Sometimes when I’m in the middle of a really stressful project at work, I wonder what it would be like if I could organise my own life as efficiently as I organise things for clients.

Tasks around my home would be scheduled, deadlines for personal projects would be met, and there would be no place for shitty excuses like “I didn’t feel like writing today” or “Nah, not today, I’m gonna watch TV instead”.

Why is it so much easier to get work done at work?

A question that answers itself really. Our professional life is the very expression of capitalism. Produce or die.

So not doing your job isn’t an option.


Not living your life isn’t an option either.

And yet, somehow, we let it all wash over us, get stuck in a loop, in the grind, in the fucking rat rat rat race.

When I write it reminds me — for a brief spell — that my own monologue matters. That it’s worth pausing for (mental) breath; that it’s worth chewing over my life with as much consideration as I would a client brief.

Any creative person worth their salt knows that you can’t accept a brief at face value. It needs to be examined, questioned, taken to pieces and reassembled completely if needs be.

So here goes…

`## Project Brief:

James Greig

May 2018


James Greig is a thirty-something human male, living in early 21st century Scotland.

Recently he left London for a more affordable and self-sustaining life in Glasgow, but still feels somewhat creatively-constipated.

(By this point I would have printed out the brief and scribbled a note along the lines of “Client is clearly extremely self-critical”).

Whilst his design career has been successful, he yearns for something more. Of being a writer, a musician, an artist — anything other than “just” a graphic designer.

In short, James needs to stop worrying so much what other people think, and release his inner freak.

Project Goals

The outcome of this project should be tangible, real-world output that ISN’T graphic design. At this point these deliverables have not been defined, so further exploration is required in the scoping stage of this project.

Target Audience

Anyone who will listen. James is doing this mostly for himself, so there’s no specific target demographic.

Measures of Success

We’ll know this project has been successful if…

The amount of creative work James is producing increases (in particular his writing) He feels more contented with his life (exact metric for this TBC) At least one segment of his creative output is displayed/performed/exhibition in public (other than design work). Scribbled note: Cat drawings? James is able to go for a run without constantly thinking about client work.


Please submit your response ASAP — we need this for yesterday ideally.``

What’s your personal creative brief for life?

I’d like to invite you to take a step back and think about your life for a minute or two.

— Where are you at the moment? — What do you want to achieve? — Who are you doing it for? — And how will you know when you get there?

Because the first step to creating something amazing is to clearly lay out a brief.

Posted to life, design in 2018.

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