The brief for the night from Australian Infront to Vince Frost was not to present a portfolio but to talk about something broader, deeper. Specifically, how has he stayed in business for such a long time? How has he stayed creatively relevant? How does he do this with a large team (30-35)?
The result was a presentation on: designing your life, your business and your happiness. How do you achieve a balance between an enriched life, business and achieving your dreams? Frost had 25 mantras, part design wishes part life coach, part business coach. In fact he attributed a few of the points to his naturopath and CEO. So here they are:
- Every day is an opp to shine.
Have a positive outlook, choose a career you love. (With an interesting question posed to the audience – do you separate work and life, is lack of separation a weakness? Do you embrace the fact that your life and work is enmeshed?)
- Be decisive.
Design and life is about solving problems and coming to solutions. Say yes and mean it. Say no and mean it.
- Smile a lot.
You get what you give. Smile even when you don’t feel like it. Look for inspiration, energies, queues from those around you
- Never stop being a kid.
Design is learning how to play again. Be expressive, try things.
- Question everything.
Never presume you know everything. Listen critically, carefully, quietly. Delve, be empathetic to your audience – what are they trying to achieve? The clues you hear will make your design stronger.
- Take a break.
Recharge, energise, take a step back. As a company celebrate achievement and introspect. Don’t get stuck in a routine – do something diff every day.
Joke, enjoy, muck around.
- Play with colour.
Understand its effects on people. There’s a science behind it. It can stimulate, it can calm.
Find a home designed for you specific needs, were you can relax and switch off.
- Create a positive environment.
Add value, add stuff that is sustainable.
- Be fulfilled.
Seek satisfaction. Choose to be doing stuff you want to do, or not. Try different things, counties, studios, test things out.
- Be challenged.
Seek diversity in the work environment. Push in different directions, to learn and grow, gain confidence
- Stretch yourself.
- Make mistakes and celebrate them.
- Give generously.
Have empathy for your end user.
- Care lots.
Care brings determination to maximise opportunity
With clients too. Work closely with them, banter, aim for transparency between parties.
- Love your family and your friends.
- Walk everyday especially once you hit 40.
Getting up at 5am gives you more hours in the day.
- Be prolific.
Do lots of good things.
- Don’t be mechanical.
Don’t jump on the computer. Think, brainstorm, throw ideas around. Don’t let tools design the end result.
- Don’t go around in circles.
Focus on direction. Goals in life. Understand your intent and make a plan.
- Trust your intuition.
- Don’t focus on projects.
Focus on giving from the heart in everything you do. How can you inspire the client, engage the opportunity in a positive engaging way?
Peppered with these messages were examples of inspiring work from the team at Frost studio. Work that had depth of meaning, texture, dimension, colour. Frost himself was a delight too. No buzz words, just sincere sharing of life and work experiences and a clear passion for applying design and seeing beauty.
The talk will also be available as a podcast on iTunes courtesy of the Apple Store. BTW Apple peeps, this blog post was produced by my delightful HP in your store 😉