet, but for the most part it remained on the fringes or with weirdos on Facebook. But now we have a complete idiot taking the term for himself and using it to attack his enemies in the press. Who he refers to as the “enemies of the people,” which is absolutely disgusting. How there have been no real consequences to the now president for the use of these terms is something that should concern us all.

How is he allowed to get away with all of this? Why is it okay for him to operate in this way? Will there ever be any consequences for the language he uses?

Sadly, we may never know because we’re all too busy bracing ourselves for the next blow. And frankly, we’re all getting exhausted.

Small world, small minds, small life

Social media feels so small these days. And not in a “small is beautiful” type of way. Rather, it’s very confining. Closed off from the outside world. It doesn't smell like fresh spring air or coffee brewing in the morning. It doesn’t sound like a lovely melody, doesn’t carry a back beat. And if you need a hug, it can’t offer one. Sure, it does certain things very well. But others, the stuff that makes life so rich, social media falls far short.

Do you have a style?

I’ve been told I do. And then the other day, I was told I don’t really. Which I prefer. The person who told me knows what’s up too, so there’s that.

Expand Medicaid with No Delay

The citizens of this state voted to expand Medicaid so that more than 90,000 of our friends and neighbors could have access to health care. We did that. We voted for it. Now it’s time for our elected officials to implement the will of the votes. With no delay. The fact that this is an issue now, and the governor is dragging his feet, is a disgrace. The voters deserve better. Our democracy deserves better than the Republican Party.

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When the momentum of a solid idea brings it to life, carrying the work along, making it easy for you to push it forward. These are not trying times. These are the reasons to be alive.