Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How do I brand myself?

Dear Edahn,

I'm trying to do my design portfolio right now and I don't know how I want to brand myself because I have a lot of talent. Any advice?

BRANDING YOURSELF IS HARD when you're creative and competent. It's hard to decide which product represents you and which you want to focus on throughout your career. But it's important part of your development as a professional. People will be more likely to hire you when they have a sense of what type of work they're going to get, so it's important that you create a strong, consistent, commercially viable brand.

APPROACH #1: Talk to a mentor or teacher you really respect. Bring your portfolio and see what they say.

APPROACH #2: Gather all your work and lay it out on a table. Try and rank your stuff across 4 factors:
  1. Is it commercially viable?
  2. Am I proud of it?
  3. Did I enjoy making it?
  4. Do I like looking at it?
  5. Did it reflect some part of my personality?
Find the pieces that rank highest and start building a new portfolio around it. All the pieces in your portfolio should have the same voice. (Samples.) When you finish putting your portfolio together get some feedback from your mentors. If you need to build 2 portfolios, that's okay too, but keep them separate to avoid diluting your brand.

The real challenge here is transitioning from student to businessperson. As a student, you don't have any restrictions on what you create, but as a businessperson you're using your work to make a living. You have to be thoughtful and channel your creativity in ways that feed your brand and business. It takes restraint and maturity, but it's something you have to do.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How do you stop loving someone?

How do you stop being in love with someone if you've shared so much of your heart with them?

THERE ARE TWO KINDS of love. There's the love you feel for a friend or parent, and then there's romantic love. They're the same in that they make you want to be close to the other person, but they're very different in their mechanics. Romantic love is possessive or even obsessive. Romantic love is kind of like an unsealed balloon. If you're not continuously inflating it, it starts to deflate.

Like a balloon, romantic love is perpetuated by certain thoughts of longing and desire that trigger emotional, often painful reaction in your body. If you want the feelings and emotions to stop, all you have to do is stop thinking all those thoughts--stop thinking about the person. You're probably thinking how the hell do I do that? Right. Well, don't try and not think about it, because by not thinking about it, you're actually thinking about it. In fact, don't try and manage your thinking at all. Instead, focus on your behaviors. Change some things in your life so you don't have to think about it/him as much.

For starters, delete his name from your phone. Throw away or delete pictures of each other. Completely stop contacting him, email, phone, texts. Go out with your friends, pick up some new projects. Go out on some dates. Make your life interesting without him. Yeah it'll be hard, but it's the only way to move on, even if you can't really picture it.

Friday, December 23, 2011

5 Tweets

I sometimes like to wonder what I'd teach people if I was completely wise, if there was such a thing. What would I say and how would I say it? What if it was just one tweet? 180 characters to impart profound wisdom is a difficult task.

Here're some ideas I'm toying with.

1. Don't ever be afraid to experience fear. It's actually much more afraid of you than the other way around. #badassmotherfucker #courage

2. Whether realized or not, everyone is searching for intimacy. Being close to others and to one's self is the true source of meaning. #onelove

3. We blame others and ourselves instead of caring. Underneath our masks, we're still children who just want to experience joy. #untainted

4. You don't need to have it all figured out. Do your best to make the right decision at every opportunity. #dropbydrop

5. When you're on your death bed and you look back on your life, what will make you proud and what will make you ashamed? #compass

Got some? Leave em in the comments. Appreciated.