Topics: creative

Here’s a few of my favorites things in 2017.

2017 has been an incredibly bizarre year but we’d like to close it out with a post that celebrates some of my favorite things. Holiday Matinee has always been about spreading good vibes and hopefully turning you on to new, exciting products, ideas or people. In keeping with that spirit, here’s a totally random list of favorites from 2017.

Monocle, like many indie publishers understand that print is far from dead. This summer, they released a fantastic weekly newspaper edition and now they’re back at it with a 4-issue winter edition. From it’s gorgeous design and fresh content, I absolutely love taking an Insta break and thumbing through this newspaper goodness.

Throw your headphones on and check out What’s Good with Stretch and Bobbito featuring Stevie Wonder. Yes, Stevie Wonder! These guys make you feel like you’re right there in the room just hanging out, talking to a legend. In this episode, Stevie talks about almost getting dropped from Motown Records, campaigning for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, how he knew Barack Obama would become president and missing Prince. It’s epic from start to finish and I’ve found myself re-listening to this gem multiple times during the year.

As a frequent traveler, I’m a huge fan of Ursa Major’s bamboo face wipes. They’re incredible for wiping away the grime after a long flight. Plus, great design and easy to carry.

At 41, the inner voice in my head struggles with “growing up.” However, one of the steps I’ve taken on this year is being more fiscally responsible. My wife and I started using Mint (remember them?) and I gotta say, it’s been quite rewarding. Their mobile app is aces and I’ll even go so far to say I’ve found it somewhat therapeutic tagging all our transactions.

Keeping an eye on our son’s napping has never been easier thanks to Nest’s indoor cam. We got this as a baby gift and wow, it’s really delivered. It was so easy to setup and whether I’m watching our little guy from home, work or on a business trip across the country, it’s been totally reliable. Plus, night mode, motion sensor tracking and audio notifications helps ensure you parent like a pro.

I’ve long been a fan of Everlane for their ethical, transparent business practices and this year, I discovered one of my favorite articles of clothing. It’s their Men’s Crew Sweatshirt and I’ve already picked up two out of the three colorways.

Placing a deposit on Tesla’s Model 3 had me feeling just as giddy as the iPhone did ten years ago. It’s about time someone came and disrupted the auto industry. I can’t wait for this to arrive.

Watching Chance The Rapper perform “Juke Jam” on NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series was absolutely magical. This kid is not only so damn talented but so damn inspiring. His story, his music, his activism… fuck yeah Chance!

Have yourself a 3D holiday.

Less than 2 years ago, Taj and I joined Microsoft to design products and experiences that introduce the world to 3D. Today, they’ve made our first product its global holiday campaign and we couldn’t be more excited to share the message: when we are inclusive and celebrate our differences we can make the world a better place.

Take the time to reflect on 2017

Reflection is badass. It helps us process what’s going on, and is the pat-on-the-back reminder of how far we’ve come when we have doubts about our lives. For the past few years, I’ve been doing Chris Guillebeau’s annual review, and this year, I’m adding the Holstee Reflection Journal to my end-of-year routine. It’s a guided exercise covering topics like gratitude, intention, adventure, and much more. If you’re down with getting to know yourself better and growing from it – this is skrilla well spent.

Thanks for nothing

Brooklyn designer Melissa Deckert’s take on the standard plastic bag made me smile. I picture businesses reserving them for their most obnoxious customers, who carry the bag around all day before realizing they’ve been punk’d. It’s a great reminder that if you’re always getting bad service, your attitude and actions are probably a big reason why. [via Ello]

The Dance of the Possible [review]

If you want a better understanding of how creativity works, put down your phone and give The Dance of the Possible your attention. Or, read it on your phone. It has 31 quick and easy-to-read chapters that are perfect for a commute, or as mental fodder as you wind down your day. And it’s all done with a touch of humor that includes Scott Berkun’s obsession with shouting “papaya” out of moving vehicles.

Because (for better or worse) I read lots of book on creativity, I was familiar with much of the material, from how no idea is truly original, to how creativity is rarely efficient and how you can constructively frame the narrative when your work is ignored. However, I still think it’s important to get these reminders that may very well fish you out of the next motivational rut.

But it’s also unlikely you’ll say there’s nothing new here. There’s a chapter that reveals how improvisation can help you become a better thinker, teacher, and human being. Another chapter discusses the difference between requesting feedback and encouragement, and how to go about asking for each. I hadn’t thought about how when we ask for feedback, it’s not always what we want.

What I enjoyed most about this book is it’s celebration of how special any of us are that do creative work. It’s neither easy nor convenient, but it is amazing. And while the modern world is obsessed with making things faster and easier, we shouldn’t be looking for alternatives to committing to the discipline of honoring our ideas.

Books are perhaps the greatest deal out there when it comes to changing your life, but don’t expect this one (or any book) to be your pivotal moment. Like creativity, it’s going to be the product of everything you consume and the time you put in to actually do the work.

Buy on: Amazon

Copyright © 1999 - 2018 Holiday Matinee. All Rights Reserved.