Page 1

things i have been thinking about



What does chance mean to you? The complexities of this topic are endless and often reflect a person’s beliefs or own experiences with chance.



I really don’t know what to write, I started several different stories, one fake, one very true but kind of personal, and one that sounded like a high school creative writing project based on a true story.

Chance is awesome, but I’m not sure I believe in it. Chance is too perfect and coincidental to not be caused by something. It’s too good to not be premeditated by someone or something. Think about it. You meet someone, they become your best friend. That was chance, or was it? Did someone or something cosmically align both of you at the same moment and same place and force the two of you to start talking even though it felt so natural? Chance is a hoax, it shouldn’t even be a word. Chance is a Monopoly card that 80% of the time brings good fortune, and the other time is terrible. You stumble across something and that changes your life forever. If something had a huge impact on your life, it couldn’t be on accident right? This whole piece was created by chance, nothing was planned. I promise. Chance is for people who have nothing to believe in.



Stay fresh by finding your own inspiration. Being trendy is often a result of doing something different.


Being fresh has nothing

to do with age. Staying on top of things requires research and awareness. Anyone can become a guru on the next big thing. You just have to teach yourself. The general thought is that the millennial generation knows the most about social media platforms, technology, trends, and anything new and fresh. The younger minds are more acquainted with the younger ideas and gadgets. They have new ideas and their inexperienced minds are able to bring about thoughts that haven’t been brought up before. So how do older generations stay fresh and hip? That is up to the individual. You can read or do research, you can try something new, or surround yourself with the younger generation and see what they’re up to. I know plenty of people past their prime who stay fresh, young, and on top of things without letting age keep them stuck in the past. Age has nothing to do with how fresh your ideas are. Keep yourself inspired by learning and experiencing. You can only inspire yourself, no one else can create that for you.


SELF Failure happens. But don’t keep yourself from aiming high because you may fall short.



You know how you doubt

yourself so much, sometimes you just want to give up? I’m sure we’ve all been there, but what I’ve learned is that giving up doesn’t get you anywhere. Be persistent, and keep doing. If you stop, then that’s when you have failed. We are all afraid of failing, but failing is just more motivation to do better the next time. There’s this amazing book designer, Irma Boom, who said that each of her books is a mistake, a mistake she looks to correct with the next book. If Irma’s books are a mistake, than some of my work must be huge fuck ups!


You always have to try to do better, and continue to create. If you’re stuck when someone gives you an assignment and you just don’t know what to do, than just make art for art’s sake. Being designers, we can often stray far away from our more loose, artistic side. It’s good to go back to those roots and loosen up a little. Most of the time, creating art for selfish reasons can bring forth ideas for your client projects. If you think you’re not good enough, than just get better. You only get better if you try and keep momentum. Practice makes perfect!





We all feel the pressure to be cutting edge, first, trendy, and fresh. But sometimes it’s OK to slow down and enjoy life for what it is.



Keeping up with the times

is challenging when things change by the minute. The trending topic on Twitter doesn’t stay consistent for more than a few hours, and even then, how does that effect the conversation around the world? This constant battle to catch up is a prompt to prepare students and the generations to


come on how to prepare for this stress and also realize its OK to not always keep up. Being in the graphic design industry, much of our job is about trends. We want our clients and ourselves to look like we’re starting the new wave, or at least riding it. This is not an easy thing, and most of the time it’s up to the designer and their resources. I also think location can be a large factor in this as well; which creates a push to branch out of your immediate community.


IT’S A FAST PACE THERE IS NO So how can you attempt to stay on top? Follow popular blogs that have many people contributing. Chances are, their job is to find the next best thing, so they will know first and can share with others. Following tech blogs is also helpful because they may have tips to share. For me, Twitter is a great way to keep up with these blogs, because when they post something interesting, it’s usually related to something that happened that day or that week.


Read or watch the news. No one wants to be out of the loop so when someone makes a cultural or political reference you want to know what they’re talking about. Talk to people. They probably know something you don’t, so don’t sit at home and search for trends, go out and find them. I’ve also noticed that shopping can bring some insight into what’s next.

ED WORLD, AND O SPEED LIMIT. Keep an eye on the trendsetters! To name a few, Facebook, Google, large design firms and ad agencies, celebrities, Rachel Zoe, etc. You get the point. It’s a fast paced world, and there is no speed limit. It’s OK to slow down every once in awhile.



WIS DOM Oh to be wise. Some of us just make things up to sound smart.


Wisdom is an acquired

knowledge. You don’t wake up one day a wise man who has a vast breadth of knowledge and has experienced many things in life, therefore having the aged knowledge we call wisdom. To be wise, one must experience things in life that creates their knowledge base, therefore knowing what to do without really thinking about it.


I’ve been told I have an old soul, but I don’t feel wise, just mature. Therefore, I don’t have much to say about wisdom; because of my lack of wisdom.



FEAR Everyone has some type of fear. It’s those that overcome their fears and allow themselves to live that ultimately succeed.


Fear of: failing,

falling, forgetting, flying, fishing, fornicating, farting, fooling, etc. We all have fears. We allow these fears to control our lives. They are walls that hold us back, when ultimately it’s a head game. We are the ones keeping ourselves from going forward. We are the ones that break down our own walls. Don’t let fear keep you from living.






A person’s relatives play an important role in shaping their character and personality. It’s also one of the first things a new friend opens up about.



So I’ve made some new

friends over the past couple weeks, and when talking with these people they both brought up their families. They told me about their siblings, where their family lived, if their parents were divorced or together or remarried several times. Next they told me some more personal information, like what sibling they were closest with, some family drama, and then they started telling me childhood stories. One friend’s dad was awesome, really into music, talented person, and he loved when he got a chance to visit him. The other, hated his dad. Felt his dad had abandoned his mom and him, and still wouldn’t put forth the effort to be a father.


After hearing some fairly personal stuff on one of the first times of hanging out with these people, it made me wonder if they told me about their family not because they trusted me, but because family was a comfortable and mutual topic to discuss. Everyone has one, and we can all relate to another person’s family on some level. I also found it somewhat puzzling that both of these new friends went into depth about some family issues or problems. They were very open about it and I wasn’t sure why. Maybe it’s because if you talk 33

about your family or diss them, it’s OK because they’ll still love you any ways. Also, if you don’t have a good relationship with a family member, it doesn’t matter if you talk down about them because they most likely know how you feel about them, so there’s no beating around the bush and hurting feelings if the connection is already broken. Thinking back to these conversations, I’m not sure how much I shared about my own family. 34



I probably told them that I love my sister and we are very close, my parents are together for 32 years strong, and my brother is a good guy but we aren’t very close. I didn’t go into detail, I didn’t have a lot of drama to share, and I didn’t feel the need to get too deep into the Cornell family dynamic. I still don’t think it was because they trusted me or wanted advice, but most likely because they felt comfortable discussing these things with me and sharing this about themselves. You learn a lot about a person when learning about their family. I guess what I’ve discovered is people like talking about themselves and their families. Our kin is what helped shape us and made us who we are today. 37





All photography and writings by Kezra Cornell Copyright 2011

Things I Have Been Thinking About  

A collection of photos and articles.