Busyness and Flow

By Nupoor Rajkumar

You know when you’re tackling five jobs at once? That crazy, exhilarating feeling of being SO busy that you barely have the time for socializing? That’s what I’m going through.

With a part time summer job at Focus Lab, another with Creatom Builder, fundraiser support for the East Community Church's senior citizens’ program, graduate review work, portfolio work, branding myself, and the occasional freelance job from India (you know, help a friend, make some pocket money), life is crazy. Crazy good.

Then in the midst of all this, I feel the urge to take a break and escape to a far away place. An island, maybe? The Bahamas? Some sand, some sea, a glass of some not-so-fattening beach cocktail, a book. Yeah, I could do with that. It's a good day dream. But it isn't an urgent need, you know?

I believe a real driver through the most hectic days is enjoying the work that I do. When you really enjoy doing something, it's hard to stop doing it. I can't say I've found my niche. I'm still interested in more than a couple of fields of visual communication or graphic design. But I can say that I really like and love what I'm doing now, even though it's not a niche yet; even if it's still too general. Variety in my work actually helps me keep it going. With Creatom Builder, I'm working in a field that's been a driving interest of mine since I started taking classes at SCAD. Training teachers in design thinking. I do a little bit of Graphic Design, a little bit of UX, but mostly just help with ideas and tasks that Kathy needs me to do. I find it very interesting to think about how to communicate with and convince teachers to change their methods of teaching.

At Focus Lab, I'm getting to do everything I wanted to! :D Obviously, I'm writing. And I'm working on some user experience stuff with Shub, our UX/UI Strategist. I really wanted to learn user experience, so it's perfect that I'm getting to do so much of it. We're working on the content strategy for a client's website. The only user experience I've worked on or thought about before was for an app that I worked on in one of my Interaction Design classes at SCAD. For the first time, I'm getting to work on rethinking and planning a website. There's so much thought that goes into this, much more than I realized. You've got to think about what would make the client look good - not too modest, but not boastful either. The communication from the client's perspective is so important. At the same time, the target audience(s) needs to be interested in what the website has to offer. It's like thinking about what would help both the Joker and Batman win this battle. Nope. Not easy.

Apart from that, I am officially working on a branding project at Focus Lab too. I am very excited about this and can't wait to get started. I've come to love branding even more over the summer. Especially after the work I did for a friend's studio back home in India. Unintentionally, my presentation was very Focus Lab-influenced. I think I may have subconsciously imbibed all the cool stuff from Bill's recent Treasure Data presentation. It's a good influence, I'm sure my freelance clients are appreciative.

So, loving my work is what keeps me going; the Bahamas can step aside for the time being. Sketching out ideas and rendering them on Illustrator and sometimes Photoshop and InDesign, and recently even AfterEffects, is what keeps me happy. Thinking about the user experience of a website or an app stimulates my brain cells in a way that I love. It's like being involved in a book. You're so into something that nothing and nobody can really stop you from doing it or take you away from it. My mom used to drag me away from my Harry Potter novel and repeat sentences over and over again until I got up and responded. It's a similar feeling. Called Flow?