Discover my 4 p's to success!

As designers, we often struggle with overwhelming competition, ever changing technology and skills that demand constant updates. How are we able to manage all of that and meet our goals for success? Fortunately, there is an awesome recipe for success that I use everyday that greatly impacts our chances at meeting our goals, whatever they may be. Let's dive in.

Passion: Why aren’t we doing what we really want to do?

Awww passion. That pesky little shoulder angel that constantly reminds us we love what we do and will do anything to keep doing it. Passion is the number one driving force behind any success. It keeps us motivated when things are high and especially when things are low. As creatives, we are fortunate to work in fields that are driven by passion. How do you know you're headed down a successful path ripe with passion? You'll know when you can spend hours and hours working away and it feels awesome, your lowest moments encourage you to keep going and you can't see yourself doing anything else. If you aren't doing what you really want to do, ask yourself why. Then plan what steps you can take now to make that happen in a timeline that works for your situation. Maybe you can't do what you love right now, but that doesn't mean it can't ever happen.

Persistence: Paralyze resistance with persistence.

You need passion to engage persistence and persistence to keep passion. There will be many times you question your path, skills and abilities, but you have to push through all of that resistance and keep going. Dive into a lesson to strengthen those skills, ask for feedback on your designs from someone you admire and pick your self up when you fail. Those that keep going are on the path to success. Those that just stop at the first sign of resistance will struggle to reach that milestone.

Practice: Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.

I once asked an intern what he wanted to learn and he confidently responded, "I'm done learning, I just want to design." I remember saying, "Sit, we must talk!" We are NEVER fully done learning, ever. It doesn't matter what you do or how old you are, knowledge is the path and practice is the vehicle to success. We must continue to practice what we do, challenge our designs and learn from the best. It's how we grow and improve. Remember, we all started at zero and we never max out.

Patience: Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.

Our desires to achieve overnight success with little effort makes patience extra difficult. We live in a society of instant gratification. So how do we slow down and work our passion through persistence and practice? Think of it this way. What is something you do every day that was once new and challenging? Our lives are filled with monumental achievements from learning to tie our shoes to riding a bike to speaking our first languages. Something so easy now, was once the most difficult thing.

What gets us to achieve our dreams, conquer our biggest challenges and reach our goals? Our passion to do it gives us the persistence to learn. Then the hours of practice with the patience to keep going finally delivers the accomplishment where we ultimately succeed.

Thanks for joining me on this journey in becoming the best designers we can be!  Let me know what you think about the 4 p's to success on Twitter or Facebook and get the latest design tips and tutorials on Youtube.

Until next time, keep designing!

Disney's Tangled: Inspired by a Classic Painting

Disney seldom disappointed audiences over the years as classic fairy-tales took a "happily ever after" turn for the better. Princesses were rescued by their knights on white steeds after overcoming certain trials and hardships. Disney's 50th animated film goes back to the roots that many of us grew up with. Audiences can also expect another level of visual grandeur as they enjoy a 3D Disney classic featuring 70 feet of hair wrapped up into a nice little bow of laughs, action, romance and stunning scenery.

The Story

Disney's Tangled


Tangled tells the tale of Rapunzel, the young maiden who has 70 feet of golden locks and is trapped in a tower all her life. Disney's storyline magic weaves through this tale taking us into the blissful life of Rapunzel and her guardian, Mother Gothel. Of course Rapunzel's golden locks were a bit of an accident. During a difficult delivery, the entire kingdom searches for a healing flower to help the Queen. The healing powers used to save the Queen's life passes onto Rapunzel's hair making her quite the little prized possession. With an unhealthy desire to stay young, Mother Gothel kidnaps the young girl and raises her as her own to ensure her lifelong beauty and youth remain. Of course as Rapunzel ages and soon awaits her 18th birthday, curiosity sets in. After enjoying the beautiful lanterns released each year on her birthday by her real parents (the Queen and King), Rapunzel can't help but wonder what else lies beyond her little tower.

Meanwhile we are introduced to the stud of the story, Flynn Rider. He's dashing, manly and a criminal. He's running from the kingdom with the princesses's crown in tow. To make a long story short, he meets Rapunzel and we soon see that while this girl grew up isolated and alone, she is quite capable of taking care of herself with a frying pan and 70 feet of hair. Adventure begins after she strikes up a deal with the suave Flynn to take her to see the lanterns. Rapunzel feels grass and water under her feet for the first time, meets and dances with an entire town and continues to build on her budding attraction to Flynn all before Mother Gothel gets a hold of her escaped daughter.

While the story is beyond groundbreaking, we see a similarity throughout Tangled that reminds us of Disney classics before it such as The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. While some of these moments are a little too reminiscent of Disney's past blockbusters, it is still enjoyable to have the classic charm back in action. Tangled also relishes on laughs for the sake of laughs with low brow humor and one-liners fit for Dreamworks Animation films. In the end, all the humor plays well enough with the story and keeps an audience of all ages engaged to the final scene.

The Inspiration

The Swing by Les Hasards Heureux de l'Escarpolette

The Swing by Les Hasards Heureux de l'Escarpolette

It is always exciting to learn the process behind any design project. There are many new things to learn from all the designers and artists working behind the scenes. Where do new ideas and inspirations come from? Disney's Tangled features a lush environment not before seen in CG animated films. For the first time, Disney attempts to blend the look and feel of traditional hand drawn Disney films with the newer 3D animated film styles.  Rococo artist Les Hasards Heureux de l'Escarpolette's The Swing was the sole inspiration for the film's backgrounds and environments. Rich colors and painterly strokes blanket the entire movie just like a rococo painting.

It's important to note that designers find inspiration from all sources and classic paintings are a great source. Learning from the master artists that preceeded us is a source of inspiraton that is not only fun,but a great way to improve our skills. In fact, many famous artists learned from the master's before them. They would copy previous paintings to master their skills then add in their own styles along the way.

Your Turn to Share: What inspires you in your designs?