Thursday, February 16, 2012

Designer Workout Plan

By Muid Latif
  1. SLEEP EARLY AS POSSIBLE. Nothing beat stress from sleeping. A good sleep gives you a good charge the next day. If you have problem sleeping such as insomnia, drink chamomile tea or just relax your mind by resting on the bed. Don't worry what to do the next day, just get a good sleep!
  2. EAT HEALTHILY. Have a good diet; eat more vegetables, eat fruits, eat less fat food and drink lots, and lots of water. Avoid taking too much raw food as it will welcome you to unwanted sickness such as diarrhea. And always eat on time and least one hour and a half before you go to sleep.
  3. GET INTO THE MOOD. Find things that you like to do best and work on it, creatively. Arrange your workspace with colorful pin-ups, postcards and quotes. Music is one of the best influences to help you while working on your creative production, or simply from driving to work or a long journey back home. Don't text or tweet while driving. If you’re depressed, take a deep breath, vanquish all those negativity and refresh yourself. It’s no use holding back your negative thoughts anger and grudges.
  4. DO A LOT OF SKETCHES. Change ideas into visual mind maps. Always bring your sketchbook or moleskin. Draw whatever you have in your mind and what you feel. But don't plagiarize other people's work and claim it yours, commercially. Be graceful, truthful and realistic.
  5. EXERCISE REGULARLY. For me, running really helps. Always stretch yourself (fingers, arms, neck, back, etc) for 5-10 minute after finish doing your assignment at your workstation. Go to the gym or do yoga or a swim, keep your physical and heart healthy.
  6. READ MORE. Read more design books and creative articles that can increase your understanding in developing creative ideas. When you read, you have solid and good research or subject matter to begin with. Paul Arden is a good start! Even better if you can get a copy of 'Making Ideas Happen' by Scott Belsky. There are great magazines such as Computer Arts, GOOD magazine, iDN, Monocle, Wallpaper, CUTOUT magazine and others.
  7. BE FINANCIALLY STABLE. Cut the credit cards, eliminate the debts and spend minimal on entertainment & lifestyle. Avoid delaying any bills. Forget spending recklessly on things such as buying designer's toys, sneakers and outfits. Put 20-40% out of your salary to your savings account. Set a long-term financial plan wisely with your budget in a spreadsheet so you can track on all your expense in past, present and future. Remember, happy people usually have enough financial support in their account. If you’re about to run out of saving, work for more!
  8. THE GOOD SON/DAUGHTER ATTITUDE. Bring your parents or family for an outing to express your appreciation for what they have done to you in the past. Getting yourself closer to your loved ones makes you become more than just a good being, it shape yourself a better person with accountability and responsibility. If you’re far away, call them to say hi. If you had trouble in the past communicating with your parents, this is the time you make up to them. Don't expect anything in return, what matters is that you remember them.
  9. HANG OUT WITH GOOD FRIENDS. Choosing a right friend will make you learn a lot of things about yourself, even to identify your weakness or your great potential from their view. Accept criticism to make you become a better person. Like Paul Arden said, 'Do Not Seek Praise, Seek Criticism'. ;-)
  10. SMILE. Don’t fake it or don’t smile in a weird freaky way but a simple smile. Smile makes you feel positive and it will bring others to be positive too. People who have obnoxious most likely to be a negative person will end loosing friends and imprint bad impression. Smile makes you happy, and happy makes you a contented person.
  11. TRAVEL. Take a vacation and go to interesting places that doesn't reflect your daily routine or the same environment. Switch off your mobile, don’t check your emails. Take a nature walk, snorkeling or spa. Pamper yourself. It helps a lot.
  12. DO CHARITY. Donate your old clothes to the donation drop-in box or visit the youth community centre or old folks home. Put 5-10% of your business profit and contribute to the poor or NGO's. Do good things in life. Don't be calculative when you donate. Don't put a penny or a dollar. Put more, pay it forward. It brings your a better person.
  13. SEEK FORGIVENESS. Always be considerate to yourself and others. Drop that designer-diva attitude. Bring compassion to your life and your career. Be professional. Make people admire you and your charisma; don't force people to respect you by being fierce. Respect is earned and always be thankful for what you got.
  14. READ THE NEWS! Keep yourself updated with the surroundings. Read New York Times, Good Magazine or even design portals like Behance Network, Drawn, Computer Arts Blog or FWA to get you inspired. It's not necessarily to hook yourself up the entire day with Facebook or Twitter as it could sometimes demotivate you, especially with negative expression from obnoxious and temper-tantrum individuals that would influence and distract you.
  15. LIVE TO LEARN. Life is always about learning new things and making mistakes. Do lots of trials and errors to strengthen your work. Always expose yourself to new knowledge and design techniques, styles and what not. Develop your own unique trademark or brand that people can identify your creative work. Always think of quality over quantity. Always think long term goals to your creative productions. Most of all, accept advices and criticism. Do portfolios review among your peers or friends from the industry to see how you can improve the way you produce your creative work. Be multi-discipline.

Muid Latif is a Creative Practitioner based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He is also an ambassador to Behance Malaysia, writer for Art Malaysia and CUTOUT magazine, also the founder of art collective group, Digital Malaya Project. Visit to learn more about his work.

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