"They don't know what you know, they don't want what you want, and that's ok"

– Seth Godin

A little history

How often is it creative people feel resentful and judgemental? That the skill and craft they bring to the table isn’t appreciated?

I was one of those people

A musician in high-school, I studied Arts Management in post-secondary, earning my Bachelor of Arts in Commercial Music in Scotland and worked for one of Canada’s longest running Artist Management Companies. Later, I got into the Vancouver specialty coffee industry, starting as Barista, then Cafe Manager and Trainer.

I used to be unhappy with where I’d ended up in life. I was resentful, entitled, arrogant. A creative person, unapplied and unproductive.

Three takeaways

From my time in those industries, I’ve learned three major takeaways.

The first two takeaways I learned are the need to take on the practice of being a problem solver and to have empathy.

To change, I began to learn to reframe my relationship to the world. Reframing taught me, when faced with a problem to switch to a more objective, problem solving lens, rather than an emotional one. Having this more objective frame allows for the space to be more empathetic to other views and ideas, necessary for problem solving.

The third takeaway is ability to see the intersection of art and commerce. Coffee and music are examples of this intersection. In music, you’re bridging the creative/ collaborative act of making music with producing a musical product. The same with Coffee, you’re bridging the gap between the craft of coffee making and the fast-paced demand for a commodity item.

They’re intersections of recognizing a problem and being empathetic to the goals and beliefs of the various people involved.

Why are these important?

I see User Experience Design as those learnings coming together. To me, it’s that same intersection of art/commerce: the ability to create art (the fantastic, beautiful, life changing product we want to design for the users) balanced with the commercial (the needs and compromises we have to address to be successful as a business). It’s the creating space to see the needs, goals and beliefs of other people. And, it’s the practice of looking at a situation objectively through the problem solving lens. 

Going forward
Now, I’m looking to apply what I’ve learned. To join a team of similar minded people.

I’d love to hear from you!