Digital Illustration, Nostalgia Chirac, September 2019
« Our house is burning down and we are blind to it. The earth and humankind are in danger and we are all responsible. It is time to open our eyes. Alarms are sounding across all continents. We cannot say we did not know! Climate warming is still reversible. Heavy would be the responsibility of those who refuse to fight it. » – J.C.
“La douche… vous savez il y a des ions positifs sous la douche provenant de l’eau qui tombe, l’électricité, ça aide à la réflection, à générer desidées. Si je me déshabille et que je vais sous la douche, pas que j’en ai besoin, (je peux très bien avoir pris une douche trois heures auparavant lorsque je me suis levé), mais juste rester sous l’eau, vous changez de lieu, vous laissez le monde réel derrière et les choses s’ouvrent à vous. »
« Ce que les gens (qui n’écrivent pas), ne comprennent pas c’est qu’ils pensent que vous inventez les lignes consciemment alors que c’est faux. Je suis assis dans la pièce, je pense à la fille qui rentre dans la pièce, elle parle et mon inconscient fait une blague. Je rigole à cette blague parce que je l’entends pour la première fois. »
« Vous savez, je crois beaucoup à la chance, je le répète dans mes films, les gens disent que je provoque ma chance, la même personne descend la rue et un piano lui tombe sur la tête, » l’arroseur est arrosé « . La vérité c’est que votre vie ne peut être contrôlée. Vous savez une personne peut chanter, une autre peut dessiner et faire du mieux qu’il peut et puis rester à la merci de la chance. »
Source: Interview of Woody Allen by Cal Fussman, 2013
The shower, you know there are positive ions in the shower coming from the water coming down, the electricity, it helps your thinking in terms of ideas if I take my clothes off and go into the shower not that I need a shower I may have had a shower three hours ago when I woke up but just to stand under water in the shower its the change of venue and you’ve left the real world behind and things open up for you. What people don’t understand that don’t write is that they think that you make up the line consciously but you don’t so I’m sitting in the room and thinking at the girl comes into the room and she says and my unconscious it makes the joke and I laugh at it because I’m hearing it for the first time myself You know I’m a great believer I’ve said this in my movies in luck people say well I make my luck and the same guy walks down the street and a piano drops on his head that’s name hoisted (l’arroseur arrosé) the truth of the matter is your life is very much out of your control you know one person can sing one can draw and do the best you can and then you’re at the mercy of fortune.”
The act of not being able, ready or available for making, acting upon a given project, task or idea, at the moment. We put further delays hoping to get a better time frame, or window of opportunities. Most of the time, we don’t act, ending with regret and sorrow. Somehow, while being the very first person responsible for this course of non actions, But procrastination is a natural phenomenon. And, most of the time it happens when our task is way too big. Its so huge and so far from our present, that it can easily been delayed. The truth (at least for me) is, if we don’t start some day we might never do it. Step by step: starting with baby steps is helping a lot. Adding those steps day after day can give you something bigger and far from what you have been expecting. Taking a concrete example:I want to “write a book. At least, 300 pages. It’s huge. It will be hard to start today especially if I only got one hour available on this given day. But One page a day, at the end of the year, I will get much more than 300 pages. Probably due to technology and progress we expect things to be much faster. The same thing happen with relationships… We expect so much and so fast !
“I have the gift of neither the spoken nor the written word, especially if I have to say something about myself or my work. Whoever wants to know something about me -as an artist, the only notable thing- ought to look carefully at my pictures and try and see in them what I am and what I want to do.” ― Gustav Klimt
The creative process is like dealing with the mess…
It can be really messy to wake up and create from scratch. The keywords coming to me regarding this matter are: perfectionism, fears, overwhelming…
Perfectionism: every time I’m facing the blank page I want everything to look perfect and exactly as I imagine it. But the truth is, when looking at my favorite artists, and pieces, the only thing I love in it rely in their imperfection. Because perfection in art (for me) makes me bored. And even when I am attending at creating something magnificent, I don ‘t feel any particular sensation when the lines are geographically and perfectly arranged. Imperfection gives movement, emotions to your creation. It makes us Human.
Fears: this is good fear. Fear of going “off” the line, leaving the status quo, and a certain given comfort zone. Fears are natural, healthy… When I’m facing fear while creating I know something big is waiting for me on the other side (of the creative process). I know that tomorrow I will feel closer to my goal, just because I crossed a line. Fears are very good and useful when you are in real danger, and your life might be at risk. But in the creative process, in any creative endeavour, fears are here to reminds us how Human we are, and it is asking us this important question: do you really want to do this?Because you are getting outside of your comfort zone, so it better be worth it…
OVERWHELMING: every single day we are exposed to a thousand if not million stimuli, information, and so much more. It’s getting harder to get easily to a quiet place. Our phones notifications remind us of expectations, requests, comments, judgements. Plus, also the voices in our head reminding us our worth. Creating limits is essential… because no one is going to do it for you. And when I’m getting into my creative space it’s offline and quiet. So I can easily focus on what really matters.
I just did this recording on Thursday morning, about an « ah-ah » moment I experienced in the forest… As I was walking through nature, I had a « breakthrough » on the way: we can (all) use and experience with our own intuitionin our everyday life, quite easilywithout taking any risk!
Movement is the key.
Movement is key to most of our problems. We just don’t know it yet. When we get stuck – this happen quite a lot especially at the end of the week. We are stuck on a particular issue and we cannot see the solution (yet). It could be due to this simple fact: we feel stuck. It will not bring anything new, especially if we force it. The process is to move, move on, release this issue as much as you can – I know it’s easy to day; and then without even knowing ‘how’ or ‘why’, you get it, this is It – like This !
So next time to get blocked on something, simplystop what you are currently doing and move. Go outside for a walk. Go take some fresh air in a garden or a park near you. Take a shower. Switching is they key 🙂
This short episode is not about movement but it’s just a way to illustrate how this breakthrough came, at least for me.
La version française de ce post sera disponible prochainement :), stay tuned!
The truth is, as a multi passionate and infinitely curious person, I’m always looking for new ways of doing things. In fact, I always did. Solybox being part of it: How can I make e-commerce different and more respectful for all ?
I go out of conventional ways which might not please everyone but at least at the end of the day, I can say “I tried” or “I made it” ! The most important part remains :
“It feels right.“
I believe (kind of Stoicway of thinking), in our lives there are stuff we can’t control therefore we have to let them be, and other stuff, we can control, and somehow we all have a choice to make. While being responsible for our own lives…
For the past few years, I’ve been experiencing the ‘what I can control’ part, with new habits and ways, on how I can expend my views and mind ?’ In order to live an awesome life ! For instance…
Here are two ‘tips’ – improving our way of living :
#1 Get out of your comfort zone
Every single day I try to do something new, feeling uncomfortable without being a big dangerous risk ! As simple as it might sound, I will send this newsletter which is more personal and sensitive. It puts me out of my comfort zone since, I don’t feel always comfortable while sharing my personal thoughts.
This is for the best, since the more you experience new things, the less your life can get boring !
Another example: lately I was writing letters to people I would love to interview for the podcast. Part of them are people I admire for their projects and piece of work. In the past (still today), the ‘monkey mind’ said: “Why would you send this? It’s stupid, who cares about that?”. Yep, as an entrepreneur listening to this voice is far from being productive. So, I’m just saying “thanks for the note but I’m doing it” 🙂. Why? Because, it’s not going to kill anyone. And by the way, being vulnerable is part of being successful and live a meaningful life!
#2 Quit the mainstream media and choose your ‘fuels’ wisely
There is a very interesting Talk about this subject. It was given by Alain de Botton, the founder of The School of Life. He explains our past and actual relationship with media. Ever since I saw this speech, I choose, the kind of information I want to ‘put’ in my unconscious mind. Asking myself always the same question: is it productive or useful for me to know this ? I’m not talking about getting ignorant here. Even though, the past events have shown that our access to mainstream media as high as it might be, doesn’t mean we get more (emotionally) intelligent…
Finally, as Tim Ferriss said in his book (The4HoursWeek), if there is something you must know (about politics, economics, international matters, etc.), you will hear about it, since large part of our social interactions is dedicated to it.
« Reading after a certain age diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking ».
– Albert Einstein
When I say « choose your fuels wisely », it’s more about selecting, carefully, what you decide to put into your head, for the rest of the day.
Is it good ? Is it productive ? Is it positive ? Is it helpful ? Same for food.
Most of us do not realise how the information, we get in touch with (it’s the same with people we hang out with), influence our moods or ways of thinking. Therefore, if we focus only on negative news (which is major part of our mainstreams content) we end up with pessimism and negative thoughts. On the other hand, when we choose to focus on something inspirational, joyful and funny, our day get much more brighter !
In fact, “We Spend Half Our Waking Lives Consuming Media, And It Will Only Increase” (according to global media agency ZenithOptimedia). So, we could ask ourselves, How could we spend this time more wisely? Let’s take some ceramic workshop !
In my last interview for Solybox, with a (new coming) ceramist artist, we shared the excitement people can find while making objects of their own. In other words, doing, creating something with your hands or mind, might be actually very fulfilling !
So how come we get so excited about something seemingly simple and essential? Simply because in our materialistic world, we lost a sense of doing and creating. Our capacity at making something into materialistic form. But we all have this power so why not use it?
Last but not least, awareness buying respectful and beautiful products is part of it. This is the reason why I created Solybox: to offer new opportunitiescombining ethics and beauty ! Outside of consumption, our purpose is also to create, produce or do something, at least significant enough in our life time.
I will see you next week with new products and new artist !
With love, C.
P.S. Solybox is in the French Magazine Simple Things #18, of Feb-March 2017<3
Marine : My name is Marine, I’m 29, I’m the founder of Les Garçonnes, a brand exclusively dedicated to trousers for women.
Camille : How did you find your vocation?
Marine : After High School, I went to London. At that time, I already knew I wanted to practice manual work. An artistic vocation such as architect, painter, sculpter… I didn’t really know yet, what exactly, at that time. I attended Fashion Design School. Someone I knew was in this school and she introduced me to the educational leader. Years went by and I realised how much I liked it. How hard it was to stop practicing… and more than everything else, I truly felt pleasure doing this. It didn’t feel like a duty. I wake up every morning with joy. It feels more like leisure than work. I felt strange at the beginning, to call it a ‘job’. I graduated top of the class from school, it gave me trust and confidence about my work…
Camille : …and what about your brand ? When did it start?
Marine : One year ago (more or less), I picked up stuff from my grandmother’s cloak room. Some trousers with pleats, were too large for me but I loved wearing them. I have always been a ‘tomboy’ without shame. Many people told me : « your pants are awesome, it’s difficult to find them » or « they’re originals… », with beautiful colours and materials. Then time went by and I told myself it would be great to do something about this. My grandmother passed away and something clicks into place… I was working as a freelance for years and various brands. I never really found a brand that I really love. One day, I felt ready about creating my own brand. It was the right time. I jumped in !
Camille : What are your values as an artist ?
Marine : What I do really like is to share. In other words, every time I sell one of my creations I like to get feedback from my customers. Do you feel good ? Does it feel too tight ? Does it feel too short ? Even if it’s criticism… On the contrary it’s very constructive… As my brand is growing, the better I will get, the larger my collection will be. I will be able to answer women’s expectations on a large scale. That’s definitely Sharing… Women once told me « your pants are great, you should do something about it ». Today I answer, saying « here I am, with my creations I hope you will like it ! »
Camille : What is your main mission as an artist?
Marine : I would love my brand to remain over time. I started with ‘timeless pants’ style, for a reason. The aim is that you can still wear my creations in 20 years. And why not, granddaughters can wear them one day… Today, wearing trousers with pleats is fashionable. I wish that even out of fashion, it remains like this.
All generations wear your creations.
Yes definitely, that’s great. Both my mother and my niece wear my creations. From 15 to 70 years old it’s working. Still, I have to carry on, creating more and more, tailored to every generation and desire. Even in 10 years you can still keep it and wear it again.
Camille : What are your rituals?
Marine : With materials, it’s love at first sight. I regularly visit my suppliers in Paris. I’ve been working with them for years. They offer new materials. Touching, feeling…it’s really impulsive with the material. I see myself in it right away. I touch it and I realise how great it will be. Since I want people to feel great and comfort(able) using my trousers. In Winter, especially it should be very cocooning. I’m looking for soft and comfortable materials. Flexible and lasting at the same time. There is a true research on materials.
Camille : What makes your brand unique?
Marine : First, I’m specialised in trousers. Nowadays, more and more brands are doing mono-product. It’s clearly a new tendency. Trousers, it’s something I wear everyday. It’s a true urge, once I create, I can see myself wearing it. After that not everyone is ‘tomboy’ like me. I really want comfort. When I’m selling one of my creations, I really want to share it with my customers. What really makes a difference… it gives me joy and I want to share this joy with others. I think that’s already a great start.
Camille : Where do you get your inspiration?
Marine : More than the material, I have muses. There are important women for me… For example, I named my first five creations : Lauren Bacall, Katharine Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich, Jane Birkin… actress from the 50s and iconic women. They left their mark with their independence and appeal. They were a little tomboy but really feminine as well. Those women reflect perfectly my brand. They are also models for me, what I would like to be or what I have been in the past… I know my next creation will get the name of my grandmother it’s a little wink 😉
What was her name?
Marine: Jeanne. There are my favourites. Jeanne it’s also Jeanne d’Arc, Jane Birkin… that’s a name coming back a lot in my inspirations. I read a lot books, where I can find names of inspirational women. I will carry on that way…
Every morning, like many people, the first thing I used to do waking up, is checking my smartphone, placed next to my bed.
At first, it was unconscious, as many. I was not able to realise what I was doing. Then discovering that everyone was doing this around me, I thought: Wow, how come the first thing we do waking up is checking a screen with social media, and email? We just woke up, don’t need to jump directly into traffic jamalready!
Let’s go even further. As I was discovering studies and tons of data, here is what I found…
Half of smartphone owners aged from 18 to 24 checked their devices in the middle of the night. Compared with 14% of owners aged 65 or older.
A recent study conducted by Deloitte shows that:
43 percent of consumers check their phones within five minutes of waking up, and 17 percent check them immediately. This is the fifth year of Deloitte’s 2015 Global Mobile Consumer Survey, which covers almost 50,000 smartphone users aged 18 to 74 and spans 31 countries.
One obvious takeaway: Consumers are more connected now than ever. In fact, Deloitte found that Americans are looking at their smartphones a combined eight billion times per day, starting first thing in the morning. In addition, Deloitte found that 13 percent of consumers check their phone right before bed, and four percent even admit to checking their device more than 200 times per day. [Source]
As someone who grew up at the right time. Right in the middle of my childhood arrived the first computer (at home). A big grey box, (not so sexy – compared to my fancy Mac Book), with a very round, big mouse. All this thing was called Macintosh. I was fascinated by the rainbow Apple logo.
I liked it. I’m a kid and this is all new for me. Out of my television and cartoons – already saw Lion Kings thousand times! I grow up with the first computer and the Internet is popping (democratically) when I’m around 12. I’m not going to lie. With time, it’s getting really addictive. It’s kind of my way out of the insatisfaction of life – by this I mean teenage time.
The more I grew up. The more it got worst. I mean, first it was simple text on the vintage Nokia 3910. Then it was snake game on that same phone. Then it started to be with colours! So bad quality pictures came out. And now, we are close to be able to make coffee with our phone (very close, I’m pretty sure). Compared to many from my generation and other new coming generations, I feel there is a hint.
I’m a highly sensitive kind of person and I attach a lot of importance to my social interactions. I have never been good with communication on a phone. I need face to face interactions. The new area we are in is very intimidating to me. The more I’m looking at a new episode of Black Mirror, the more I’m getting scared by all of this new tech, called revolution, or innovation but could be also called for massive destruction of our consciousness.
If we look close enough, we didn’t had enough time (yet) to realise the true impact of tech in our daily lives and our physical brain (in a more scientific way). 16 years is not a lot.
Single note: The very first computer was born a long time ago (1822). But the « universal » access to computers (for our families and homes) is quite recent: Home computers were a class of microcomputers entering the market in 1977, and becoming common during the 1980s. At the time, it was closer to a typewriter. Perfect for « single tasks ». Internet was very limited compared to nowadays. Slow and Big enough for not being yet introduced in our intimate life. 🙂 [Source]
Should I remind you that cigarette at the very beginning was considered as healthy? No, I’m not saying tech is cigarette. It’s completely different. Look cigarette is creating a whole in your throats. Tech is creating a whole in your head. Just kidding !
But when I check the recent studies made on our new habits, called multitasking and his bad effects in our lives, I’m getting a little bit (lot) worried. Don’t you?
Check this out :
A study from the University of Sussex (UK) ran MRI scans on the brains of individuals who spent time on multiple devices at once (texting while watching TV, for example). The MRI scans showed that subjects who multitasked more often had less brain density in the anterior cingulate cortex. That’s the area responsible for empathy and emotional control.
A study at the University Of London showed that subjects who multitasked while performing cognitive tasks experienced significant IQ drops. In fact, the IQ drops were similar to what you see in individuals who skip a night of sleep or who smoke marijuana. Now that’s a terrifying thought. [Source]
One big piece of advice : Be wise using it.
Think more than twice before checking your phone for the 10th time of the day. Before checking it ask yourself this question:
Why am I doing that? Is it conscious or is it a simple repetitive impulsive twitch habit?
Don’t prioritise your phone overyour friends, family, wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, cat or dog... Be the one in control of each moment of your life.
One of the many excuse I got : *It’s urgent.*
Are you the President of the United States? No. (except: Obama if you’re reading this, cheers :))
Have we been surviving without a smartphone under our eyes all the time? Yes we did survived. Hurrah everyone !
Are you very busy and not able being in the present moment? Then like many people you don’t know how to manage your time wisely.
We all have 24 hours a day. Obama have 24 hours a day, Steve Jobs had 24 hours a day, even François Hollande have 24 hours a day (no way?), and you have 24 hours a day (big news)!
If you check at the most successful people, in business, they know their priorities.
The key is : prioritising.Tim Ferris explained it very wisely in his book “4 hours week” (highly recommended).
You can’t be productive working on your smartphone while eating, looking at television and socialising (I’m not kidding). This is not (only) my point of view, this is science.
For instance, look at this (from Forbes 2014) : « Research conducted at Stanford University found that multitasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time. The researchers also found that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time ». [Source]
Neuroscientists, the kind of people you want to listen since THIS IS LITERALLY THEIR FIELD OF SPECIALISATION (thanks guys for being here checking over our brains during this fast transforming period, time of history), said:
“That switching comes with a biological cost that ends up making us feel tired much more quickly than if we sustain attention on one thing”, says Daniel Levitin, professor of behavioral neuroscience at McGill University. “People eat more, they take more caffeine. Often what you really need in that moment isn’t caffeine, but just a break. If you aren’t taking regular breaks every couple of hours, your brain won’t benefit from that extra cup of coffee.”
Gloria Mark, professor in the department of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, says that when people are interrupted, it typically takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to their work, and most people will do two intervening tasks before going back to their original project. This switchingleads to a build up of stress, she says, and so little wonder people who have high rates of neuroticism, impulsivity, and are susceptible to stress tend to switch tasks more than others. [Source]
I don’t hide the fact that like many people, I did, was addicted. I’m looking for progress not perfection. My progress is being in the present moment. Bring my focus to each moment, one task at a time. Prioritise each of my task of the day. When around people, not being reachable because everybody deserve my full attention. And every part of my world as well.
#How do I get away from this addictive and bad habits ?
Make your smartphone and screen as something available in a determined laps of time. For example, stop (put on flight mode) your phone from 7 or 8 p.m. And start it only one or two hours after waking up. Your phone can be [on]from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. This seems quite fair. A least, you have twelve hours without “being technologically connected”, to your smartphone and this is a huge step!
Like me [switch off] notifications. Except phone calls. If it’s really really urgent, and deserve to call or get your attention, people will call. Overwise, it’s not so important and it can wait your next “time to check up your phone”.
When you are on a specific task requesting your full attention, a meeting, or even a break (relax time is equally important to work), try to put your phone on flight mode. Remember, a simple alert on your phone put you out of your present moment, [work mode] or [relax mode]. It will take around 20 minutes to go back effectively on your previous task, at hand.
Try to check the phone no more than three times a day. Every 3 hours if you work in a time laps of 3 hours at a time. This could be really great.
Time checking your email? Yes there is a time for that (now). Checking your email two – three times a day is enough. Believe me…
#SWEET PIECE OF ADVICE: Don’t break the flow. Follow your ownflow of inspiration. By the way, it’s all in your head so no need for smartphone, laptop, tablet or Internet! Life can be so easy & magic 🙂
P.S. Nonetheless, there are interesting solutions available out there. One of them, is Freedom. It helps me to get back the precious value of time while being in the present moment…