Holiday Grind (part 2)

Being the 1st semester kids in Propel, we’re lucky. We get a 2 week chunk at the end of the semester to put the bows and ribbons on our time sensitive projects. For some, they are so close to being done that they take the holidays to relax and not worry about anything school related, but for most, Christmas break is the perfect time to squeeze in the last little bit of work you need before the final presentations. To be honest, I’d probably be working on something whether my project was done or not. I can’t go 2 weeks without doing anything.

As a part of my project I decided to create a video that merged both fashion, and dance. Since I can’t be making choreography at school, I’ll be using the break to work on the routine that will be in the video. After all the choreography is done, I have plans to teach it to a couple friends, and then shoot it over the break. Normally the editing process for a video takes the longest, but since this is a dance video the pre production is the most important part. I’m going to use the remaining time after the break to edit the video myself, since I already have a vision for what it should look like. 
On top of the video, I will also be working on a couple of client pieces and creations over the break, as well as updating the Atomik Studios website with new content that I’ve created over the course of the semester. This is the final stretch, it’s crunch time, and I can’t wait to finally put the finishing touches on my project.

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Keeping Organized

Even though from the outside it might look like Propel is all fun and games, we actually have a lot of assignments (which we call deliverables) to complete. From logging hours, to proposals, and health assignments, it gets pretty hard to manage time and become productive during the days. Add in all the tasks that come along with our projects and organization becomes some what of a nightmare.

At the start of the semester we established a way of organizing our tasks by splitting them up by the relation to our projects. “A tasks” were things that are directly related to our projects and “B tasks” were things that were school related but not related to our projects. Every morning we would write the tasks for the day on the board, but for me to stay organized I needed to take it a step further. Writing the list of tasks in my phone every day has helped me stay on track no matter where I am. Even if I only refer to the list once or twice a day, the act of writing all the things I need to do down really helps me to remember what I need to get done. 

After looking at my list in the morning, I pick a time to sit down and do ALL of my B tasks at once. Even though they’re not the most fun to do, spreading these tasks out throughout the day will reduce your productivity and increase your stress level. This same tip can apply to anyone who deals with a lot of emails every day. Respond to your emails all at once! Spreading it out throughout the day will just slow you down. These tips, combined with getting (a little) more sleep has made my days a lot more productive and if you use them to, I’m sure you’ll see similar results.

Progress

Up until this point at Propel, I still feel like I haven’t accomplished as much as I had hoped coming into the program for a second time. I had this false image in my brain that all of i sudden, all of my goals and dreams would come true. I came to the realization that I was breaking my own rule. Patience is key. Nothing worth while happens quick, and right now I’m in the pure work phase. Technically I’m on track, but sometimes is feels like I haven’t gotten anything done. 
My goal for the semester was to create as much creative content as possible and release it all to be public to grow my portfolio and my brand. When I look from the outside it looks like I haven’t created enough content for the 2 months that I’ve been here. But if you take a closer look, the quality of what I’ve been creating has been much higher than last year. That being said, I’m okay with giving up a bit of quantity to make the quality of my content better. I’m improving my craft while also sharing the process with the world, which is something that will help me in the long run.
I’m really excited about the jacket that I’m working on at the moment. It’s my first client piece that I’ve made this semester and it’s probably the best quality piece I’ve ever made as far as craftsmen ship goes. I spend a lot of time drafting the pattern for the piece and it made me realize how much work actually goes into create a real high quality garment. Once that piece is done my focus will go completely to the fashion lookbook video that I’m creating with Trent. So far we’re on track for time, and I can’t wait to see the final product. This semester is going great, despite me getting down on myself sometimes, and I can’t wait to see where these next 2 months take me. 

Don’t starve your brain

             As an artist, there are times where you feel a lack of inspiration and drive to create. Luckily this doesn’t happen to me regularly, but the past couple of months have been pretty slow for me and I haven’t been as productive as a feel like I should be. I worked every single day during the summer time and spent countless hours working on my fashion show, “For the Kids”. After the show was over, my good friend and dance teacher Wayne told me that it was important to take some time off to let my brain rest, and to experience some things before I tried to hop back into making art again. Even though I heard him out, I didn’t do that. I tried to get right back to work. In my head, I felt like I needed to keep the wave going and do something that would be bigger and better than “For the Kids”, but after weeks of nothingness, I had nothing to show for. 

          This slowly started to become a pattern. All the work that I was creating felt bland and boring to me. When I left for my trip to Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto, I told myself that I would take a break from trying to make things and just let myself be inspired. Over those 9 days that I was away, that was exactly what happened. 

            Montreal was a beautiful place for me in particular. It was extremely interesting to observe the way people talk, walk, dress, and interact with one another. I found that everyone there exuded a certain level of confidence and class with everything they did. Everyone seemed like they were dressed in there best outfit all the time no matter what age or gender they were. 50 year old business people looked like they were ready to attend a fashion week and 20 year old skaters had perfect colour blocking with their outfits. Nothing was ever over the top, but the street style in Montreal inspired me the most. 
             Once we made it to Toronto the whole mood of the trip switched. We had gone from 5 people in a 2 bedroom hotel room to 5 people in a beautiful 7 bed condo. The space felt like my future home so I immediately began to feel excited about being in the city. Toronto is extremely diverse, and it shows in the people that live there as well as the culture. The lights and the overall hustle of the people was refreshing, and it made me feel like weirdly super small and super big at the same time.

              We experienced so much and took in so much in such a short period of time that it feels like a blur, but leaving Winnipeg for a while was one of the most refreshing and valuable things that I’ve done in a while. Even though the “hustle” and “grind” is important, it’s crucial that you don’t starve your brain. I create things inspired by experiences, places, and people that I’ve seen, and when you run out of experiences to create off of, you will run out of creativity as well. 

Proof of concept

Last week was an interesting week for me. I did something that I don’t normally do when I work, which is spend all of my time working on one single project. Last week, the project that I took on was creating a leather jacket from scratch with a liner and zipper detailing. It was the biggest sewing project that I had ever taken on and a big challenge for me since I normally don’t spend so much time on pattern drafting. Last year I made pieces that had about 6 panels in total, but this jacket had 7 panels for the back piece alone. Since the piece was so complex, it took a lot of mental calculations and an order of operations that hurt my brain from time to time. Throwing a liner into the mix was extremely challenging as well. Making everything look clean and professional was something that I’m still working on, but for my first time working on a project of that scale, the product was something that I am pretty proud of.

Moving forward to this week, I am going to be doing a significant amount more planning than the last. I want to have a better idea of the overall direction that I want to go in this semester with my project. Last year I dipped my toes in the water with a few different project areas, but this time around I want to have a set vision for my project and my brand. I’m okay with that vision changing (it probably will) but I want to prove that I’m not just doing the same thing as last year. Yes I’m still making clothes and yes I’m still marketing myself but this time it’s for a bigger overall goal. Eventually this is what I want to do as a career and it’s my job in my proof of concept to prove that that is even a little bit possible.

Here we go again…

         Here we go again… another semester at Propel. It feels great to be back and I’m super excited to see what this semester brings. Although I’ve already been through this process before, I have faith that this semester will be completely different than the last. Coming into the semester, the range of possibilities are endless. I want to continue to grow my brand and portfolio as a designer/artist.

        Last year, my motto was “keep creating”, and I’m using the same mantra this year. I want to create as much art and cool projects as I can with almost no boundaries. I’ll be working mostly with fashion and art, but I have plans to incorporate some dance into my project as well. Working with multiple mediums makes for more interesting and unique content that hopefully will inspire people and challenge their idea of art all together. 

         Although being a creator is great and all, and also want to explore how I was make it my career and monetize my passion. These things are what I want to do for the rest of my life in some way shape or form and so I want to start as early as possible to make sure that that happens. I’m going to learn a lot, fail a lot and hopefully have some success along the way as well, but I couldn’t be more excited for crunch time to start up.

Holiday grind

Christmas holidays; a wonderful time of year to relax and spend time with family and friends… Or better yet, a great time to grind on your propel project! With the semester soon coming to an end it is getting busy and stressful for everyone who isn’t finished their project. Even though it’s important to spend time with family and friends, it would be foolish not to take advantage of the 2 weeks of free time to hustle and take your project to the next level.
I’m lucky enough to get to travel over the holidays with my family. We’re going to be escaping Winterpeg for 8 days and going to the Yucatan region of Mexico. Although I could spend all of my free time in Mexico working and hustling on my project, I am a true believer that everyone has their one work/life balance, and we all need a real vacation every once and awhile. (Plus chilling on a beach in my bathing suit listening to the waves and sipping on mango juice sounds kinda nice). I’ve decided to take those 8 days to clear my mind, relax, and get inspired again. 
That being said, there’s no way I’m going to let the last 8 days (or 7 or 6 of whatever) go to waste. As soon as I get back from my trip it’s grind time again. I’m going to go back to the main idea or “theme” of my project, which is to “Keep creating”. I am an artist, and sometimes I think I forget that when I’m busy emailing or looking at analytics or scheming marketing strategies. I’m not going to abandon all of those things because they are all super important, but I want to be able to find time to create more content for Atomik, as well as my personal brand as a designer and creator. I’m going to be working on new designs for Atomiks next clothing collection, as well as making lots of 1/1 garments for #CreationsbyAdam. 
Even though there’s only a couple weeks left of serious work time in the semester, I am more motivated than ever to create and perfect by project. Holidays is grind time baby. Let’s shred. (Fire emoji)