January is a prime time to set new creative goals and deadlines for achieving them over the coming months – and if you're planning on winning your dream client, working more effectively or learning a new skill this year, you'll find Computer Arts issue 235: Make 2015 Your Best Year Ever (opens in new tab) particularly handy.
But it's important not to burn out over the coming months, as award-winning set designer and art director Adi Goodrich (opens in new tab) tells us. A former ADC Young Gun, she has an impressive roster of clients including Wieden+Kennedy, Target, Toyota and Apple. Her enthusiasm for making knows no bounds but, as she's learned, making time for yourself is just as essential.
Here, Goodrich talks through her biggest creative challenge – finding the right balance between work and life – and explains how she does it.
My biggest challenge always seems to be balance. I find myself working way too hard on way too many projects and losing my personal studio time – and a bit of my sanity. When is too much work too much? It's a hard one to navigate.
On one hand I think: "I'm young, I need to make as much as I possibly can." And the other side says: "You're young, you're single, you don't have kids, try to have a little fun!"
The balance of life is deciding when my laundry basket has reached its zenith point and I need to take a day to clean my house. It's also about simply taking quiet time for myself and soaking in a bubble bath with a book while listening to some records way too loud.
I leave little notes around my house and studio to remind me to breathe, to take time to remember what's important. And I once wrote myself the following contract...
01. Choose the right jobs
I promise to choose projects/jobs I will be proud of in two of three ways: morally, aesthetically or professionally.
02. Keep learning
I promise to continue to learn and to teach; to never pretend that I know anything in its entirety.
03. Seek the right company
I promise to keep close company with the people who respect my work, my friends, my family and me.
04. Look after yourself
I promise to take care of myself. To eat healthily, take time to relax, exercise and be presentable.
05. Loved ones come first
I promise to put my loved ones first and work second.
06. Have perspective
I promise to not to be consumed with work and to remember that any day could potentially be my last.
07. Make times for others
I promise to take sincere time to listen to the people in my life and to make them feel loved.
Words: Tom May
Image: Art direction and set design by Adi Goodrich for liqueur brand Chambord’s Pinterest campaign. Photography by Stephanie Gonot (opens in new tab).
This article first appeared in Computer Arts 235: Branding Secrets, a special issue exclusively revealing the brand strategy secrets at the world's biggest agencies. You can pick up a copy of CA 235 here (opens in new tab).
Liked this? Try these...
- The ultimate guide (opens in new tab) to being a freelance designer
- 7 ways to quickly clean up your digital clutter (opens in new tab)
- The designer's guide to working from home