Seven Things — #48 — 17 March 2021
Last week, I took a break. It was a staycation of course and in a way, it was an intensified version of a state that’s been forced upon me for some time now; a state in which I have been bound to look closer and harder in my every-day for what I value in life. Like beauty, entertainment, relaxation, adventure, learning, mystery, creative expression. I’d compare it to looking at a landscape you are trying to sketch, or sitting down in front of a painting at an art gallery and really taking it in: The longer you look, the more details you notice; and the smaller and seemingly insignificant one such detail appears, the more joy you take from discovering it.
If you’ve seen my Instagram feed, you’ll have noticed that I’ve been on a quest to notice mundane beauty in my immediate neighbourhood. The pictures are inherently ordinary, but they’ve given me joy. For under usual circumstances I might not have thought of these scenes as worth looking at twice.
In my week off, I’ve sketched comics during an online drawing class, interchangeably used my living room as a yoga studio, craft workshop, wellness spa, and cinema. I got my hands dirty prepping the communal garden for a (hopefully more fruitful) second season. Instead of travel literature, I read stories about the nearby swimming pond. The crowning adventure was a road trip to a cold and muddy beach right by a nuclear power station (see below).
It wasn’t a glamorous trip on a plane to some exotic destination, but as it turns out, there is much to be gained from engaging more deeply with the ordinary.
Here are Seven Things I’ve been curious about lately:
Creativity: Do you keep your work to yourself because you think it’s not original enough? I wrote about three reasons why you should still share work that’s obvious.
AI: The State of AI in 10 charts
Design: City Bank learned a 500-million-lesson on the importance of good UI
Web: My friend Aleksandra Melnikova co-created a curated micro-site for children’s books, collated with hope for a more diverse world.
Tools/AI: A new feature in Photoshop and Lightroom to blow up your photos’ resolution with the help of machine learning
Design: A lamp that kills Covid to enable public events
Art: I visited the film director Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage. Its garden is an unlikely oasis; its backdrop a post-apocalyptic wasteland and a nuclear power station; its story worth knowing about.
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Disclaimer: Any opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of any current or previous employers.