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Issue No.26 · August 27, 2021

5 Questions with Ben Uyeda

Ben Uyeda is a designer behind ZeroEnergy.com and Homemade-modern.com. He's based in Joshua Tree.

The best conversations start with:
What are you currently most excited about is my favorite question to ask people. It is simple yet open and lets them share something positive that could be as simple as what they are going to have for lunch or as grand as their inspiration or ambitions.

What’s on your nightstand?
Water, a sketchbook, and a "chemical snooze button" 3 days a week I like to get started early and I keep a cold brew coffee, pre-workout, or some ready to drink caffeine like https://taika.co (not a sponsor) right next to bed. When I wake up I down it and then snooze typically another 30 minutes until it hits me and I fire out of bed and right into my to do list.

What’s most important for your mental health?
Sleep and exercise is first but I realized i have productivity dysmorphia which I suspect might be almost as common as body dysmorphia. I work really hard yet often feel as if I am not doing enough. Framing it as a condition i am susceptible to and acknowledging its harmfulness has helped me manage it and relax!  Note: I don't know if productivity dysmorphia is an actual thing but i know so many objectively successful people who seem to regularly feel like they are not being efficient or productive enough despite a wealth of enviable accomplishments. My work life balance is far from ideal but overtly acknowledging my own tendency to lean towards work helps me.

What’s the greatest gift we can give to others?
Curiosity, the effort to pursue it, and the willingness to share what we learn.

What is one of the most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
The consistent investment of time into small design and making experiments has been hugely beneficial. It can be hard to come up with a grand and unique vision all at once and often large projects require investment or support from others.  Small projects where I test out 1 or 2 ideas allow me to take small consistent steps and because I share them online it is easy for me to find collaborators who want to support my larger scale projects.

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