#018 Puzzle Pieces

The work that never gets shared can never be wrong

Happy Tuesday!

Writing to you in the midst of a lot of things. I was up late last night updating the store for the new PDA collection that is available at 10a PST. We’ve sold out entirely of the last two collections which feels amazing. Here’s an early access link as a treat. 🤫

We’re shooting new products for We’re Not Really Strangers at the studio today, developing creative strategies for several brands, and making a lot of websites as always (check out this new one).

On the brand side we’re recording new podcasts, making new apparel, curating playlists, and telling stories on the journal. I’m tired, but we’re having fun doing it. And I’m learning a lot.

The series of podcasts we’re developing right now is a 6-part, 30 minute episode series designed to help people with questions that we get asked most often. Hopefully they can be encouraging when we release them over the next month or so.

While we’ve been chatting about subjects like Getting Better Over Time, Creating Opportunities, and the Role of Collaboration, we keep circling back to this idea of how important it is to put your work out into the world.

I wrote this small bit called Puzzle Pieces a while back. If you’ve been subscribed to my writing you’ve probably seen this before, but it feels especially relevant now.

Puzzle Pieces

The work that never gets shared can never be wrong. It can never be criticized, doubted or mistaken. It’s easier to work in private. To say, “I made this for myself and don’t care what other people think.”

In best case scenario, the work we share is adding up to something great. It proves growth and puts us miles ahead of our last performance. At worst, our self esteem takes a hit from somebody that doesn’t hold any real weight in the grand scheme of things.

The projects we work on for ourselves or for others are small pieces of a big puzzle. At the end, we get our life’s work.

Some pieces might not fit as perfect or as snug as we hoped, but you can still make out the picture at the very end. And maybe, the final picture is something completely different from what we initially had in mind.

But if we never put the pieces down, whether perfect or imperfect, we wind up with no picture at all.

— Alex

Ideas from me


Every time we tell people about the new thing we’re working on, we’re responsible for delivering upon that version in some capacity. In a reality where things change, don’t go as planned, and sometimes just don’t work out, it’s better to do more and talk less.

The best time to tell people about your latest idea or project is when it's done.


Busyness does not make our lives meaningful.


The most underrated move you can make in your lifetime is to ask for help when you need it. An ego set aside allows us to achieve more and achieve better.

A quote from somebody else

“In order to build, we need to dream, and to be able to dream we need to accept the risk that we may fail, that things may hurt, that life is not and cannot be fair. In those murky waters is where the magic lies, the spirit that has carried our civilization.”

— Unknown

Links worth sharing

🖤 PDA Collection 03 is live at 10a PST today. Again, here is early access just for you.

🦠 LA is the epicenter of the pandemic

What Can Graphic Design Learn From Poetics and World-Building?

🎧 This specific NTS Radio Mix

🏢 New website by us at MOUTHWASH Studio!

Thanks for another week!

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