(You can read the original article on Medium here)
“I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it, and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good.” — Roald Dahl
The Adobe Creative Residency is every designer’s dream: a year to focus on whatever project you’re passionate about, without the creative suppression or financial anxiety of working for a company or doing freelance. Truly your OWN project. What an idyllic way to spend a year! Somehow, I was selected to be one of the residents this year, and I couldn’t be more enthusiastic!
During the residency, artists share their process, insights, and inspiration with the community while focusing on their personal creative project. We’re provided with resources, expertise, guidance, exposure, and opportunities. Residents are also asked to speak at events, attend conferences, and collaborate with leaders in our field. As a 2018 Adobe Creative Resident, I’ll be representing the UI/UX design community this year.
After spending 4 years working in the tech industry in Silicon Valley, the residency came at a perfect time for me. I’m at a stage in my career where, although opportunities like this terrify me, I have full confidence that I can take on this responsibility and grow from it. I used to assume that successful artists just kind of started creating and finding work they love at some point. I was disappointed to learn that meaningful work doesn’t just come to your doorstep as you get older, but you do in fact have to put in effort to find it. It turns out that you have to identify something that you’re passionate about, figure out how to do it, and then go out of your way to work on it. The residency is a wonderful opportunity to focus solely on nurturing your passion. Moreso, it’s your job to do so!
My project will focus on automation and how internet-connected objects can improve the human experience. Automation is the perfect crossroads between technology and design for understanding and addressing everyday problems. I think my interest in automation grew from working around developers and getting into the programming mindset. If you have to do a task more than a few times, you start to consider writing a script to do it for you. I believe a lot of getting things done successfully is getting into the mindset of making a task a habit. If you automate something, you free up time and energy to work on other things.
By making daily adjustments to everyday tasks, you can make your life easier. If you look closely, you’ll find that everything is a system and can be examined and improved. I will be conducting research and creating a series of designs centered around the Internet of Things, while considering relevant issues like security and data privacy. Hopefully it will help others identify where they can make changes in your their own lives.
Throughout my residency year, I’m going to be completely transparent with my design process. You’ll see everything from setting up research to sketching out wireframes and refining the visuals, as well as all of my revisions. As I share my process and highlight design practices, I hope to excite others about experience design and it’s larger role in our society.
Whether or not you’ve been asking yourself the question, “So this is it, huh?”, I invite you to identify and work towards your own personal project this year, as I work on mine. Follow along with me as I post here, as well as on Instagram, Youtube, Dribbble, my blog, and Behance. I would very much appreciate your support, feedback, or a simple ‘hello’. I’ll be embracing my passion 100% this year- after all, lukewarm is no good!