personal

Some principles for blogging

I’ve been thinking about my own approach to blogging, and making this sharable. These are some good principles to start with. Continue reading…

Anxiety labels and emotional needs

Golconda by Magritte

Golconda by Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte

I have a print of the painting Golconda by Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte (1898 – 1967) framed on my bedroom wall at home.

The painting is composed of men, nearly identical to each other, all dressed in bowler hats and floating in the air. Continue reading…

Mark making and broad strokes (learning to throw out your toolbox)

White Cross, Lancaster

White Cross, home to Lancaster School of Art and Design in 1997 (now relocated to Lancaster & Morecambe College)

20 years ago (in September 1997) I went to my local art college to enrol on a one year art and design foundation course. In the UK this is still the route many designers take from school to university at the start of their careers. Continue reading…

Art is emotive

Art is everything that you don’t have to do – Brian Eno

We all find meaning in life through art and how things make us feel.

I can’t always articulate why art makes sense of some of the things in my life, but it does. It’s why I hang pictures on the wall of my house. Continue reading…

Earning your optimism

I finished most of my conference talks this year with a Bruce Springsteen quote:

You earn the extreme moments of optimism from the daily struggles we all fight our way through.

Design is hard. Change is hard. Life is (sometimes) hard.

Keep going. Continue reading…

The gift of giving away your best work

It’s my last day today at DWP Digital. I feel like I’ve given them my best possible work for 3 years.

Work isn’t about winning. It’s about taking part and putting your true self into that work.

The best option is always to give away your best work when the time is right. Continue reading…

Sparkle

Rough diamand

A rough diamond

Working with other people.

Anyone can be a source of light and optimism in any situation.

Look for other people that shine because they reflect the light back at you.

Great teams sparkle. They reflect each other. They have rough edges. Continue reading…

Leaving DWP Digital

I’m leaving my job at DWP Digital in August.

This will be just short of 4 years working in government, first at the Government Digital Service (GDS) and then at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for the past 3 years.

It feels like the right time for a change and the right time to move on. Continue reading…

2016 – End of year review

This year was the toughest of my career so far.

I’ve managed to steer our design team through a considerable amount of change at DWP Digital (previously, Digital DWP) after most of our leadership team suddenly moved on to take over at the Government Digital Service in August. Continue reading…

Everyday is an opportunity to write something

I’m experimenting in December. I’m planning to publish something every day in the run up to Christmas. I’m cheating slightly, in that I’m not committing to weekends.

I used to always look forward to the web design advent calendar – 24 ways, so I thought it would be nice to try something similar. Continue reading…