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Space and Time
When I announced my decision to leave my full-time art director position to start my own design practice, I was asked why. I paused for a moment. Then I said the words "space and time." I don't think I realized how important those words would be. The concept of space and time started off pretty simple — I needed to slow down for a moment. The plan was to start a studio that generated enough income to sustain my life — no employees, no physical space, no overhead. The lighter I kept things, the more space and time I'd have. To be honest, the plan has been working great. I've had 15+ months of space and time and have taken advantage of everything second of it. There's been ups and downs of course, but through that came clarity.

Intangible to Tangible
I’m an active Headspace user. One of my recent meditations began describing anxiety as an emotional idea that is grounded in physicality. A physical sensation becomes an emotion. An emotion becomes a thought. The thought becomes the specific content of that thought. What was an intangible feeling becomes tangible.

That same concept can be applied to my journey of figuring out what I really meant by “space and time.” What was an intangible idea has now become a very tangible foundation for Blank Studio. To lean into the architecture metaphor — now that the foundation is laid, the framework can be built. I view the framework as our values, which leads me to where I’m currently at.

Values-Led Studio
Over the past two months, I’ve been thinking a lot about growth and how I want to define that for Blank Studio. One thing was very clear — the growth needs to be led by a set of values. And if we want to be values-led, these values need to be honest and crystal clear. Through these newsletters, I’ll share our progress as we develop these. They’re all emotional ideas right now that we’re working on turning into very tangible and clear principles.

I can tell you right now that one of them is around the idea of detachment. This concept was what the name Blank was born from. I look forward to sharing more about this in the next newsletter.

Last Note — Thank You!
Thank you for subscribing and reading the first Wander Wonder! I’m not certain on the frequency of these, but I’m aiming for weekly or every two weeks. I’d really love to continue dialogue around the content, so if something strikes you, please reach out! 
Random Notes

We are wrapping up a client project that I’m very excited to share (soon) for several reasons. One of those reasons being we worked with illustrator Julia Dufossé. I’ve been an admirer of her work for some time.

Chad Lawson’s new album, You Finally Knew, has been on constant play for the past couple weeks while we work.

That album was recommended by Holly Howard in one of her recent newsletters. I’ve been a subscriber of her newsletters for a while now and Wander Wonder was highly inspired by the thoughtful work she sends out every week.
Wander Wonder is a newsletter where I intend to be open and thoughtful on my journey as a business owner, creative director, and human being. Whether you want to start a discussion about something I wrote about or just have a general comment on a topic, I'd love to hear from you. Thanks for subscribing and reading. ✌
- Mike Duesenberg, Creative Director and Founder of Blank Studio