January 11, 2019

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I love concept art. It always looks softer than, but familiar to the beloved finished product, and I think I’m drawn to sketches and half-finished projects since they lie in heaps around me. I love how in these two little sketches from 101 Dalmatians, you can feel the fog and rain. I like these concept sketches so much, here’s one more:

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  1. That One Night: The Oral History of the Greatest ‘Office’ Episode Ever, Rolling Stone. “There’s nothing more satisfying than having Steve Carell barely able to get through his lines. It’s like a live show. You’re seeing someone experience it right in front of you for the first time, which is great.” I do love this episode. We quote little things from it all the time (“You know I have soft teeth, how could you bring that up?”), but it’s cool to see how much the cast and director admire Steve Carell. Reading their recollections of making this episode made me wanna go watch it tonight.
  2. 12 Cheerful and Creative Workspaces, Design*Sponge. I am really interested in designing a workspace intentionally, both at home and at work. I have a corner of our basement with art supplies and a table in easy reach, but I never seem to use it. Part of the reason is that I’ve moved toward sewing and hand crafts over painting these days, but I am confronted with how difficult it can be to make a space that is “your own” that invites a certain type of work, whether it’s creative, devotional, or exercise. This is some cute inspiration! #7 is my favorite.
  3. New Year’s Resolutions, Based on Your Myers-Briggs Type, Man Repeller. These new years resolutions or intentions are actually pretty inspiring, especially since they attempt to match with personality type. Not sure what your MBTI is? You can take one of the online tests which the creators of the personality instrument don’t recommend (well!), or read through the little blurbs of advice in this Man Repeller piece and see what resonates with you.
  4. How the Great Recession Influenced a Decade of Design, Vox. I never connected the aesthetics of fashion and design to current events in the economy before. It makes sense! They also talk about how used clothing (thrifting, consignment, and resale through social media) is on the rise, and that leads to people wearing trends from the past few decades all the time. There’s no one trend that’s back. But: “At the same time, a lot of stuff looks the same, with trends endlessly regurgitated on Instagram and reproduced by brand after brand. Recent rebrands by fashion houses like Burberry, Balmain, and Balenciaga have resulted in a cohort of identical luxury logos. AirSpace is a prime example of the sameness of our time, applied to “coffee shops, bars, startup offices, and co-live/work spaces,” and it, too, represents a seamless way of navigating the world. “The homogeneity of these spaces means that traveling between them is frictionless,” writes Chayka. “Changing places can be as painless as reloading a website. You might not even realize you’re not where you started.”
  5. How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation, Anne Helen Petersen for Buzzfeed. This essay has been everywhere this week! I consider myself familiar with the topic of burnout, both from personal experience and from some professional research on the topic. But I appreciated how Petersen traced the effects of burnout into other areas of life besides the 9-5 (or 7-7, or 9-midnight…). Burnout comes home with you, and makes fun things into chores and guilts you into restless action when you’re supposed to be resting. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the piece. “My new watchword was “Everything that’s good is bad, everything that’s bad is good”: Things that should’ve felt good (leisure, not working) felt bad because I felt guilty for not working; things that should’ve felt “bad” (working all the time) felt good because I was doing what I thought I should and needed to be doing in order to succeed.”

    “That’s one of the most ineffable and frustrating expressions of burnout: It takes things that should be enjoyable and flattens them into a list of tasks, intermingled with other obligations that should either be easily or dutifully completed. The end result is that everything, from wedding celebrations to registering to vote, becomes tinged with resentment and anxiety and avoidance.”

Bonus features:

  • Introducing the New Fiskars DIY Tool Line, Design*Sponge. I’m totally eyeing that staple gun…
  • Hey! Did you know we have a comment section now? I would love for you to weigh in on these reads or share what you’ve read that’s got you thinking! Just scroll to the bottom of this page and you should see a spot to leave a comment. (Your email address will not be visible!)

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