FOCUS + Recent Work // Inspiring Improv


I’m stuck. I’m supposed to be working on a new book design and I’m getting hung up on details that don’t usually stump me. I’ve just spent the last precious hour and a half going in circles about a design decision. I keep telling myself to “Focus”...”Stay focused”…”Make some tea and get focused”. 

All I can think of is this photo that Nissa shot this past summer.

What a wonderfully creative, exciting, invigorating photo shoot that was. We were in Mendocino County at the beach, shooting Nicholas Ball’s book, Inspiring Improv for Lucky Spool . We rented a beach house and made a beautiful mess inside with quilts and pillows and random props all over the place and we had a plan and we stuck to it and we made a bunch of gorgeous photos. 

Imagine that—a plan! I had a plan today and it was to get this book design going, but then I got stuck—unfocused.


After sitting in my pitty-pot for a few minutes I started looking through the photos from the Improv shoot and reminded myself to take a break from what isn’t working. Stretching a different set of muscles for a while will do me some good. 

How about that image with the glass tray in focus? Maybe it’s just that easy to shift focus and to not dwell on what’s not working. Maybe I can remind myself that I do know what I’m doing, it’s just not what I’m focused on right now. Maybe if I let myself be confused and let myself play without a deadline and let myself be tired and rest, it will all come back clear to me. There really is no “maybe”, I’ve been here before so many times before. I know it comes back, I know this is part of the process, it’s just inconvenient.


When the focus comes back it feels really good. I feel settled and feel a quiet satisfaction, much like dusk in a night garden near the ocean.

Kristy // DESIGN

INSPIRING IMPROV is debuting at QuiltCon in February.
Book Design + Photography: Page + Pixel
Publisher: Lucky Spool Media
Author: Nicholas Ball