Only In An Emergency

I’m not 25 years old anymore. I’m 36 and I don’t do freelance design projects anymore, I do projects for myself.
I’ll always give advice to friends and family when they ask for it (I’m not a complete asshole) but if what they need requires more than four hours of my time I kindly refuse to do it.
I’m at the point in my life where I’m doing things for my wife and I, and staying up all night after a day at the office to work on someone’s restaurant menu or website is not what I want to be doing. In 2012 I successfully funded a Kickstarter project which, coincidentally, kickstarted my re-entry into the world of print design and screen printing. That’s the shit I want to be working on when the weekend rolls around. You can see what I’m working on at The Combustion Chamber.
So I approach freelance project requests like The Wolf in Pulp Fiction: Call me if you’re in a pinch and you need to get out of that pinch.

Full Disclosure

Instead of an “About” page Malcolm Gladwell has a great disclosure statement on his site, where he goes off on fascinating tangents about his job at the New Yorker and that of a writer and speaker.
A good portion of the page describes the differences between being biased and having an opinion and how they affect or don’t affect the journalists and writers:

Do any of these opinions rise to the level of bias? I don’t think so. They don’t cohere in a single identifiable ideology. And they aren’t predictive, in the sense that they lead me inexorably towards writing in a pro-God, pro-Democratic, pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-free trade, pro-higher taxes, anti-Iraq war kind of way. If you look at my articles, in fact, you’ll see that I rarely even write about the subject areas where I have the most strongly held opinions. What’s more, when I interview or profile people I don’t ask them for their opinions on these same subjects–so there’s very little chance for any conflict or agreement in our attitudes to become an issue. I should also say that, by the time you read this, any number of the opinions I’ve stated above may well have changed. That’s another important difference between biases and opinions. Biases are pretty stable. Opinions come and go.
Gladwell’s disclosure statement is pretty long, but well worth the time it takes to read it.

Where Ideas Come From

Awesome post by Neil Gaiman on where he gets his ideas from:

You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it.
But as anyone who works in a creative field knows, ideas aren’t worth shit. It’s about execution:
The Ideas aren’t the hard bit. They’re a small component of the whole. Creating believable people who do more or less what you tell them to is much harder. And hardest by far is the process of simply sitting down and putting one word after another to construct whatever it is you’re trying to build: making it interesting, making it new.
Gaiman’s post is particularly interesting in light of The New York Times cover story on The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder.
My poor grades and inability to focus in grade school and high school could have easily been enough to convince my parents I needed Ritalin to pay attention.
As it turns out, 14 years into my career as a web designer and artist, my ability to let my mind wander is one of my greatest strengths. I rely on my creativity to make a living.
To be clear—the work ethic and discipline I was taught by my parents and graphic design professors in college helped me counter-balance my wandering mind and harness my ideas.
An aimless mind without creative habits is useless.

I’m 10 Months Ahead Of My Time

I was wrong, I’m not 6 months ahead of my time, I’m 10 months ahead.
TechCrunch posted this today:
The Second Screen Becomes The First Screen: Hulu Says 50% Of Its 5M Subscribers Use Devices Exclusively
And this was me back in February:

Television, cable and game console people, I have some news for you.

That “second screen” you refer to all the time? It’s going to be the television, not the smartphone or tablet.

That is, if it’s not already.
If you’re looking for a short term crystal ball, it’s name is Mike Mulvey.

I’m 6 Months Ahead of My Time

Jillian Edelstein at The Guardian writes about how photographing events stops us living them (via MG Siegler).
No shit, I wrote about this back in June of this year:

In the 1990’s photo, the audience has a one-to-one connection with the musicians on stage. It’s direct, focused and visceral. It’s how I experienced every concert in high school and college.

In the 2010’s photo, the connection is no longer one-to-one between the audience and the performers. A middleman has been inserted between the two sides. What this means is the priority is to capture a great version of what’s happening, not to experience the performance. I know this because I’m guilty of pulling out my iPhone and recording bits at concerts in recent years. It’s a tempting and easy thing to do, but I’ve quickly found myself feeling like a cameraman doing a job and not a guy at a concert enjoying a great band with my friends, beer in hand.
I’m either ahead of my time or everyone else is behind the times.