Are you tired? Do you feel alone? Do you get upset whilst driving behind idiots who’ve clearly received their driver’s licenses from a Sears? I’ve got a feeling; let’s call it George.
George is a feeling I just can’t grasp. It’s like there’s something wrong with the universe and I’m pretty sure it’s me. I can distinguish George completely from sadness, depression, anxiety, self-pity, or self-loathing. It occupies it’s own emotional space on the spectrum, and all it really wants is a shower.
That’s the way George works for me. A very ritualistic shower provides enough of a mix of actual cleansing and symbolic psuedo-spiritual cleansing that I can rid myself of George for a while and clear my mind.
When I looked down at my desk sometime last week I felt George. I took a shower. George didn’t go away. I cleaned up the desk as a metaphorical gesture. That didn’t work either.
For the first time I can remember, I went to bed unable to shake George.
When I woke up I went to the office and started to pull old prototypes from the shelves. I grabbed old notebooks which contained a sprawl of unintelligible lines some might call sentences. I recycled or reused what I could; I threw away what I couldn’t. Then I sat down with an empty notebook and started fresh, in a room full of empty boxes. It was all quite Zen.
When life gets over full, I try to hold on, but holding on only gets me so far. That’s usually when I feel George. And like a fleshy little teapot, my brain begins to screech. I want a shower!
As a designer, if I feel lost, stuck, trapped, tortured, or George, I take a shower: metaphorically, physically, or both. Even when I get stuck on a smaller scale, I can benefit from a new look at my design. I can go back to the initial statement of purpose and review and/or revise it. I can stop rehashing the same 3 ideas that have been going through my head for the past 2 months, and finally start to come up with new ones. It’s those new ideas which can lead to a drastically different and much improved design space.
Also, getting your license at a Sears is totally still a thing. See here.