The simple pleasure of holding a sibling's ear

Simple pleasures arise in all aspects of our lives; the trick is to recognize and acknowledge them. I know when I’m feeling stressed or hurried it’s hard for me to realize I’m missing out on the small things that bring me joy. Sometimes, I’m lucky enough to recognize more than one in one day. Today was one such day.

Right now I’m having trouble concentrating on writing this post because I’m wanting to listen to my daughter read to my son and hear his excitement. That’s a rare simple pleasure I love to witness.

Creatively, I have a harder time finding simple pleasures. I always wonder what it would be like to have the urge to draw or sculpt or paint, etc. I agree with Chip Kidd, who said a blank canvas would eventually make him cry. Nothing intimidates me more than a blank page.

So, in thinking about creative simple pleasures I had to look closely at myself and really question why I was interested in design and enrolled in an art program. The answer was surprising to me, only because I hadn’t actually tried to quantify it before. I find simple pleasure in problem solving and am grateful that, so far, each of the assignments in my classes has come in the form of a problem statement. Understanding the parameters of a problem allows my mind to start finding a solution. (I think that goes along with the “packing gene” I inherited from my father. I can take a huge amount of stuff and pack it into a small space, with room to spare.)

Finding a solution in an unexpected place is another creative simple pleasure. I was working on my project today and thought I had a good solution. It was engaging, well balanced, and pleasing to the eye, however, it was going to take an awful lot of ink to complete. My instructor suggested I continue pushing the limits and see if I could find a solution that worked and would require less ink. I don’t think I’ll be using less ink, but I’m pleased that I followed her suggestion. The final solution I chose is better than the first and the flush of pleasure at realizing I have a stronger solution was well worth the effort.