I had absolutely loved this Planner and this project pad for the past year. I had bought the so many of the planners thinking I would use one or many more for years... but I inevitably found it to be I obsolete because of strong journaling apps on my iPad Pro. I wish there was a way to use both seamlessly, but it’s just not gonna happen. The only thing that really sticks, is the action pad. So much love for this company though! @bestselfco Promo code: DrewRoze
After reading Carl Jung’s “Symbols of Transformation,” I had the spark of inspiration to begin drawing in a logo-like symbolic art of themes and historic arts that had been woven into the book. I have been freelancing for about two years as a graphic designer and I had not been able to make it my full time gig yet. Since adjusting the timeline of my dream’s horizon I picked up a part time job at Planet Fitness and am helping with digital design with a previous client who I am also grateful coaches me through the process. I am doing this to make ends meet. I have loved doing work as a graphic designer which scratches my artistic itch as I continue to vamp up my skills in digital painting and concept art which I would like to do professionally too. Symbols of Transformation, I felt, could be a great way to stay consistent, challenged, and true to myself each day. It was a chance to modernize the ancient languages for my colleagues, my family, and friends.
The book itself is a journey into a women’s fantasy-system. Like a journey through the cosmos but instead it was Miller’s fantasies. Deep in the black of the space, considered the unconscious here, sprouted visions, tales, and men whom dramatized the elements of her cosmos. Each dream Ms. Miller had was like tuning into an alien radio frequency and with Jung’s insight I followed each new frequency to its core. Jung decoded it with a vast knowledge of mythological foundations, practical psychology, and his amazing ability to connect what are seemingly two unique events into one common theme. I remember reading the book and mid way through realizing that I had been decoding my own creative flows in my dreams, and my fantasies. The book gave me the practical direction to acknowledge the basic premises of each element in my imaginative content and to assimilate all I could. It was then that I felt that I would do this work and make these symbolic figures into a work of my own.
At this time too, I need to create something consistently and with finite direction. My hopes is that this will be a life long journey, and to create enough content to create a digital footprint with a long tail to capture an audience too. I am starting this because first I love the title, “Symbols of Transformation.” To me its dope. I also wanted to see if I can re-communicate what my ancestors have in images in new and interesting by taking their works as inspiration. Finally, with just the first two weeks of work I’ve done, I feel I have never been able to express myself like this before. I am able to experiment, study the language of the greats before, allow my creative to flow naturally, and bring sexy back into these ancient, long forgotten images.
Web Gallery: https://www.drewroze.com/symbols-of-transformation
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Lean Branding for Creatives and Entrepreneurs
What does it take to create the necessary foundation for a strong brand vision? In my journey I found a couple of juggernauts who offered great strategies, respectively, The Futur and Ran Segall. I have had the opportunity to study their method and I found some key portions used to discover, unveil, and facilitate the properties of a given brand idea. Ran used Story Branding by Donald Miller and The Futur utilized their own amalgamated method called CORE. They are both extremely useful and, yet, both didn’t fit my needs exactly. CORE is too sophisticated, especially for a rising designer where I seldom have the budget and time to make use of the full strategy. On the other hand, Story Branding was too simple yet highly practical but I felt it didn’t dive deep enough. So after a couple of projects and practice sprints, I realized I made use of only a handful of frameworks that struck a balance between practicality and sophistication. Finally, I the nail in the coffin was reading the book “The Design Thinking Toolbox” which helped me create the Lean Branding strategy. I use its contents for discovery sessions and strategy sessions because it is introductory, scalable, and bridges a vision between business and art direction.
I market myself as mainly a strategic designer and I found that the best exercise upon first meeting is Story Branding. It’s an easy way to obtain a birds eyes view of the potential project! We establish a cornerstone narrative so that its easy to share, to understand, and most importantly creates resonance with a given audience. Plus, its just plain fun! Everyone loves a good story!
Here’s the structure simply put:
A Hero has a want/need but has a Problem. He meets a Guide, who gives them a Plan to help their success.
This structure was derived by Joseph Cambell’s “The Hero With a Thousand Faces” and later popularized by pop culture movies such as Star Wars. It also is a great resource for understanding individuals at a meta-personal level. Practice using the structure! It’s fairly easy. For example, in the Matrix, Neo is the Hero but has a problem. He wants to be freed yet is trapped inside the matrix. He meets a Guide named Morpheus who offers to share with him the truth and later a plan. Morpheus frees him and later helps him become free’d hero. In this structure Neo, the hero, is our customer, and Morpheus, the guide, is our brand who will help the customer. Add some slides in the discovery session with pictures containing relevant movies, stories, etc that you feel could potentially relate. Teach, and collaborate with your clients, friends, or use it for your own projects.
After Story Branding, the next best exercise to work through is the Brand Attributes exercise. I usually only continue with this strategy after the project is discovered meaning we have agreed on its terms from timeline to payment. This exercise particularly reveals a granular composition of the brand’s vision, plus its the second to best fun portion. We allow our imagination’s to freely roam and brainstorm words to pin down the brand vision. Emphasize the importance of emotional content here because it will truly drive the aesthetics of the art direction once we get designing.
Our containers are: Alignments, Culture, Customers, Voice, Feeling, Impact, and X-Factor.
Brainstorm and list adjectives, attributes, phrases, and etc., words under each that best describe the brand by header. Use the Alignments column to capture more general ideas. This column is meant to be plastic. Here we can ask: what are brands one imagines your future company working with? Who would they partner with? I like to ask off-the-wall questions such as: what artist, band, or actor could you imagine in the brand’s ad in 8 years? Or take another from my last call: what everyday brands would your company use day to day? Microsoft or Apple computers? This portion serves as a platform for capturing ideals, preferences, opinions but most importantly is a great way to kickstart the conversation and capture ideas that may have never come to fruition.
“Make the Alignments section your own! Have fun with it and dare to be different, God only knows that there will only be so few times for fun in a given workshop.”
Finally, after obtaining a birds eye view, and accumulating granular context, we create customer profiles. Inspired by “Design Thinking Toolbox” I utilize four types of customer Archetypes that are practical and flexible. It segments the Customer Journey into four parts or, rather, types: Seeker, Aspirational, Future, and Foundational.
It can be looked at in two ways such as: a journey across time with milestones or by the amount of influence archetype has in your brand. For most, during inception, the aspirational and the future archetypes are the most important type to attract. It’s because they are the types who share the same aspirations, goals, and of course have a problem our brand can solve. Seekers are unaware of your brand’s presence while aspirational are but have not become acclimated.
The foundational archetype are typically - a dime a dozen yet it’ll be important to have a considered a place for them in your brand’s future ecosystem. Now last but not least, the Future archetype is our sweet spot. Not everyone will host an event for your brand like the foundational and so what we may expect is a watered down regular similar to the foundational type. The Future types will be our regular customers, may post every now and then, share their stories quite often, and are typically on our email list for promotions for example.
Given these archetypes, power through the profile generators creating at least one for each. The format of the profiles is largely inspired by CORE, you can quickly input the relevant information by Demographics, Story, Needs, and Solutions.
I wanted to cut out the noise and over-complications that projects typically won’t need and to bridge business into design with utmost ease. It’s a little bit of everything. I hope this is helpful and that this could propel your business or service further.
Be ready for your next project. You can either blow a designer away having worked all this out already, coming prepared ready to start! Or better, perhaps you can facilitate your clients by organize their vision and your design ready abilities into a coherent vision! Reach out and lets work together or buy the workbook and do it yourself!
Download the keynote here: https://gumroad.com/drewroze#MYbBb
Recently I had the opportunity to finish masterminding with some birlliant individuals and was able to accumulate a handful ideas that I'm really excited to share. During our session I had hoped to brainstorm some practical tid bits of ideas that can be practically applied to our everyday thinking. Below are key quotes that I jotted down and elaborated on! So here are the three biggest ideas I'm excited to share that may jog your memory: the disdain for approval, the parabola of learning, and the emphasis in ones' trek for accumulated answers.
"As long as it is contained and doesn’t hurt people, you should be able to experiment and have autonomy to think about what they are currently working on.”
The emphasis of not simply carrying out tasks during work but to elaborate on its utility in various of ways has become one of the most important intellectual tools this day. If one thinks of technology this way in that it is a multifaceted tool then you can also begin to see how knowledge in abstraction, technique in sports, & even stories have unique angles given particular contexts. To try to tinker with what you are working on already, helps to truly understand what one is working on. Given more angles to experiment with your work, an individual can acquire a deeper understanding thus master and look to build on it.
“It’s a parabola, it’s to a point where you’re learning and gaining creativity. Defining your gaps in your skills, learning, fine tuning, peaking, and then meeting resistance & failure.”
If there is one thing that I want you to know it's that its necessary to see yourself as constantly in the works of this learning parobola. You tack on new skills, master it, and finally you must apply it until you meet resistance & failure! Only then can you add to your arsenal and begin the process anew. No matter what field you are in, its important to apply your knowledge skillfully so that you can determine where your underveloped parts are. This works everywhere not just in your career but in personal development, in your relationships, in sports, and in any technical trade. Of course, one first must begin to apply their knowledge to begin to see where their next venture is.
Finally, here's one last gem...
"You can do it from zero to one hundred. You need to ask the questions that give you answers but RESULTS too. Why do people ask questions that in reality are already solved. I think people love to show off and look for validation...when you really don’t need it. It’s really upsetting how people baseline exist. As in the answer will only go as far as your curiosity will take you."
Here I call this the "Trek of accumulated knowledge." One thing for certain is the importance of asking precise questions. One of my favorite quotes is "to ask the obvious, is the beginning of enlightenment" but one cannot remain asking the obvious. It has to yield practical answers that are useful and asking good questions can be quite engaging. The accumulation of answers can give you more to work with moving towards your next big question.
With all this my hopes is that this can be of practical knowledge to you. It was traditionally a interview style but I had wound having to rehash this to appease those involved. I would absolutely love to know more, and if anyone so be willing to offer any feedback , please come forth!
The Controlled Accident 2.0
I often wondered, how it is that, I, the crafter, can be surprised by the very art I manifested before me. I mean, its obvious I put in the hours of work, I nurtured the concepts, I fantasized for days, and with every stroke of my pen brought it to life. So how then is it possible to surprise myself so (-albeit slowly)? I decided that I would search for an answer, and I had a couple of ideas as to how I might answer this! I have long been a fan of Zen Teachings , Depth psychology, and story telling which would serve as a decent platform. My first inclination was an old Zen Tale I had committed to memory of a drunken Zen Master. This master loved to paint and his method was rather humorous but it was said he had incredibly modest yet lively. On Occasion, he would go out drinking with his disciples, and during these cheerful events, he’d love to paint. His disciples would always ready a canvas for the master. Then he would take his long, sleek hair and dip it in a bucket of paint. Freely, he’d whip and wick his hair onto the canvas until he had a anamorphic-like shape. After, he’d take a step back, look at the markings, and pondered what it could be. Finally, he’d grab a brush and add its finishing touches revealing a portrait, an animal, or at times a landscape. The tale is a unique one, because it conveys, entertainingly, my particular view as to what a creative professional does. Whether it be by grace, by a muse, or by divine inspiration, etc. in this is the story of every artist and our goal is to develop a controlled accident. Our mind is a vessel, our goal is self awareness, and our process is a balance of creative-destructive skill.
My biggest mistake at the start of my artistic journey was believing that I-am, or was-my-art when I more like a vessel. In regards to the tale, I seems like meta art -plus it’s tons of fun to share at parties! Technique and tools serve only refract the imagination, like light through a prism, and onto the canvas. My goal now is to become well versed in redirection of psychic energy thus creating and in turn, be created. Bruce Lee famously said, “Empty your mind ... be like water. Water flows and water crashes.” I implore you to flow and crash on your canvas whole heartedly. You will Flow, and you will Crash. The only way to learn is through building up skills and manage its fluctuations as you go along. There will be very difficult times, but when it is a burden, it’s likely our soul or heart is not in. A change in purpose, our goal setting, or, perhaps, a breakthrough is nearing! I have found that many visions come and go, and very seldom one completely blows me away and sustains me for months. This is Flow at its best, but crashing IS necessary. During those periods, there is little to do and you are again the mosquito biting the iron bull that is life. I have grown accustomed to simply practice, pick up a couple of new techniques, discipline myself as needed, or maybe wait it out complete to take care of other parts of my life. Next time I flow, I aim to express myself once more from where, with what I have, and as who now.
One particularly surprising aspect of my journey I did not foresee was learning the life principle of creation and destruction. I found that every art is not mutually exclusive to either side. To create something is to renew a previously destroyed concept . At the start, when I new no-thing of sketching, I was instructed to “break” the world down into its most simple shapes and forms. As I practiced drawing landscapes, I broke it down into the most elegant conceptualizations I can conceive. From the vanishing point, to outlines, the main source of light, etc. and divided them into background, mid-ground, and foreground. Later, I was soon able to apply these techniques freely across passions and the reverse is most often true.
Our true individuality, in our work, comes from the amalgamation of our unique combination of passions.
My hopes is to inspire you to manifest your own workflow because it structures your pursuits, expression, and, through constraints and limitations, facilitates creativity by narrowing down the channels of flow. Like an irrigation channel, the water as our creative force, and each channel an aspect of ones life, with techniques, skill, etc being the smaller, finer channels. My flow goes: drafting, revisions, feedback, refinements, details, and completion. Each step taking the water from the canal, to the main channel, and to the next. In basketball, form, timing, and switch paces are crucial attributes. They infer the quality of your game’s potential. Masters of the craft don’t typically have to think through every next step, they’ve already made shot thousands upon thousands free throws. Art, like basketball, is a multi-faceted, multi-dimensional venture in which one set of moves may not be enough to win a game yet a sound set with good form makes for a great foundation. It is best to have multiple sets of moves to counter, attack, and keep the defense guessing. There is a mindset for every project, and a unique set skills suited for each project. What is your art? What are your strengths and weaknesses there?
At last, there is an evident feminine quality in the very act of creation. I am still learning to nurture this consciously as my ego, at times, would short circuit, veering too masculine, where I would act without true inspiration nor beauty. Or, at other times, inflate, causing an influx of fantasy without any desirability to execute or take action on . Here the divine feminine, the void, or infinity itself is also something I take a keen to a welcomed challenge of balance. My art is more than a skill to simply monetize and make a living but I would certainly have it no other way. It is a journey into our collective unconscious and it is the pursuit of mastery that allows me to truly express myself, know myself, and in turn know you all.
“Go Find Yourself First, So You Can Also Find Me”