Monday, October 23, 2017

Twin Peaks, Process & Periods

Weekly Update 2017-43: Soulful sounds from Chicago band Twin Peaks, the move from aversion to acceptance of process work, and seeing periods depicted realistically in digital media.

Music: Twin Peaks
The most wonderful bout of garage rock popped into my Discover Weekly playlist last week. Amongst others was Twin Peaks out of Chicago. Their music has a lot of feeling to it and it just makes me happy. One of their singles, called Wanted You is especially soulful. I'd venture a guess that we've all experienced the sticky situation of unreciprocated feelings, and this song reflects the same vibe. It feels really honest and raw. I'd definitely suggest starting with that song (it's track 2 below).

I reflected and wrote a new post about my experiences from the communication workshop I've been taking for the past six weeks. Especially in a career where I work with all different types of people, this skill is becoming more and more important for me. It's really helped me focus a bit more on my oral communication skills and becoming more proactive on the spot. Anyway, if you want all the gory details, click here.

I've also made some medium-sized changes to the furniture layout in my room, for a few reasons:

  • I've had this idea for a while, but not sure if it would work out. I decided it wouldn't be too difficult to move back, so why not just try!
  • If it works, it will make the space in my room more efficient and hopefully stop me from piling too many clothes in one place (actively putting things back in their places)
  • Some change is good for the soul. I like controlled change; it acts as a reminder of positivity that I have some control in life (sounds dramatic)
I hope it works out. If not, something else to try!

This week I will be working on my Halloween costume, which includes making another medium-sized change. More on that to come. I've actually already started putting together the final pieces of my costume, and I'm pretty excited. I even have a cool secondary costume for the second of the two events my office is having on two different days, for some reason.

I'd also like to push out another blog post, keeping the reflection train rolling on through Bat Mitzvah town. Along that line, I want to think about how to continue my Jewish education in the near future and what that will look like in my life.

Random Thought: Process
One of the principles of design resides in the journey over the destination: understanding and building on process. Given the choice, any designer worth their salt will choose to read about a designer's process toward creating something than read about the final product itself. Of course the final product is important, but I am wildly obsessed with process these days. Maybe it's the new creative environment I'm in, but I've been trying to work out these ways of doing things and different ways of looking at or solving a problem.

I feel like there is a shifting (but still present) stigma away from a very recent aversion to process, or the act of learning about another creative's process. It was like sausage meat. “Just give me the end product, I don't want to see where it came from”. It's certainly simpler to think of design that way. Many end users never consider the fact that things they use every day were designed by someone. Looking inwardly in my community, I can still see remnants of that stigma on Dribbble, where some designers will still shy away from the challenge of solving a problem in any meaningful way for the user. In turn, commenters rarely inquire after process work, very few even manage much more than a couple of positive-sounding words.

I really enjoyed this video of how Kevin Parker, main songwriter for Tame Impala, creates music from a fabulous beachy apartment. Of course I do love this band to pieces, but to see how he layers music over itself and basically spends what I read as a “day” is mesmerizing.

~ 2min.

Inspiration: Bloody, Bloody Periods
I'm not usually so brashly-voiced on my blog, but yeah, women bleed from their vaginas every four weeks. No, I don't need to yell it from the rooftops, but it is something that we've decided is taboo enough to exclude from pretty much any form of media presence there is. Even advertisements for sanitary products, whose only purpose is to interact with the bloody mess so we don't have to, feature a weird blue substance (does anyone think that's what menstrual fluid is supposed to look like?) or sometimes no substance at all. We use our collective imagination. It's kind of insane.

Not to mention the gender imbalance here; no, men don't have to deal with periods, but yes, they should be educated on them and not be taught from a young age to view them as disgusting or unspeakable or (perish the thought) a sign of weakness.

And so, in these times what-are-a-changin', I bring you the first UK-based advertisement for a pad to show real menstrual blood. And I'm not warning you because there's nothing gross about it. It's empowering and uplifting and normalizes the period into what it is, a truly normal thing. (In the sense that many people have had periods before us, and many will have periods after we are gone).

The creator, Bodyform, states that it's not actually menstrual blood (for health and safety reasons), but it's a giant step in the right direction for the normalization of (already normal) human bodily functions. No body-shaming here! Read more about the campaign here.

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