Mastering the Sprint: A Technique for Creatives to Better Manage Their Time5:51 with Mat Helme
In this episode of Exercise Your Creative we will perform an exercise called sprinting. Sprinting is a process where we take a task or project and break it up into steps. We call these steps sprints.
[treehouse presents] [??] 0:00 [light switch pulled, electricity buzzing] 0:04 [Exercise Your Creative] 0:06 In this episode of Exercise Your Creative, 0:08 we're going to perform a process called sprinting. 0:11 Sprinting is when you take a task or project and break it up into steps. 0:13 We call these steps sprints. 0:17 Let's get started. 0:19 In most cases when we are given a task, 0:21 we are overwhelmed with the outcome of the project. 0:24 When we break the project up into segments and perform these segments in a timely fashion, 0:27 the overall project doesn't seem so overwhelming. 0:33 To start, we're going to need a pencil, a stack of blank paper, and a timer. 0:37 To track time, I'm going to use a traditional cooking timer. 0:42 For this exercise we are going to create iconography 0:47 which displays skills we have mastered. 0:50 We are going to break this project up into 3 sprints. 0:53 The first sprint will be 10 minutes. 0:56 We will simply make a list of things we have mastered. 0:59 The second sprint we will sketch icons per our mastered list. 1:02 This will take 10 minutes. 1:07 Lastly, we will fine-tune our icons and vectorize them. 1:09 With our first sprint we want to work with 2 parameters, 1:13 the first being our materials--pencil, paper, and timer-- 1:17 the second being time--10 minutes. 1:21 Besides that, let your imagination do the work. 1:24 Simply ask yourself, "What have I mastered?" 1:27 If you automatically say, "I'm not good at anything," I don't believe you. 1:30 Did you get up this morning or did you sleep in? 1:34 Maybe you're the master at sleeping in. 1:37 Did you have breakfast this morning? 1:39 Are you the master at brewing coffee, or are you the master at ordering coffee? 1:41 From there, let's work up to your web skills. 1:45 Are you the master at Photoshop, Illustrator, jQuery, or WordPress? 1:47 Maybe you're the master at web design or perhaps Ruby. 1:52 Let's get a solid list together and fully use these 10 minutes. 1:56 [??] [timer dings] 1:59 Time's up. 2:01 Let's take a break before our next sprint and gather our thoughts. 2:03 During this time, you simply want to clear your head. 2:06 This might take 5 minutes or 5 hours. 2:09 Take a walk, run an errand, jump some rope, or even trim a bonsai tree. 2:12 When running sprints, we want to separate what I like to call limbo time 2:17 or time when really nothing gets done, 2:21 whereas action time is where we execute our tasks effectively. 2:23 In this creative world, running sprints are very similar to track and field sprints. 2:29 You don't run sprints back to back. 2:34 You take time in between to recoup and prep for the next sprint. 2:36 This allows for better performance. 2:40 In our next sprint we're going to sketch icons that visually represent our mastering skills. 2:43 We have 3 parameters in this sprint, 2:48 the first being materials, same as before--pencil, stack of paper, and a timer-- 2:51 the second being time--again, 10 minutes. 2:57 Lastly, we want to use a continuous contour line style. 3:00 This is when you use 1 line for the whole composition. 3:04 As seen in this example, I'm drawing a wristwatch with 1 line. 3:08 Notice how I'm not picking up the pencil at all. 3:12 The whole drawing is done with 1 line--1 beginning point and 1 end point. 3:15 The reason for this technique is to complete the sketch quickly 3:21 and still acquire the object's shape. 3:24 Once I feel my head is clear, I'm then ready for the next sprint. 3:27 Before I begin, I'm going to choose 10 mastering skills 3:31 that truly define me as a designer and my personality. 3:34 With our parameters set, let's begin our sprint. 3:39 Remember, 10 minutes and 10 iconic representations of the selected mastering skills. 3:42 Some sketches might take longer than others. 3:48 Also, you might have multiple ideas or sketches per skill. 3:51 This is all perfectly fine. 3:55 Ding! Time's up. Pencils down. 3:57 Next let's take some snapshots of our work and bring our content into Illustrator. 3:59 To begin, we simply want to open up Illustrator and bring in the image we took with our phone. 4:04 We are simply going to use the shape tools and pen tools for the majority of our icons. 4:10 Since I used the contour technique, I am able to see the shape of the objects very easily. 4:15 When constructing my icons, I want to keep them very simple and very minimal. 4:21 I'm only going to use 1 color for all the icons. 4:25 Basically, I'm creating the shape's silhouette and then adding some detail 4:28 to make the icon very recognizable to what it is. 4:33 Now let's complete the rest of the icons in the same manner. 4:37 [??] 4:40 Lastly, I'm going to add a colored background to the icons, 4:45 then I'm going to make all the icons white. 4:49 I do this by turning all the paths into outlines and expanding all the objects. 4:51 Then I'm going to fill all the objects with the white and merge them together. 4:56 Next we're going to open up Photoshop and output all of our icons. 5:01 Please note you can do this in Illustrator. 5:04 I just prefer Photoshop for web image output as it does a great job compressing images. 5:07 To begin, simply create a Photoshop file that is 500x500 pixels at 72dpi 5:13 then copy and paste each icon as a smart object into Photoshop from Illustrator. 5:20 Next organize all of your layers. 5:26 Once you are complete, save out all of your images for web for each icon as a PNG 5:28 and then put them in a folder called Images. 5:34 Congratulations. You've just mastered the art of the sprint. 5:37 Next time we will create a simple web application incorporating our mastering icons. 5:41 Until then, have fun and exercise your creative. 5:45 [electricity buzzing] 5:49
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