Are You an Ostrich or a Swan?

Swans and ostrich facing off - Are You an Ostrich or a Swan?

Like all boring, old-school, heterosexual-coupling-based family units, I have the expected two sides of my extended tribe. I have my mother’s and my father’s sides of the family, who I have grown up observing, engaging, absorbing, cringing at, appreciating, being horrified by and loving throughout my life.

Most family issues, or even harmless ticks, come down to communication, or more often a lack of it. A recent frivolous exchange about unsure travel plans on both sides of my family led me to wondering if the two sides of my family had a pattern to their idiosyncrasies. As my mind wandered, it suddenly occurred to me that one side were ostriches and the other were swans.
Continue reading


This is Why Insecure People Don’t Ask for My Creative Help

Big thumb-tack head under a giant thumb - This is Why Insecure People Don't Ask for My Creative Help

I‘m not a social butterfly, but I know enough people closely enough who know what I do, and know some of what I’m capable of. Most of these people rarely ask for my help.

Now, I’m the master of not asking people about things (sometimes) and figuring them out in my own way, but I’m what many will call mad and an extremist. When I decide, I actually do figure things out eventually and come up with my own way of doing things. Often, that way is at least a bit better than the conventional, for my purposes. It takes time, it take effort, and it takes a certain persistence of learning and will which few people will go to the same lengths for. This is how I understood and learnt all the things that I do.
Continue reading


The Mythical 2-3 Exemplary People

Whale-spotting in the ocean - The Mythical 2-3 Exemplary People

What is it about 2-to-3 people? I wrote a while ago about the precious people in my life who meet me half way. When I looked closer at it, I realised that I knew only 2-3 such dear specimens. At various points I’ve also written about the clients I’ve worked with. In the technical and creative web-of-fields that is Design, the client ideally has certain responsibilities and qualities. There too, I think there have been around 2-3 clients who have understood and practiced their part of the bargain in building something useful. The repeating numbers seemed like too much of a coincidence to me. I wondered, why do these groups of exceptional people in my mind, and perhaps all stand-out groups, have (not so) precisely 2-3 people?
Continue reading


Nothing is Easy. Everything isn’t Suffering.

Piece of cake and a dark dungeon - Nothing is Easy. Everything isn't Suffering.

I have a bone to pick with marketing gurus. Which, let’s face it, is all of us at this moment in history. Every one of us with a platform to speak our minds is trying to sell something. We’ve been taught that this is the thing to do with an audience. Sell them things, whether an idea, a notion or an image of ourselves that benefits our pockets or our egos.

In selling, it is essential to reduce how difficult what you’re trying to sell seems to whom you’re trying to sell it to. This is why EASY becomes as important a notion in selling things to people as FREE is. We need the potential buyer of our ideas, expertise and secret plans to riches to believe it’s going to be easy and effortless, so that they effortlessly put their money, likes, shares, or whatever currency you barter in, where our mouth is.
Continue reading


This is How Papernautic’s Easy Origami Instructions Videos are Inspired by The Karate Kid

Origami crane karate kicking a YouTube logo - This is How Papernautic's Easy Origami Instructions Videos are Inspired by The Karate Kid

When it comes to paper craft and me, the answer to every “why” question is usually because it’s fun, and because I can. However, there are more compelling reasons why I’ve started creating origami instructions videos over on the Papernautic channel on YouTube. I’d like to share those reasons, what they have to do with The Karate Kid, and also give you a peek at the initial set of paper folding tutorial videos.
Continue reading


3 Most Dangerous Idiots Who Creative People Must Endure

Figure being knocked back by ninja stars - 3 Most Dangerous Idiots Who Creative People Must Endure

Have you ever considered this weird paradox of human nature? The urge to make and build things at once defines us and makes us human, while also being the most discouraged activity on both social and individual levels. We like to think of a past golden age when we all, or at least most of us, were creative people. However, it’s more likely that even in some cave in the prehistoric world, the creature painting the walls in earthy colours was just as ridiculed, derided and discouraged for wasting their time and betraying the tribe, rather than doing something useful and poking at the embers with a stick like all the other responsible and well-adjusted members of society.

This general nay-saying does make creativity of any sort a socially, materially and emotionally challenging prospect, even in the best of circumstances. As a maker and builder of things, a creative person, you need a better understanding and appreciation of the finer points of how the world functions. If you don’t have that and don’t try to grow yourself in that way, you’re just one of the rest of them. This human obstacle course to creativity involves three distinct kinds of people or motivations, and you would do well to know and recognise the three kinds of idiots who will get in your way, and in your face, no matter what you try to make.
Continue reading


A Comic is Not a Film

Sphere bounces through floating comic panels - A Comic is Not a Film

I‘ve been savouring some comics recently. You can insist on calling them graphic novels if you’re too scared to say ‘comic’, it makes no difference to the experience of reading one. The comic is a wonderfully rich medium. Some of what I am reading is decidedly mediocre, and some of it holds that meaty satisfaction that you find in well-crafted fiction of longer lengths, the kind that never attempts startling remarkableness, but is made more satisfying for being bathed in solid craft without the gold leaf.

I’ve come to appreciate that to understand the marvel that is the comic and what makes the best ones work, you must take into consideration two aspects of its existence: How the comic is placed in the history of storytelling, and how it is truly experienced by the reader in the most minute of details of perception and process.
Continue reading