Learn how to mine your subconscious for creative solutions and ideas to help you get unstuck.

Woman sleeping with morning sunlight coming through the window.
Photo by Gregory Pappas on Unsplash

My best ideas kept happening when I was half-awake. On a typical morning, I’d lie in bed, barely awake. My cloudy mind would start to wander, and all kinds of strange ideas and disconnected thoughts would appear. Then suddenly, a concept for a design problem I was working on would…


Craft a compelling story about your work, and if that fails, you better know how to wing it.

Colorful blocks of letters arranged to spell out the phrase little lies.
Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

Learning to speak about your work with eloquence while engaging the audience is one of the essential skills designers can learn. They should be able to craft a compelling story that incorporates your rationale and meets the criteria of the project brief.

Wax poetically

To succeed in selling your design work during…

Your battle scars were hard-earned, and your experiences go a long way towards fitting in.

Chocolate birthday cake with the saying you’re as old as dirt written on it with icing.
Photo by Jeffrey Bates on Unsplash

I had been building this day up for a while. Finally, I would be honest with my coworkers. I had been considering telling them for the past few years, and I decided to finally let everyone know the truth. I was going to let all the 20 and 30-year-olds at…

Searching for meaning in the forest leads to a divine discovery

British Columbia forest showing young red cedar trees with large cedar stumps.
Lynn Valley Headwaters Regional Park, Photo by Jeff Bates

I moved to Vancouver, BC, seven years ago. I’ve been a hiker and rock climber for a long time. I love being outdoors, and I’m particularly drawn to big trees.

We live in Burnaby now, a suburb of Vancouver. We’re lucky to live where we do because the Trans-Canada trail…

We’re living in unusual times; here are some ideas to help you stop drifting and keep moving forward

Photo by Lauren Peng on Unsplash

Like everyone else, I’m stuck at home, feeling anxious and feeling like I’m in a perpetual state of limbo. I have zero plans scheduled. For someone who is trying to maximize daily output, this is a weird state to be in, just drifting along. I want to refocus away from…

The lesson I learned from abruptly ending a promising hockey career and channeling all my energy into rock climbing.

Photo by Arthur Edelman on Unsplash.

I will always remember the day, walking into Steele Hall. I had a sinking feeling. My teammates wouldn’t make eye contact with me. I guessed why but had to check for myself. On the list posted outside the new coach’s office, I couldn’t find my name. …

Jeffrey Bates

Highly experienced creative director writing on design thinking, sports, and life. Design: jbates.co | For fun: createanddestroy.com

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