Flarup’s Weekly Report #6 — A Breather Week

Week 23 (June 6th — June 12th)

When I looked over my calendar for this week, It looked fairly uneventful compared to the last few weeks of traveling, speaking and putting out content. A breather week where you get time to course correct and balance out. Breather weeks are great in the sense that you put less fixed things in your schedule. You have less appointments and fewer places you need to be. No major commitments to take away focus from whatever you want to dive into. Rubber banding your weeks like this, alternating between busy, planned days and stretches of days with minimal calendar obligations have an interesting impact on my productivity. What I’ve found is that in these breather weeks, lots of random stuff have a habit of happening. When you’re not channeling your attention into a series of dots in your schedule, concertedly moving your focus from one obligation to another, it’s almost as if you’re exposing yourself to the background tapestry of opportunities, ideas and directions around you. By not filling your schedule, you’re essentially letting your schedule fill itself. This isn’t some clever productivity hack. You can’t have breather weeks without the hustle of busy weeks and for me, these weeks have so far happened more by happenstance than as part of some grand strategy. But I’m taking notice and writing it down. This week –while on the onset seemingly low key– ended up being packed full of things. I published two new pieces of content on youtube, gave a talk at my sisters school and started to learn a new tool. Maybe we should all plan for more serendipity?

– Here’s the report.

Published a new ‘Design with me’ episode

15 minutes deep dive into a new project and the role of sketching

After the overwhelming response I got on the first episode of my new show ‘Design with me’, I’ve been looking forward to putting out more content. Luckily the right project came around quickly and I took steps to secure the footage: screen recording and meticulously tracking the process. It has taken a few weeks, but all that work has finally turned into the second episode of DWM. It’s 15 minutes of behind-the-scenes goodness where you’ll see me redesign an old iOS app icon. On the last episode I used the opportunity to talk about the conceptual stages of a freelance project. In this episode I spend some time discussing the role of sketching in the creative process. I wanted to not just uncover how I use sketches with my clients, but also make a bigger statement about why sketching is an important tool and why everyone should embrace it even if you’re not too confident in your drawing skills.

I feel like the DWM format is really coming together. It seems clear to me now that every episode will take us through some project while simultaneously attempt to say something bigger about a particular subject in the creative process. I like where this is headed but I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Talked to students about creative education

Finding your circle of fun at Borups Højskole

My sister attends Borups Højskole (No apparent translation but think college) and she asked me if I wanted to come and give a lecture. It turned into a talk about creative education and about pursuing what I like to call your ‘circle of fun’. Each time I get to talk to students I’m inspired to do more teaching. I see myself sitting in their seat and there’s so many things I want to tell my twenty-something self. I say yes to almost any invitation to speak at schools now.

Published a new Photoshop Tips video

The silliest one to date

The psd.tips series grew with another episode this week too. I got silly and tried to answer the age old question of ‘How to make gold’… well, at least in Photoshop. I’m laughing, but I actually have been asked to make something gold colored. Several times. Gold obviously isn’t a color, it’s a material and in this episode I show you how that look can be obtained. It actually turned into one of the longest episodes in the series so far and certainly the silliest.

Took my first steps in Blender

Made some icons for Conduct THIS

I have always been intrigued by 3D tools and in awe when great people around me used them to conjure up one magical scene or object after another. Working alongside 3D wizard LoPoCo (Barrington Russell) and mage-of-all-trades Ulrik Damm really pushed me beyond intrigue and right into the deep end of trying it out. Ulrik pretty much guided me through my first Blender session showing me a gazillion keyboard shortcuts. Daunting doesn’t even begin to describe it and Ulrik did most of the vertices-mashing but in the end I was able to export some png renders and bring them into Photoshop. From there I could detail them and make my first icons based on actual 3D models and not just drawings. Fun!

Work-in-progress icons for Conduct THIS

  • OFFF Festival tweeted about my coverage of their conference. It made my day.
  • This mind blowing next-level timelapse film from Keith Loutit

Next week is going to be a travel week (i.e. not a breather week). I’ll be going to Web2Day festival in France where I’ll be giving not one but two talks! I’ll be traveling with my brother, Mads. I’ll bring my camera!

Michael is a danish designer, entrepreneur & keynote speaker. he loves making things, going on adventures and telling stories. Why did he start doing these weekly reports? Find out here.

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