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15 designers' New Year resolutions for 2016

11. James Oconnell: Say yes, more!

I've always been careful and picky in terms of how much work I've taken on and it's got me some great projects and clients, but in doing so there's also been a lot of saying No. Especially down to impossible deadlines and briefs that don't align to my ethics or ethos. It's time to turn this on it's head and say Yes more, a motto followed by one of my favourite agencies – Snask.

Whether it's trying a new project, opportunity or experience I'm damn sure it'll make life a lot more unpredictable and fuel my divergent side. Obviously there may be the odd No here or there, but you know what - this coming year's gonna be full of improbable disruption and mental aceness with a hint of zero regret.

James Oconnell is an award winning designer, illustrator, thinker, doer and speaker.

12. The Boy Fitz Hammond: Illustrating = fun; paperwork = dull

Every year without fail I put off dealing with my accounts until mid-December (like December isn't busy enough already).
So in 2016 I'm going to update my paperwork throughout the year. Meaning December will no longer consist of late nights inputting invoices, matching receipts, cross-referencing payments and generally feeling like I'm trapped inside a spreadsheet.

I know exactly why I put off doing paperwork until the last minute - its because I don't consider it important work (because 'important' work is drawing). But in reality paperwork is an important aspect of being a freelance illustrator. And doing the dull stuff allows me to do the fun stuff.

So whilst I'm on a roll, I could also do with giving my office/studio a long awaited tidy. Or maybe that could be a resolution for next year…

The Boy Fitz Hammond is an illustrator based in Edinburgh.

13. Jim McKenzie: Make more time for personal art

I spend the majority of the day working on commercials and about an hour at night creating personal art work. Sculpting and painting concepts that are entirely my own is beyond euphoric and acts as a great yang to my commercial work's ying. Recently I got asked to create a solo art exhibition at Copro Gallery opening June 4th 2016 which is basically me filling up a gallery with art.

As the weeks go by and the date creeps up I'm finding that I'll need to start cutting out less important activities and make more time for creating art. Every hour of my weekend is essential. It's going to be a tricky task given my schedule and slightly scary but something about working under pressure excites me. I'm certain that 2016 will be a year of amazing endeavors."

Jim McKenzie is a designer and animator at Aardman Nathan Love.

14. Chris Dooley: Get uncomfortable

Throughout my career, I've been fortunate enough to lead productions in multiple countries. Earlier this year, I spent three weeks in Cape Town, South Africa directing a launch campaign for Gillette.

Despite being out of my comfort zone and the familiarity of domestic productions, the people, crews, and culture I experienced while I was there was unlike anything I'd ever seen. And when I got back to NYC, I was creatively charged and found my work imbued with a fresh perspective and new sense of scale. It was liberating. I was inspired to push harder and challenge what was expected for every brief and script I received.

The entire experience seemed to open up options and solutions that I hadn't even considered before. It's easy to get into a comfortable rhythm when you've got multiple productions running in all different phases of completion at any given time. And unfortunately, that can sometimes hinder the process or limit creative risks you're willing to take. In 2016, I would love to experience even more culture and places and make myself as uncomfortable as possible.

Chris Dooley is an award-winning director at Brand New School.

15. Jodi Terwilliger: Be a positive influence

In 2016, I will promote optimism and fun in design. I aim to open eyes and minds to the possibilities that exist when we embrace new and old styles. When we recognize trends, we explore them and learn from them. When we invite collaboration, we will explore new methods of working.

2016 is about embracing positive influence, and creating frameworks that pay this forward.

I intend to continue to develop a collaborative, expressive design practice. I want the work we create to reflect this intent. I want people to smile when they see what we've created because joy went into every aspect of the creation cycle. Oh, and I'm going to smile more in photos.

Jodi Terwilliger is creative director at HUSH.

Words: Jim McCauley

Jim McCauley is a writer, editor and occasional podcaster, and is available for space parties.

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