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Meg Robichaud28:06 with Meg Robichaud
Don't be afraid of the Internet! Use the internet and social media to improve your design community.
[NOISE] I'm @MegDraws. 0:00 Or, if you want to get more intimate, Meg Robichaud. 0:06 I, I didn't realize that, that was such a, a challenging one so 0:13 I thought I'd go over it really quick. 0:17 It's French. 0:20 It's Acadian. 0:21 Robichaud. 0:22 You don't pronounce the d. 0:23 If you really want to get fancy you can like roll the r. 0:26 But I can't even do that so I can't really pronounce it either. 0:30 >> [LAUGH] >> [LAUGH] Yeah, 0:33 and I have a really good story about a little place called Robichaudville. 0:36 But I'm only like 75% sure it's true. 0:41 So, just ask me later and I'll tell you, but I won't do it on video. 0:45 I'm from Canada, that, that picture was taken like last week. 0:52 We're, [LAUGH] we're getting electricity soon, I'm pretty sure. 0:56 I grew up in, on one coast in New Brunswick. 1:04 In a teeny tiny town called Hampton. 1:08 We like, we just got our first roundabout and it's a pretty big deal. 1:11 We've had a stop light for like five years so we're, we're, we're getting big. 1:16 >> [LAUGH] >> But and now I live in Vancouver. 1:20 I moved out there officially for 1:26 art school to go to the Art Institute of Vancouver. 1:29 But more realistically to go snowboard. 1:32 And I've been there for about six years. 1:37 [LAUGH] I'm, I'm about 90% coffee. 1:41 I, I freelance, right? 1:48 So, I work alone. 1:50 I don't want to work alone, so I work in coffee shops. 1:53 And it turns out, to stay in the coffee shop, they really want you to 1:56 buy the coffee, so you drink the coffee, and here I am, mostly coffee. 2:01 [LAUGH] And I really like sparkly, 2:04 glittery, awesome things. 2:09 I don't really like crafting, 2:13 I like it when the glittery things kinda show up pre-glittered. 2:14 [LAUGH] I don't know, I just thought that kinda captured me as a person. 2:17 And I really love Twitter. 2:26 I'm, I'm not affiliated with Twitter. 2:33 They didn't send me here to say that. 2:35 But and as far as I can tell, they don't like, really know that I exist. 2:39 But I say it all the time, out loud, and completely unsolicited. 2:45 I, I love Twitter. 2:50 And I think what people don't understand about Twitter is that 2:53 it's not really a marketing tool. 2:58 And I mean I know that it is and a lot of people make their careers 3:00 marketing on Twitter and I'm sure they're doing really cool things. 3:03 [LAUGH] but I, I, I think they're wrong. 3:06 [LAUGH] If, if you ask me, Twitter is the Tom's 3:11 restaurant, MaGee's Pub, Central Perk of the internet. 3:16 It's a, it's a place for building real relationships and, and 3:22 sharing your accomplishments and your failures. 3:26 Not only professional but personal as well. 3:30 It's a place for finding common ground, 3:34 through shared experiences and, and shared interests. 3:38 I didn't always think that. 3:45 [LAUGH] When I 3:46 first started working, I was, I was terrified of the internet. 3:51 It's kind of weird, most of the punch lines from my friends are, 3:55 has something to do with how I spend too much time on the internet. 4:00 But it's actually, like, a really new development for me. 4:03 I didn't understand how it worked at all. 4:05 So, this talk's kinda like my discovering the internet and, and community. 4:08 So, if you're, like, one of those people who really understands Snapchat and 4:13 YouTube celebrities, it's, you're prob, you're so far ahead of me, this isn't, 4:16 you're not get anything out of this. 4:20 [LAUGH] but I was terrified. 4:22 I thought that I was gonna be, any opinion that I had I would be stuck with forever. 4:25 We're talking about the internet. 4:31 You don't delete things on the internet. 4:32 You have an opinion, and that yours for life. 4:34 I thought for sure that I was going to just, it was just a matter of time before 4:37 I was caught being wrong by somebody better than me, and that was it. 4:42 I was just going to be the girl who was wrong. 4:46 So, I locked everything down. 4:49 I, I would be represented by my work, and, and you can love it or you can hate it. 4:53 But, you can't, like, really hate it because I, I draw cute animals. 5:00 So, like, at best, you, you can, it can, like, 5:03 not be your favorite drawing of a cat, but you can't even hate it. 5:06 So, I, I was feeling pretty safe. 5:10 I was feeling pretty safe. 5:13 But then I got this Forest invite. 5:17 I don't know if you guys remember Forest. 5:22 It's ZURB now, I think. 5:26 It's kind of like a mini Dribble. 5:27 It was originally built, like, to be more of a feedback process 5:31 version of Dribble but it, it just kind of become a baby one, but 5:36 this is before, I didn't know what Dribble was. 5:41 I'd never heard of that. 5:42 I didn't understand the internet. 5:43 It was a foreign thing to me. 5:44 So, I, I started, you know, 5:47 recognizing screen names and, and following people's work and, and 5:52 realize that other people were following my work too. 5:57 And, and like, my first like felt really good. 6:03 The first time that someone who's not my mom likes something I've made? 6:05 >> [LAUGH] >> That, that feels really good. 6:08 But, but really, what caught me off guard, was the sense of community. 6:13 These people weren't just following my work, they were following me. 6:19 They knew about my hobbies and my interests. 6:23 And I was following them. 6:26 Th, I, I knew things that they liked and what, and what they were doing. 6:28 And, and like, I think, I think they might be proud of me. 6:33 And, and I think I might be proud of them too. 6:39 And, and 6:43 that's when I realized that I not only had the desire, but 6:46 the option to be a designer second, so that I could be a person first. 6:52 And, and it takes a long time to break down those kind of walls and, and 6:59 expose yourself, and I've definitely got a lot of bricks left. 7:05 But I realize that every time I stop holding back parts of myself and 7:12 my personal life, I'm rewarded with a deeper sense of community and 7:18 more real and lasting relationships. 7:23 And I think that comes in two parts. 7:28 I think you need to make space for yourself, 7:30 and decide who you are and who you wanna be. 7:36 And figure out what it means for you to be yourself within a professional community. 7:41 And then, when you find that space, 7:50 it's about helping the people around you make space for themselves as well. 7:52 And it starts with the courage to be imperfect. 8:01 And this is probably the hardest one for 8:04 me and continues to be something that I struggle with. 8:07 I don't know if, how many of you guys have seen my work, but it could, 8:12 it could be described as, as neurotically detailed, and, and maybe, OCD fueled. 8:17 But, but I mean there's, there's no such thing as good enough. 8:25 There's finished, and there's not finished. 8:30 And it's finished when it's perfect. 8:31 And I think I might be in a, maybe in a room of perfectionists as well. 8:34 And I mean it's okay to, 8:40 to hold your work to a high standard and, and not stop til it's perfect. 8:42 But you don't need to be perfect for 24 hours a day. 8:47 [BLANK_AUDIO] 8:51 So [LAUGH] >> [LAUGH] 8:54 >> Yes. 8:57 >> [LAUGH] >> Ugh, so there is, 8:58 there's a face that people make when they see my handwriting. 9:04 >> [LAUGH] >> [LAUGH] 9:12 And it's, it's bad. 9:18 It's like, it's really quite bad. 9:19 It's kinda like my head and my hand just refused to agree on, 9:20 on the right time to take the pen off of the paper. 9:26 [LAUGH] or maybe it's just like 90% of the rest of 9:30 the world, cuz, that, all have chicken scratch because we all type every day. 9:35 But when they see my handwriting, there's a face. 9:42 I'm an illustrator. 9:47 I draw for a living. 9:49 I make pictures, I draw letters. 9:50 Every time I take pen to paper it's supposed to be a work of art. 9:53 I could not handle that face. 9:58 When people looked at my sketchbook, I, I had to have a beautiful sketchbook. 10:03 I started to realize, I was spending an insane amount of time in my sketchbook. 10:11 I was polishing ideas that were already fully formed and, and 10:18 completely ready to be taken to a computer screen hours ago, days ago. 10:23 And, but, here I am, still just sitting in my sketchbook, and like, for who? 10:27 For some asshole who can't control his face when he opens up a book that's none 10:34 of his business to begin with. 10:38 [LAUGH] >> So I, I let it go. 10:40 No more beautiful sketchbook. 10:48 No more sketchbook at all. 10:51 And, and letting go of my Sketchbook made room for 10:54 all kinds of processes that work better for me. 10:59 I, I work faster and more efficiently. 11:03 I, I come up with new solutions that I never would have come to before. 11:06 Now I have about ten tiny notebooks that are all neurotically organized 11:12 under some system that's not even clear to me on most days. 11:17 And I, I have post its, I have post its everywhere, 11:21 I bought this, this great big beautiful cinema display and 11:25 you can never see the screen because it's covered in post its. 11:30 >> [LAUGH] >> But for me, it, it works. 11:34 For me, finding the courage to be imperfect 11:42 didn't start with embracing imperfection, but 11:47 just acknowledging my perfectionism's and, and trying to let it go. 11:50 To, to let go of who I am no, to let go 11:55 of who I thought I should be to make room for who I am. 12:03 And, and for me it was my sketchbook but for you it, it could look different. 12:08 It might be sharing work that's not finished, or, or not polished, 12:15 or try, sharing a new style that, that maybe 12:20 you're not as well known for, or, or, that you don't think will be as well received. 12:26 And, and then keeping that work up when it's not as well received. 12:31 Because, fuck it, you like it. 12:36 [LAUGH] And, and I mean, obviously we're not just talking 12:38 process here when we're talking about being who you are. 12:44 It, it's letting go of the things that you've collected Either in school or 12:49 from watching other people or, or trying to guess how it's done and, 12:56 and saying forget how it's done, figure out how you do it. 13:03 Forget what's being done and, and figure out what you want to do. 13:08 >> [LAUGH] >> [LAUGH] So, 13:13 this is a brief that I got last week. 13:20 >> [LAUGH] >> And it's, I mean, 13:26 it doesn't really quite fit with the kinda standard brief forms 13:30 that you see floating around the internet, it's a little bit off. 13:35 And some people maybe would be a little bit displeased to, 13:41 to receive a brief like that. 13:46 Not me. 13:49 [LAUGH] >> [LAUGH] 13:50 >> If you know me, 13:54 then you know that I think the screaming goat thing is one of the better things 13:55 that ever happened to the internet. 14:00 >> [LAUGH] >> Like, right behind the, 14:02 that one with the baby goats where he goes around and he kicks all the other goats. 14:05 >> [LAUGH] >> [LAUGH] More practically, 14:09 if you know me, then you know that I think polishing 14:13 anything when you can already get the idea 14:19 across is just a complete waste of time >> And 14:23 I, I wish, I wish I was just saying that for drama. 14:28 Oh, I just got this last week. 14:33 But, because I'd love to show you like the whole arc of, 14:35 of the solutions we came up with, and, and how it turns out. 14:38 But I didn't. 14:41 I really, I really did just, just get this so I can't show you. 14:42 But keep, be on the lookout for cats and goats. 14:47 But what I can say with certainty is that I will have so much fun making this. 14:51 And, and the work will be better because I'm having so much fun. 14:59 What I can't say with certainty is that the work would have come to me, 15:07 Meg Robichaud, a girl who loves tiny animals and tiny clothes, 15:12 and probably makes too many jokes about farts and butt pimples. 15:17 [LAUGH] >> [LAUGH] 15:22 >> Not Meg Robichaud, illustrator and 15:26 designer. 15:28 And what I can't say with certainty is that the work will be a successful 15:31 without the space that we left to be ourselves within our interactions. 15:37 But, like, so don't start sending all your clients your favorite cat videos and 15:44 then saying Meg told you to do it. 15:49 But just don't board yourself up in the name of professionalism. 15:51 Finding the version of yourself that strikes a balance 15:58 between your personal life and your presh, professional life 16:01 is just as important as finding the type of design that you can get lost in. 16:04 When you're not so busy trying to suppress who you are, the work is better. 16:11 You, you have more fun. 16:17 You work faster and more efficiently. 16:20 And, and you can communicate better. 16:22 And, and it's just about prioritizing connection. 16:27 Look, look at connection the same way that you look at budget and timeline 16:34 because it's just as likely to predict whether or not you'll produce good work. 16:38 And then, and 16:44 then look at your interactions within the design community in the same way. 16:45 Stop strategizing and deciding who you wanna know based on their follower count. 16:52 Just start with connection, anything that's not a tool set or 16:59 a, a new brush, I wanna know more than what type of designer you are. 17:06 Like, do, do you surf? 17:12 Do you snowboard? 17:14 I, do you, I, I wanna know every single detail about your dog I, 17:15 I would like a presentation about why iceberg lettuce is a waste of time. 17:20 [LAUGH] Just find a common ground that's 17:27 anything but design, and like don't worry 17:33 about getting to discuss techniques or, or your heroes or, or some new resource. 17:38 Like, we're still a bunch of design nerds. 17:43 It's gonna come up. 17:45 But just start somewhere else with, with a sincere 17:48 desire to know the person instead of the latest thing that they made. 17:52 And so, what does that look like? 18:01 It starts with feeling good about the community that we've built 18:05 because what we have is really rare. 18:11 I don't know if you guys have ever had your work ripped off But, but I have. 18:17 And, I didn't have time to be upset because the design community was so 18:22 upset for me. 18:28 I'm pretty sure Tim Reynolds called this guy at, like, the head internet office and 18:30 was, like, stop everything. 18:34 Somebody copied Meg. 18:36 There's probably still a hit out on him. 18:41 >> [LAUGH] >> Everybody reached out to me to let me 18:42 know that they had my back, that they were there for me, welcome to the big leagues. 18:48 Like the day that my work got ripped off was a really good day. 18:53 >> [LAUGH] >> [LAUGH] 18:58 >> And that doesn't happen in every 19:03 industry. 19:05 When you work in design, somebody's got your back. 19:07 You burn one of us, you burn all of us. 19:10 You support one of us, you support all of us. 19:11 People, they don't understand when I try and tell them about my conferences. 19:15 But, I've completely given up trying to explain what a tight fight looks like. 19:20 [LAUGH] 19:24 And, but it takes work, right? 19:30 It's, it came from the people before us actively supporting each other. 19:33 They took the time to teach each other and to know each other. 19:38 They, and they sincerely believed in each other and, and 19:43 looked forward to their next milestones. 19:47 And, I say this a lot in my personal life as well as my professional life, 19:51 taking pride in another persons accomplishments is a privilege. 19:56 That, that proclamation that really good feeling, and 20:02 like smile you can't wipe off your face, that is earned. 20:06 To take pride in a person or our community, 20:12 you need to contribute to its success. 20:15 [BLANK_AUDIO] 20:18 So, encourage everybody. 20:20 And this isn't just for the leaders and the people have been up, 20:24 up on this stage and, and the people here. 20:28 It's it's everybody. 20:31 It's, it doesn't matter if you're a student who's just starting out. 20:33 No matter where you are, there's someone newer than you. 20:37 I found the design community after months of rejection, 20:42 completely ready to give up, throw away. 20:48 I, I was ready to embrace a career 20:51 making really bad sculpy earrings and selling them on Etsy. 20:56 It, it was low. 21:03 [LAUGH] I just, I stumbled into the design 21:03 community completely by accident and 21:08 I was met with wide open arms. 21:13 I, I don't think I'll ever be able to measure the impact 21:17 that those small pieces of encouragement that I 21:23 got on Forest had on my life, it, my life would be so 21:27 dramatically different from what it is right now 21:33 if it wasn't for that and I am so grateful. 21:38 At like, all you have to do is say yes to make someone 21:42 believe that they can or should do something or, 21:47 or don't bother making them believe. 21:52 Just let them know that you think so. 21:56 Or maybe if, if everything goes south, it won't be so bad. 21:59 Or maybe just that they're not like a, a complete and utter idiot. 22:07 [LAUGH] 22:10 And so I wasn't going to include this part 22:16 in my talk But it's just like the exact part that I'm missing. 22:20 So, so I'm going to tell you. 22:24 But like don't forget the parts where I was funny and 22:26 I got Kanye and Seinfeld into my slide deck, so remember that. 22:32 [LAUGH] This, this is, James Golick and he was, 22:38 a very close friend and mentor of mine. 22:46 And he was killed three months ago in, in a car accident in Mexico. 22:52 He was the CTO of normal yours and 23:01 a leader in the tech and Ruby community. 23:06 To be perfectly honest I don't actually really understand what he did. 23:12 He, but from what I've gathered he, he patched Ruby. 23:17 He could debug anything and 23:22 he could scale anything, and people thought it was a big deal. 23:24 I, and I really encourage you to, to look him up, because he was, 23:30 he was pretty incredible but I, 23:35 I've set myself some pretty strict rules about how much I can tell you about him. 23:40 Because telling people how great James Golick was is my favorite and 23:45 most time consuming pastime. 23:49 So and we're all hungry. 23:52 [LAUGH] So I just wanna talk to you 23:53 about what happened in the few days after he was killed. 23:58 For me, he was, 24:02 he was just the guy in my corner, I don't need help with Ruby or computers or 24:07 really much of anything, I just need somebody to give a shit about me. 24:13 And to tell me that I'm being a drama queen and 24:20 an idiot when I say I want to cry on the bus. 24:24 Or and I need somebody to tell me that I can do it 24:26 when I'm invited to speak at Creative South, 24:31 and believe it when they say it. 24:36 And. 24:40 [BLANK_AUDIO] 24:41 The loneliness of, of losing that person knocked the wind out of me. 24:43 [BLANK_AUDIO] 24:50 But, as we, as we started to gather and share our stories, 24:52 we realized that he wasn't just in my corner, he was in everybody's corner. 24:56 For every good friend that I had, he had ten. 25:02 And each one of us with our story about he had changed our lives. 25:06 It, if I say I love Twitter, than he embodied Twitter. 25:12 I swear to God, every single one of his followers had a story. 25:17 They reached out and told us about how he had touched their lives, 25:22 how he taken the time to believe in them, and teach them, and 25:27 know them, and how he had changed their lives for the better. 25:31 It was completely overwhelming to see how 25:38 one person had such an influence on the world. 25:42 And those few days I, I quite literally witnessed how 25:50 encouragement can change the world If you take it one person at a time. 25:56 To encourage someone is to give them permission to be who they are. 26:03 And when we're talking about design, 26:08 that's the difference between imitation and innovation. 26:10 So, I knew, I knew when I made that slide it was really cheesy. 26:17 But like people I, I was trying to put this talk together right and, 26:22 and I'm like, well I don't have any wisdom to share, 26:29 I just draw cute animals [LAUGH]. 26:35 And everyone's like well what are you passionate about? 26:39 Oh, I think, I think it's the cheesiest thing in the world but I think, 26:44 I'm actually really passionate about encouraging people, 26:52 because you never know when it's actually the exact 26:58 thing that they need to hear, so, I'll, 27:04 I'll leave you with this embrace imperfection, 27:09 prioritize connection and, and encourage everybody. 27:14 >> [APPLAUSE] 27:20 >> [LAUGH]. 27:31 And I think I've got some time for some questions. 27:35 Anyone has any? 27:39 Or we could just go for lunch, cuz I'm starved. 27:40 [LAUGH] I don't know. 27:42 Yeah. 27:47 Yeah. Yeah. 27:48 Yeah. 27:48 >> You're awesome, that's it. 27:49 >> Oh. 27:50 Oh, that's so nice. 27:51 Thank you. 27:53 [LAUGH] [APPLAUSE] [NOISE] All right let's eat. 27:54 Yeah. 28:01
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