design for your life

i had an “a-ha” moment in studio on saturday, when pat was talking us through sketching technique: move the whole arm, keep your wrist flexible, don’t rest it on the page.

this was exactly what my violin teacher used to tell me, through years and years of study. move the whole forearm, keep your wrist flexible, don’t rest it on the neck of the violin. i never quite bothered internalizing it: i could do it the easy way and still play violin, sooooooo…

pat’s class was our final “first class” this week, and he kept up the tradition of “you thought this program was about learning design as a skill but SURPRISE IT’S ABOUT LEARNING DESIGN FOR YOUR LIFE!” — a stealth mantra carried out by ruby and every single teacher (and orientation instructor and alumnus and etc., etc.) we’ve encountered these first two weeks.

client pitch? SURPRISE, WE KNEW PUBLIC SPEAKING WAS ON YOUR SECRET LIST OF ‘NEXT MOVE’ GOALS AND BY THE WAY WHEN DID YOU PICK UP THAT HABIT OF TOUCHING YOUR FACE, STOP THAT

interviews + transcribing? SWEET TO THE BEAT, MORE PODCAST TRAINING, GOOD NEWS YOU STILL CAN’T STOP SAYING “LIKE” AND LAUGHING AT WEIRD TIMES

blog posts due every night? AWESOME, NO TIME LIKE TODAY TO FACE THE FACT THAT PROCRASTINATION IS YOUR PREFERRED FORM OF SELF-SABOTAGE, FIX THAT YESTERDAY THANK YOU AND AMEN

group challenges every week? NO SWEAT, GUESS YOU GET TO LEARN TO TRUST OTHERS WITH THE PROCESS AND ALSO LEARN TO DO THE WORK TO HELP OTHERS TRUST YOU, HELLO 24/7 RELATIONAL MANAGEMENT SKILLS, I’M OK ARE YOU OK?

theory that reads like all your fave undergrad anthro classes? YOU WILL YELL “I LOVE GRANT MCCRACKEN!” TO A TEAMMATE, UNIRONICALLY (YOU HAVE A STORY ABOUT READING HIM FOR YOUR OLD JOB AND KNOWING THEN AND THERE THAT YOU HAD TO GO TO DESIGN SCHOOL, BUT YOU WON’T REMEMBER IF YOU ACTUALLY EXPLAINED THAT PART OR JUST YELLED HIS NAME IN JOY)

six hours every saturday for sketching? A REASON TO REMEMBER ALL THE ART CLASSES YOU TOOK AS AN AWKWARD KID, AND TO REMEMBER, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN YEARS, HOW YOU NEVER FELT HAPPIER AND MORE AT PEACE THAN WHEN YOU WERE IN A STUDIO QUIETLY LEARNING HOW TO DRAW PERSPECTIVE HIGHWAYS

two weeks in, my dispatches to friends and family have been roughly 20% “this is what we’re doing,” and about 80% “this is what i’m learning, and realizing, and i keep finding ways how what we’re learning connects to things i’ve loved in the past, and wow this program is forcing me to take each of those things more seriously and do all of it better.”

so thanks, y’all. i’m learning a lot. but i’m also enjoying each reveal — an ever-increasing string of moments that suggest that practicing design can change your life, and heal it, too.