Back in March, after a particularly bad day, I found myself deep in thought, slightly teary and giving myself an internal pep talk, whilst staring at the many characters riding the Metro in NYC that day.
I glanced to my right to see a lady sketching. She was totally in the moment; and for a second, I was jealous that she was finding a moment of absolute concentration and solitude whilst on a packed train. She was also doing the very thing I’ve been telling myself to get back into; drawing.
She glanced up at me every so often; her energy was authentic, warm and kind. I smiled back and as my stop approached, I slowly gathered my iPhone and wrapped my headphones around my fingers to tidy the cord. The lady leaned over and said “Your hat is awesome. You caught my eye as you got on the train, I hope you don’t mind but I’ve been sitting here sketching you.” and with that, she handed me a piece of paper with her Instagram username on it.
What the lady didn’t realise was, I had been sat there mentally beating myself up and feeling pretty down on myself; I have the most amazing negative self-talker inhabiting my brain sometimes, and it takes me a little bit to pull myself out of it. Her gesture of handing me this tiny piece of paper and saying “I wanted to sketch you.” was just the confidence booster I needed to get through that day. The title she gave it, unknowingly, is also pretty serendipitous; “Weather the Storm”.
I’ve just got home from another stint of working in NYC (and Boston) – sat at my desk with my first English cup of tea, in weeks (I swear, our water makes it taste different), and found the piece of paper the lady handed me. I hadn’t forgotten about the incident, but it reminded me to write about it, as it was one of those precious moments in life when the smallest gestures restore your faith in humanity again.
I’m am very much a lazy music lover. I stick to curated playlists on Spotify, or playlists I made many moons ago when I had more time for such things. I have to be careful with what I listen to during the day, otherwise I find myself listening to the lyrics of songs, trying to work out what they *actually* mean, or just singing along at the top of my lungs.
Today, I found Noizio. A subtle mix of white-noise sounds to help you de-stress and focus.
I’m just putting the finishing touches to this blog post before running out of work and heading to the School of Visual Arts, NYC – to speak to some students tonight. Very honoured. I love speaking to students.
Here’s a short run-down of what’s been keeping me busy today, aside from stepping into my first encounter with designing for the Apple Watch.
For reference, I have the 15″ Retina Macbook Pro, 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7, 16GB ram + 1tB hard drive. It’s hard for me to compare Apples to Apples (quite literally) when you have a high specification machine like that.
My good friend Jessica Hische convinced me back in 2013 to stop working between an iMac and a laptop, and instead get a high-spec laptop and a display. She was right, I haven’t looked back since.
The portability (read: weight) of the Retina Macbook Pro, for someone who travels a lot, is the main issue for me. It’s heavy, it doesn’t fit well in any constrained space like airplanes or train tables, and I spend my entire time on a plane, worried the person in front of me is going to recline their chair and break my screen. Battery life runs at about 3 hours for me, and always has, even if I’ve only got a lightweight code editor open. Continue reading →