Cutting out distractions with a goal journal

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Story and Image by Jade Purple Brown

This year I finally made the decision to take my career as an artist seriously and go for what I truly want. In the year prior, I felt disappointed by my lack of progress.

I was sick and tired of using my full-time job as a digital designer as an excuse, making it the blame for not having enough time to work on personal projects. I knew If I really wanted to become an independent Designer, Illustrator & Art Director, I would have to set time aside to practice and experiment within my work. It was time to put my head down and do the work. No more excuses, and no more wasted time.

I purchased a journal (The Desire Map Planner to be exact!) and started writing down all of my goals on a consistent basis. One of my goals for the year was to create 2 personal pieces a week and share them online. I knew this would help me develop my style and get real-time feedback on my art. I also decided to change my morning routine.

Instead of waking up with just enough time to get ready, I started waking up at 5 am. This gave me to 2 hours to dive into personal projects and plan out my day, before being launched into a chaotic day at work. Instead of turning on Netflix as soon as I got off home from work, I started to limit distractions and continue my process of practicing and making art.

It wasn't easy at first, but my body slowly started to get used to my routine, and I started to see the impact almost instantly. My work started to pick up steam and attract like-minded people and exciting new clients. I started to get contacted by companies that were on my dream list (Refinery 29, Brit + CO & Under Armour).

I found that as I continued to practice and build on my artistic vision, new opportunities kept rolling in.

This process has taught me to take control of my life and to only focus my energy on things that truly matter to me. Cutting out mindless distractions and dedicating time to develop my craft has helped me strengthen my skills, and has made it more possible to turn my passion for creating art into my full-time job. But more surprisingly, the time I spent alone creating has helped me feel more optimistic and free in the crazy world we live in, and I hope I can make others feel the same way when they view my work.


Jade Purple Brown is a Graphic Designer, Illustrator and Art Director based in New York. She specialized in brand image and graphic design for fashion, music and art based brands. Using bold blocks of color and strong female figures, Jade creates dynamic art that encourages herself and others to be more optimistic and free. Clients include Macy’s, Refinery 29, Toyota, Brit + Co, Under Armour + more.

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