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Nurturing creativity

We set out this month with the intention of talking about the “non-creative” parts of creativity. What kind of routines, or rest, will help us achieve our creative goals and nurture our souls. How might we practice more kindness and understanding towards ourselves and our limitations, with the knowledge that doing creative work is a lifelong marathon and not a sprint. Finally, how are the external structures of capitalism and private social media companies hindering our work and our minds?

It’s easy to end up focusing solely on the output of our work, but the methods and process behind it are often just as (if not more) valuable in the end. We hope these links generate some introspection into what motivates your creativity, what values you want to inform it, and maybe to take an extra creative vacation or two!

Slow is smooth

The Lazy Report

4 minutes

Something about laziness as an essential part of any long term creative process.

Your personal design language

7 minutes

This is a very difficult thing to do. This year, I've set out to try and reflect on what makes me the designer that I am. This article helped me start this process with 3 writing prompts.


24 minutes

Artist omulo lays out the arguments on why social media is harmful to the creative process, with an abundance of links to other artists posts and reasoning for leaving social media behind. It was one of the pivotol reasons for me (Kate) to take a break from social media for the year 2023, along with this post linked in there that detailed the amount of content instagram wants you to produce to be pushed into the algorithm (and how you are also punished/rewarded for the amount of time you spend in the app)

A Soft Manifesto

9 minutes

"I need to wake up earlier and take care of my body and take care of my brain that holds on to all of my ideas, a backlog that will just fade into the dark." Cortney Cassidy ponders how we might remove our art practice from the grips of capitalism and toxic productivity.

On maintaining momentum

8 minutes

I found an older entry to this newsletter that collected some perspectives into keeping busy and creative. One artist suggested procrastinating by working on some other project, therefore never really stopping being productive, and keeping this chain of events going. Feels like cheating, but I like this way of thinking.

staying organized, motivated, and coping with burnout

14 minutes

From Molly Ostertag's Graphic Novel Class series (which details the process from start to finish), is an entry detailing how to take care of artist burnout.

How to balance full-time work with creative projects

14 minutes

I've been balancing work and creative lives for a while now, and I know some of our colleagues are also in the same space. Enjoying work is a first step, but keeping some energy for after hours is nonetheless tricky. Managing social life, routine and physical space are all very crucial aspects for creativity.

Accessibility highlights

Accessibility for designer: where do I start?

A guide to get started with accessibility.

This is WCAG

From the list above, I recommend this index which allows you to filter WCAG criteria based on interaction mode and design elements.


Laziness Does Not Exist

Devon Price's book combats the prevailing myth that we are being lazy, and that perhaps instead we are over-worked and in need of rest. If you want a bit of the sense of the book, check out this NPR article and interview with author Devon Price.

Multi colored book cover. Five horizontal bands from yellow to pink each contain one word of the title.

Growing Gills: How to Find Creative Focus When You’re Drowning in Your Daily Life

Accomplished cartoonist (and prof from my alma mater) Jessica Abel has written a straight-forward book that has exercises to help combat our creative anxieties and help create a sustainable creative routine (however small it may be). I still regularly return to these exercises when stuck on a project or dealing with my inner critic.

Book cover with an illustration of a sihouette swimming in water.
a portrait of Charlyne, wearing a high ponytail and curly hair falling on her left shoulder. She's white with brown/blonde haire and wears a black dress.

5 things worth sharing with Charlyne Lefebvre-Paillé

A video worth watching

Being a bit shameless and promoting myself here: I made a Youtube video on how I create morning checklists for my day based on 10 dimensions of our lives, after having a lot of good conversations with friends about it!

A social media account worth following

Shirley Raines, @beauty2thestreetz (website / instagram), where she shares videos and live streams where her team serves the homeless community of Skid Row through food services, donation and beauty and hair styling. She's an inspiration of leadership, authenticity and she brings a lot of empathy for the homeless kings and queens.

A concept worth understanding

The anchoring effect: "A cognitive bias that describes the common human tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information offered (the "anchor") when making decisions." It used to be 400$ but now it's only 255$? Wow!

An activity worth doing

Launching your project and stopping to think you need to be perfect at it to do so. It's okay to launch, grow, explore and iterate. A lot of professionalization of hobbies forces us to see our crafts as niches, where you need to be perfect and focused. Explore broadly, make space for all aspects of your creativity, try things out and just go for it!

A piece of advice worth passing on

You are more than your job. Keep an energy tank for work, and one for your activities outside of work. If work depletes your tank, it should not take all of the energy dedicated to the other dimensions of your life.


Figma config 2023

Free recordings

Rewatch any of the Figma Config talks!

Neat things

Amifer folio layer font

A decorative font full of intricate ornaments made to overlay on a bold geometric sans serif.

Inconstant Regular font

A typeface using many font features like variable axes and stylistic sets to offer different levels of irregularities to help with dyslexia

Grid world

A love letter to pixel art.