Life of the Designer

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I wake up, looking towards the deep blackness above me, my alarm blasting away in the night. It’s 5:35 AM which I state not as a malign reality, but simply as an assertion of fact. The arresting cold of the air outside the warm cocoon of my blankets is abrasive on my skin. But it is morning, and if nothing else, we can be sure of this. The day has begun, if not gracefully, at least assuredly. I turn on the desk light with a clack and boot up my computer, ready for whatever work the day has in store.

After a quick glance at my calendar and my inbox, I slip into the frosty dark of the hallway and scurry quickly into the bathroom where an encompassing, massaging, warm shower awaits. I dress in the clothes that have been so cautiously, delicately laid out the night before, style my hair, and apply the makeup that has been so neatly displayed beneath the big the big wood-frame mirror above my dresser.

Breakfast comes with toasty, cheddary, steaming eggs, a crispy piece of toast, and dark, rich, creamy coffee with sweet orange juice on the side.

It’s still dark outside as I sit down expectantly at my desk. I check the news briskly and then start the processes of work I know all too well. I sketch a little and then play a little and work on each minute task that is yet to be completed. Designing and sketching gives way to playing piano and arranging music and before I know it, it’s lunch time.

Lunch is spent on the couch of my studio answering emails and updating my calendar with a warm burrito and a chilling smoothie for comfort. I check Facebook and twitter while I’m at it, seeing if anything is new with the vast and diverse world outside of the luxuries of my office and studio.

Lunch passes on quickly and my afternoon is spent researching, reading, and writing away furiously. Hours upon hours of time wander by while my pen glides swiftly across the paper and my fingers race agilely around the keyboard. Words become sentences which in turn become pages upon pages of drafts in my notebook.

The sun has gone down by the time I emerge from my office to start cooking dinner.  Cooking a creamy pesto pasta with fresh herbs, tomato, mushrooms, and garlic chicken sounds like just the thing to take my mind off of work for a while; and the glass of merlot help too. I spend dinner watching TV and going through more emails and contacting clients before heading back to my studio to journal and read until it’s late in the night.

When one day turns to another, I move to my office where I finish up going through paperwork and typing and editing publication drafts. And when the clock lazily flips to 1 AM, finally my work is done and my restful night sleep can commence. My dreams are of designs and stories and music, that which is my greatest comfort and contentment in life. For tomorrow, the rollercoaster will begin anew, another day in the life of a designer.

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

Manage Your Life

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So much of managing life is about being able not only to focus well, but also to know how long everything takes. As a business owner, musician, writer, and designer, I constantly have to manage my time, not only in what I’m doing, but also in the breaks I take, my personal life, and in what is not getting done. Scheduling becomes a nightmare when personal life, professional life, and entrepreneurship are all put together. But when one adds in more layers of logistics such as travel time and other people’s schedules, dealing with one’s calendar turns into hell on earth. It is so key in life to be able to organize logistics and scheduling well.

When my business officially opened in October of 2013, it was one of the biggest accomplishments of my life. But it was also the start of a major time-suck for me, even if I love what I am doing the majority of the time. I am now constantly updating my calendar and am somewhat of a scheduling junky. I don’t attach myself my calendar because I like being attached to a life plan, although I do, but because I realized that if I want my dreams to come true and my life to stay on track, I have  to be incredibly organized with everything I do.  Both time management and organization have become second nature to me because it was and is necessary for them to be.

So many people in this world lack the basic skills of time management and organization, and it is clear to me that we would all be in a much better place in our lives if planning were much more prevalent. One begins to wonder why it is that the most important and relevant people in our society are sometimes the least together ones.

But experience shows us that the most organized people are the ones who get ahead in life. The CEOs and millionaires of this world are the people who schedule in their every waking minute and communicate the best with their peers and coworkers.

So what should one take away from this- when life gives you work, have fun with it; when life gives you more work, get organized; and when life falls apart, schedule in time to fix it!

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

Time, Effortless but Everlasting

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The rains falls gently by my window, wetting the green earth. All is dark outside, covered in a blanket of darkness as secure as it is unforgiving. Inside my room, the reassuring lamp-light nourishes my hopes and dreams as I write on into the night. There is a feeling that comes with the rain. A desperate feeling of longing along with a calm serenity encase the world around me as the music plays on.

As I sit in my room, the minutes draw on, each one a little bit longer than the last. Time seems to both race on towards the perpetually life-less end and sit unyielding and still, trapped in the methodical moments of now. Each object in my bedroom seems plainly familiar, yet simply immaculate. With no effort but to move my pen across the paper, I merely exist. And for what? My work is done, the schoolbooks lie in an intemperate pile at the foot of my bed, a constant reminder of my imposed purpose. So many stories are written about purpose, but who among us can honestly say we can even begin to comprehend the meaning of purpose.

As I sat last night, the hours drawing on, I blearily jabbed at my computer keyboard. I sat there writing for a very different reason than I do today, although a considerably similar story is seeming to be told. Writing my own bio for my website at 2 AM- that’s living for you. Why was I alone in my bedroom at 2 AM indulgently writing about nothing more than Me, Myself, and I? Because somehow, as short as life is, it is not at all effortless. I was writing to manifest the essence of me to the world just one more time in the infinitely endless time that draws on. I was writing I think to provoke some conspicuously omniscient force that would suddenly reveal itself and enlighten me about the purpose of existence. But what I provoked instead, even if mistakenly, was an ambitious desire to do more. To not just wait for some apparently substantive being to just drop my purpose clumsily in my lap, but to work everyday towards some inextricably tangible goal. Through the tedious process of bio-writing, I realized that not only am I working towards a solely paramount goal, but I have an abundance of futures waiting for me.

From fashion design to interior design, from styling to piano to makeup design to blogging, I have an inconceivable plethora of passions, dreams, and futures waiting just for me. Sitting, writing bios at 2 A.M, I realized something crucial, that I also love writing deeply. I love talking almost as much as life itself, so I guess writing doesn’t seem so outlandish. But I think between all my passions, I have come to the revelation that I want to be an artist. Designer, composer, virtuoso, playwright, creator, musician, architect- call it what you will, but I want to do all of it. I want to represent, to inspire, to perform, to create.

As time draws on, purpose slowly divulges itself. Truths become evident, Lives move on effortlessly. Time changes all of us in its way. Time is endless yet sudden, effortless yet gripping and constraining. Time is irrelevant now, nothing but the pattering of the rain and the soothing envelope of my covers affixes itself to my mind as I drift lazily on into forever.

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

Wide Open Spaces

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I have felt many things in my life: heartbreak, love, passion, desire, sadness, depression, inspiration. But never have I felt stronger about anything in my life than the incredible love,  inspiration, and heartbreak of the last couple of weeks. I have felt such strong feelings, and isn’t that what living is really about, embracing every single feeling equally, not just the good or the bad. I embrace all that comes my way, but because of it, I feel so lost sometimes that I don’t know what to do. But what I have found, is that the more lost I feel, the more I want to get lost. I just want to walk off to someplace very far away, with nothing but the wind and the golden sun to keep me company. I want to leave everything behind, everything but my mind and my soul. I want to cry just to let out all that I have held in, and laugh and sing and yell. I want to leave behind all the pain and the sorrow, and feel nothing but clarity and love and heartbreak. I almost want to never be found. I want to just let everything go and walk away from it all.

In my moments of desperation, I realize that love will always prevail, that life will always go on, that I am me and always will be, and others will always be themselves too.  I will always be the person I am  today. I will always remember my past and dream about the future. I will always live in  another time than my own. But maybe, just maybe I can learn to live in the now by losing everything but my mind and the world around me.

I live for the wide open spaces in this world, the never-ending meadows of green and blue and gold, the wispy orange-peel sky spreading out beyond the horizon for as far as the eye can see. I live for the beautiful rolling ocean stretching out into my endless dreams. I live life for the endless views from my windows, admiring the minute details of every inch of earth, the glistening waters, the shining lights and all-encasing darkness. I love the quiet seclusion of someplace lost and far away, but also the bustling city and the stone pillars of buildings soaring ever upward. Life is too short to not admire the beauty in everything around you.

Living for the wide open spaces for me is about loving the quiet simplicity of a far away place. It’s about loving just thinking about life and being alone with your thoughts. Wide open spaces are the places you can dream, the places you can love and lose, the places you can make the big mistake, and the places that you can cry for the sake of letting go. I design to let go, I write to remember, I play to express, I make art to live my life. I like to be the person who lives for every minute of their life, the ups and the downs. I live everyday the way I want to, not the way any one else wants me too. That’s my life, my way, wide open spaces galore.

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

I’m an Artist, and I Always Will Be

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I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, and I was thinking about all the ways that I define myself. I think of myself as a fashion designer, as a pianist, as a blogger, as an interior designer, as a landscape architect, and as a fashion expert. And I thought to myself the other day, what would I call myself? Who am I? What defines me overall as a person? And there it was, as clear as day; I am an artist! I design, I play, I write, and I inspire- the definition of an artist. But what does that mean to me? Why am I an artist? It means to me that I look at things in a different light than most people. It means that I look for the beauty and creativity in every part of life. It means I have a big personality and even bigger sass. It means I feel emotions on a deeper level. It means that I take time to think over my life whenever I can. It means I can love someone forever and never let go. And most of all, It means I am me and nobody can change that.

I am and artist because I love fashion, clothes and style. Because I love designing, color, and personality. Because I love writing, journaling, and reading. Because I can feel every emotion that every piece of music, artwork, and literature feels and evokes. I am artist because I love what I do, and I wouldn’t give it up for the world. Art shows me things: values of life, feelings of anger, resentment, sadness, joy, inspiration, and incredible heartache, and love beyond reason. I’m moved, heartbroken, and elated all at the same time.

I forget who I am, yet I feel a deeper understanding of who that is. I am an artist because I want to feel that I can and inspire emotion in others. I love being able to make something that defines me, every single day. I like to be known for things people love, and things that people will remember and cherish. I make clothes that I hope will mold a person into something of beauty and expression. I write pieces that I hope will be read and remembered. I play music that I hope to inspire and evoke feelings with. I am artist to help others define themselves, to help people remember, and to help people move on.

Truly, being an artist for me is about reaching the inner core of me and pulling out the raw emotions and ideas that define me. I put my ideas to paper, to fabric, to sheet music, to my house, to my yard, to my life. I hope to gain a better understanding of every piece of the world around me. I hope to refine my mind, better myself, and become so sure of myself that nothing will ever bring me down.

I love to see the spark in a person’s eye when they can see every part of an art piece laid out before them. I love to see the creativity churning in an artists mind. And I love to feel the satisfaction of creating a masterpiece of art. That’s why I’m an artist, and I always will be.

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

Life Grows, Grow With It!

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As with all things, I feel that I am constantly changing, growing, and living. Over the past few years, I have grown overall as a person. I’ve grown smarter, nicer, more mature, and less naive. But my life has grown as well. I’ve met more people than I ever would have thought possible. Many things have happened to me that have made my life grow in size and intensity. I have more people to care about, more things to do, more responsibilities to keep, and more complicated relationships than ever before.  My life has grown so much more taxing and confusing, yet subtly simple and beautiful. I have grown as well, at first slowly and painfully, but now expertly.

So many things in my life have become clearer, more defined. I have realized who I am and become the best version of myself. I see things now as they really are, no silver lining, no lies. My life isn’t perfect, I’ll be the first to admit that. But through all the truth I’ve grown to see the beauty. I see beauty in the graceful and quiet sunset, in the green leaves of the trees around me, in the faces of the people walking by, in the neatly arranged clothes in my closet, and in the city lights shining in the night below me. I’ve grown to realize the people that I love, and the ones that I should simply walk away from. I’ve grown to see both the ugly and beautiful truths that this world has to offer. I’ve grown to be able to make my life the way I want it to be. My naivety is gone now, the reality has set in, and I like it. I have grown to observe everything as it truly is, no misconceptions, nothing but sweet reality.

My life has grown so much, that I almost can’t keep up. I am now a blogger. I am a gay fashionista teen. I am a makeup artist. I am a stylist. I am a jazz pianist. I am a fashion designer. I am a student library assistant. I am a landscape architect. I am an artist. I am everything that I want to be at once, and I have never been happier.

And yet I’ve grown to realize that something will always be missing from my life. I’ve grown to realize I am not easy to love. I have such a large personality and I am so sure of who I am and what I believe in, that it’s hard to love me. I have grown to accept this just as all else. I accept my flaws, and I accept my talents.

Growing as a person and learning to love life is more about letting go of perfection than anything else. It’s about looking at what is, changing your life for the better, and seeing beauty in every single moment of every day. Growing is about making things better: living more, loving more, letting go more. I’ve grown as a person, not because I let things be, but because I’ve thought a lot. I’ve lost a lot. I’ve seen a lot. And I have made myself who I am today. Growing is about moving with life, the ups, the downs, the loves, and the losses. It’s about defining yourself and refining your life. I’ve grown more than I can say. And I will keep on growing, life does!

Love, Ethan Brown Jones

Truly Living

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Recently, I found myself down and dejected, feeling no ambition, no love, and no promise. My friends had all left me for bigger and better places. My grandparents had passed away. And in the midst of all of this, my first date ever, one of the most exciting moments in my life. Well of course, being me, I overworked everything. I shaved my legs, painted my nails, styled my hair, put on my makeup, and dressed in cute but seductive attire. I was ready for love, but as usual in life, it was not ready for me. I loved everything about the date: his eyes, his sweet smile, everything about it was wonderful. That day was wonderful. I went home feeling promise and lust in my heart. Then I got the message that of course, no relationship seems to work out in my life. It didn’t work out and it probably never will. Well, I felt down, distraught, and unloved.

Me being me, I stewed over every moment of that date, each little detail, and every small mistake. And what I decided was, I needed to turn my life where I wanted it to go. I had to take responsibility for doing the things that I wanted to, and getting all of those things done. I decided that just like anything in life, I needed to make time for love. I needed to make time for blogging, for reading, for sketching, for journaling.

All my life,  I have made promises to myself, promises that were rarely kept for long. And now, as I look at where my life is, and where I want it to go, I realize that my life is mine and no one’s but mine. I want to and have to steer my life in every direction that I want it to go.

And so right then and there,  I decided that I would no longer laze around waiting for life. Life would have to wait for me. And so I have made myself a promise to do certain things for me and my life every day. I am living the way that I want to, not the way that just happens. I do things I love. I journal, I blog, I take care of Thomas Park and Eve Ponds, I sketch fashion designs, I play piano, I read, and I style. I do everything that I love to do, that I need to do. And I have never felt better about my life. It feels like me, like the person I am supposed to be and the life that I am supposed to live.

If there’s one thing that I have learned from the recent death of my grandparents, Thomas and Eve Brown, it’s that life is short and you should never take a day in it for granted. I read something recently where someone was asked how they get through so many books and make time to read. And what they said inspired me. They said that they made time for it, just like family and relationships. They told themselves that they must make time for reading every day. And so I am doing both of those things. I am living the way that I want to, making the most of every day, and I am making time in my life for everything that I want to do.

As a designer, so much of designing is about inspiration and emotion. And so making my life the way I want it to be is my inspiration and my drive. I drives me to make my life feel like I want it to, full of love and expression and all of the people and things that I love so much. So do what you love, never stop dreaming, and make your life all that you want it to be. I know I do.

Love, Ethan Brown Jones