Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Nervous Energy

One thing that keeps me motivated is "nervous energy."  It also keeps me up way past my bedtime almost every night.  I have done nearly everything in the past to try to cure my tendencies toward insomnia short of prescription medicine (at least in the past 10 years).  There's been Tylenol PM, a glass of warm milk, chamomile tea, a glass of red wine, routine excersize, and even some deep breathing and mediation.  But nothing seems to help much other than staying up and working through a design.  I have succumbed to the fact that my nervous energy is productive and helps to keep me motivated to do positive things for my design work and for my business.

"Nervous" is a term I use to describe what could be stress or anxiety.  But it could also be a motivational excitement along with the fits of creativity that promote my obsessive-compulsive nature and insomnia.  Some of the best design ideas and most productive time I have comes when the Twins game is coming into the 9th inning (when hopefully Joe Nathan is taking the mound for the save) or when late-night television is in full swing, or when I am 12-13 songs deep into my YouTube playlist.  Or, sometimes I just turn everything off and listen to the sounds of midnight and the evening breeze blowing through our Sun Room, carrying all kinds of relaxing aromas throughout the summer. 

Although I often curse the lack of sleep, I also secretly love the time "alone" in my comfort zone, and the inner peace it gives me to think through all of the questions that circulate through one's mind amidst working through a design process. Of course, I especially enjoy it when I know if it is helping to keep the bills paid and provide for my family.

Designing landscapes is a really fun expression of creativity.  I love the blend that landscape design has, as a synergy of visual composition in the 2D fine art quality that a landscape plan has, with the blend of three-dimensional spatial design in how the space works, feels, functions, and looks aesthetically.  Then, there's the articulation of the design from a construction standpoint, and the presentation of the design from a aesthetics standpoint.  Of course, there is also construction management, and then the business side with all the accounting and marketing in this profession that is equally if not more important.  It requires a great deal of thoroughness to be a landscape design business.

But the part that I do like the most is the collaboration with the client and the design process.  Then, being able to create a unique set of graphics that will hope to "wow" them and get them excited about the project that we have been developing together.

Often times, people love their homes and take pride in the comfortable home they have created.  The new landscape can become a place that compliments the comfort of the home and extends its feel into the outdoors.  Or, it can even become a place that completely transports them away from home and takes them to a "get-away" place or a retreat right in their back yard, and just be something completely different.  Perhaps the weekend spent in the backyard can be your "home away from home" and your back yard vacation.

With a lot of nervous energy and excitement, we are heading over to the Minneapolis Home and Garden show, looking forward to some interesting conversations with people about their landscape projects.  Hopefully the conversations lead to many days, and nights, spent working through the design process and settling back into that comfort zone.


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