Hitting restart

You’ve seen the signs. Memory is running low, actions seem sluggish, and simple requests are taking far longer than they should.

Usually it’s a simple fix. Power down and restart. 99% of the time that does the trick.

Well that’s great if you’re having problems with your laptop or smart phone. But what do you do when the problem isn’t technological? What do you do if the problem is… well… you?

It’s easy to get caught up in building a career and making money. You gotta pay the bills. It’s just that if you’re not mindful, time can slip away and the next thing you know, you find yourself doing things that — if you’re being honest with yourself — you don’t really enjoy doing. Or you’re doing things in a way that isn’t exactly feeding your passion.

Stefan Sagmeister’s TED talk “The Power of Time Off” promotes the idea that taking a sabbatical is a great way to recharge and reprioritize. He takes one year off every seven years. It rejuvenates his creativity and passions. The salary he forgoes is simply an investment in his ongoing education.

It seems crazy doesn’t it? Taking a whole year off. Well who says it has to be a year? What about 6 months? What about a summer? One thing is for sure. Trying to cram what you love to do into nights and weekends is nearly impossible especially if you’re also raising a family. Wouldn’t it be nice to cram what you love into your full time career?

So at the end of last year I powered down to really think about what I wanted to focus on for a living. I had been working non-stop for 25 years and needed a break. I’ve worked as an illustrator, graphic designer, information designer, and creative director. The big upside is that I’ve worked with so many talented people over the years. The downside is that I slowly veered away from what I most enjoyed doing. So I walked away.

I wrote and illustrated a children’s book (coming soon), helped to create an app, and enjoyed sitting still for once. I have two young boys and I wanted to be able to do more with them. It’s been great. I’ve had a lot of time to think/sketch/make and now it’s time to fire things up full-time again doing what I love.

I want to help build a Design firm with a capital D. Work with other designers who love what they do and want to continually raise the bar. Creatives who think not about “What was,” but “What if?” We’ll craft work that blends our experience from graphic design firms, ad agencies, magazines, newspapers, social, and information design into work that tells great stories and moves people.

We’ll build relationships with clients who know that the difference between success and indifference lies in the creative approach. It doesn’t matter whether we create an animated movie, a trade show booth, a PDF report, a magazine, an app, or a PowerPoint. Everything deserves creative attention. We want clients who enjoy the iterative, design process and who will push us to be better every time.

And it will be Tremendo.us.