With so many ways to fill your portfolio (and time) how do you choose personal projects that help you build skills and your experience?

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Everyone is doing a side project or a side hustle these days. And, if you have tried to start your own only to abandon it weeks (or even days) later, I hear you. Finding the right fit for your spare time can be tricky business.

There are hundreds of thousands of projects you could do at any given time. It can seem daunting and its hard to know which ones are worth your time and which ones waste it. …


What to do when you got your degree in graphic design but all the jobs are for UX design

Photo by: Tim Gouw via Unsplash

I graduated from college a little over two years ago with a Bachelors in Fine Arts and a concentration in Graphic Design. I learned all about kerning, Paul Rand, and how to make a poster for social change. When I graduated all the jobs were for entry level user experience positions, and I felt under qualified. So, I took the first job I could creating the designs for print pieces and got to work learning about UX. …


Every year May rolls around and every year we seem to get busier. Travel, graduations, birthdays, work. Every year, I think about how you managed to do everything.

You managed to work full time and still volunteer in our school, drive us to karate, soccer, scouts, dance, art classes.

You managed to attend every single competition, art show, school, play, PTO meeting and still you were always your own person.

I don’t know many people, let alone moms, who produced a television show, who wrote a book, who went back to school and earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering…


Focus on average instead

Think about what makes something or someone “the best.” Apple carved out space as the top maker of smartphones or how J.K. Rowling inspired a generation of young readers with her books. An image of success comes to mind.

So much of success, however, is completely circumstantial. We can only be our best if we are lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time. Luck is completely out of our control.

A better strategy is to be average. Over time the more we invest in our average performance, the better it improves and the chance to…


Reflections on love that extends romantic relationships

If you read one thing this month, it should be All About Love by bell hooks. I picked it up as a celebration of both today, Valentine’s Day and Black History month.

The first Valentine’s day I can really remember I was in the 3rd grade. I got the chicken pox and I was bed ridden all week. I still got the red and pink envelope with all little candies and cards from my classmates. I remember thinking how cool it was to still get all those even though I was out all week. …


Thoughts human nature and understanding one another

Today Donald Trump has been sworn as president and many of us are emotional. Everyone I’ve talked to, regardless of who they voted for, agree that the feeling of a divided country worries them.

Most people believe that they are good. We have values that define our identities and we will fight for what we believe is right. And, in our current political system most of our values fall either to the left or to the right.

There is a blind spot here. We assume the people we are talking to share the same values we do. We make arguments…


Since it’s probably is not going anywhere any time soon

There are so many articles that talk about getting rid of anxiety like its something separate from the human experience—something that can be easily removed if you simply tries hard enough. Anxiety isn’t a wall to climb over. It feels more like a circular track—like there is no end to it.

There’s a problem with treating anxiety like there is a cure. If and when whatever prescription fails, it comes with guilt that you aren’t doing it right. Anxiety is like any other emotion and it helps to manage it rather than try to bury or extinguish it.

What’s in Your House?

The mind…


Break the cycle of unreachable resolutions

Its the first week of January and the Internet is rife with everyone’s new years resolutions. What are yours? Are you going to get organized this year? Are you going to lose ten pounds?

Did you know that only 8% of people who make new years resolutions keep them? And, out of 100 people who made resolutions, more than half of them will abandon them after six months.

The problem with resolutions is that people aren’t making the right goals.

When you don’t make the right goal its easy to lose sight of it and then abandon it completely with…


This last year had a lot to offer about the nature of what people pay attention to.

The best advice I got this year is people, maybe yourself included, don’t care about me or this article.

I’m not trying to be a downer, really. This is human nature. Everyone has a limited time on this earth and reading my opinions on habit psychology and posters are not very high on the list.

If you are trying to start a blog or even a business consider this:

When you realize the person you are trying to reach doesn’t care about what you have to say, you can communicate to based on their wants and needs. …


How our worst habits probably aren’t poor diet and exercise

A few years ago I read an article that shared an anecdote about a surgeon who refused to perform surgery on a boy who was critically injured in an accident which also left his father dead. When prompted with why, the surgeon responded with “I can’t operate on this boy because he’s my son.” I paused for a moment trying to reconstruct the scene. I originally thought the surgeon was a tall, white, cis-gendered, straight man. According to the article, my assumptions were in the majority of those who also encountered this story. It’s not that I don’t think woman…

Sarah Croughwell

Designer and Explorer | sarahcroughwell.com

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