The planet is on fire and I want to make buttercream roses

It’s so beautiful what we humans are capable of. We can envision the future (both the good and the bad) and our creativity knows no bounds. I was recently reading about the latest report on climate change, accompanied by photos of wildfires on the west coast. At the same time, I’ve been totally infatuated with the creative potential of buttercream frosting. (I mean, check out this cake.) Holding these two disparate poles feels pretty incredible.

My clients are working on (as I see it) the most important and pressing issues facing our world today. Dismantling systemic racism, mitigating the catastrophic effects of climate change, shifting capital away from the powerful. It’s impossible to do this type of social justice and systems change work without taking it seriously. Without understanding the pain that the unmet needs produce. Without feeling the weight of all that is stacked against this progress.

And yet. Every day there is laughter and joy. As someone working as a creative strategist, I try to balance these emotions. Yes, we are creating an infographic about global child labor, but damn it’s going to be a beautiful infographic! When I design branding workshops for organizations, I prioritize fun and creativity. In fact, I don’t believe these things need to be held separately, which would imply that they don’t relate to each other. I believe that the way we will move through these daunting issues is using our natural gooey feelings: love, lightness, humor and connection. And buttercream frosting.