Life Lessons From Everyday Heroes

What a year 2013 has been! I’ve managed to keep a blog up and running, traveled to Baltimore and Denverworked with some amazing clients, and used my design skills for good. It was a great year, and I’m looking forward to tackling 2014 head on! Enough about my year though.

For the past couple of years, I’ve been carrying around notebooks and jotting ideas and inspiration whenever it strikes (admittedly, there are 3 currently in my purse…oops!). After browsing through some of this year’s notes, I came across quite a few bits of helpful advice for creatives of all kinds. I honestly could write a ton of posts based on these notebooks of mine, but I’ll keep this list short!

If you’ve interacted with me at a design event in the last year, it’s possible you may have sparked some of these ideas!

Life Lessons

01. DON’T WORRY ABOUT FINDING YOUR OWN “PERSONAL STYLE”.  Do what you love day in and day out, and eventually your personal style will emerge (I wish someone would’ve told that to 20-year-old-Kristy!). Just forge ahead and keep working hard. Speaking of which…

02. WORK HARD AND BE GRATEFUL. A simple yet powerful reminder that I took away from the one and only, Aaron Draplin. It’s truly amazing how much you can accomplish if you wholeheartedly approach life this way.

03. ALWAYS SEEK FEEDBACK. It can be easy to get in the creative zone and just dive into a project without asking for feedback. I always make a point to get feedback from other designers when I can. If you don’t like the feedback, you can always ignore it. However, I’ve found that some of the smallest of suggestions can quickly propel a project from acceptable to excellent in just a few clicks.

04. IF YOU’RE NOT INSPIRED, IT’S YOUR OWN FAULT. I absolutely love this mentality. We all get in creative ruts from time to time, but make it your job to find your own inspiration. The world can be an incredible place, and I’ve found that it will inspire you if you keep your eyes open (and notebook nearby).

05. BE PRESENT IN THE MOMENT. This is honestly something that I’m always trying to get better at (and trust me, it’s a work in progress!). It’s so easy to mentally check out of situations and waste time on our phones. You never know what chance interaction might lead to your next big project, collaboration, etc. if you’re hiding behind a screen.

I love the design community because I feel like we all have so much to share, learn, and develop together! I can’t wait to continue making new friends and future collaborators in this awesome community throughout 2014. You guys and gals are awesome!