The Drawing Board is back! Well, to be honest, we never really left but we did take a year-long break from blogging, vlogging and social media for many good reasons.

What have we been up to?

We have been busy working! Throughout the year,  we have continued to serve clients, letting some old friends go and making some new ones! We have also continued to serve our communities through our advocacy and educational work.

We have been busy convocating! The owner and editor-in-chief of The Drawing Board, Nakita Valerio, finished her Masters degree in history at the University of Alberta last year so believe it or not, we were busy thesising, defending and graduating!

We have been busy researching! In addition to regular work for The Drawing Board, Nakita also undertook a research fellowship on anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim racism in Canada with the Tessellate Institute! Keep your eyes peeled for the resulting publications which should be out any day now!

We have been busy learning the Truth! While we have been off, two of our staff writers took the time to read all six volumes of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Reports. We encourage everyone to do the same.

We have been busy birthing! In addition to keeping new clients happy and getting her parchment, Nakita also went through an incredible (and difficult) 9 months of pregnancy which ended in a spectacular birth. We welcome Baby Sujood to The Drawing Board family!

We have been busy recruiting! In addition to our fabulous team members and contributors of old, Elisabeth and Erin, we have also added another fabulous femme to The Drawing Board team, just in time for our brand relaunch! We will give Olga a proper welcome shortly!

We have been busy learning how to center accessibility! We have spent some time learning about how to make our vlogs more accessible with simple tools like transcriptions and Closed Captioning. We hope to apply what we have learned to everything we are doing!

We have been preparing to relaunch! We have been hard at work reconfiguring our website to better reflect the work that we do for you!

The Drawing Board is delighted to relaunch our website and our social media after much anticipation!

The new site clearly outlines the philosophy behind our company and the two streams of services we now offer: corporate/non-profit and academics/writers. Our main goal with our redevelopment was to offer as sleek and as simple a design as possible to reflect the professionalism of our company, center accessibility and to let our services speak for themselves in the manner we know best: through good, clean writing.

In addition to rebuilding the design and layout of our website, we are also committed to reinvigorating our blog, Youtube channel, Facebook feed and have finally joined the Instagram revolution. Be sure to follow us on all platforms and subscribe to our Youtube to keep up with us!

This blog was written for Custom Blinds by Design and is an example of some of the blogs that The Drawing Board can do you for.

il_340x270.571444892_4yifIt might seem like a no-brainer that there are whole industries devoted to home décor and that we, as the masses, partake in such an activity out of the common sense desire to make our homes look great. But it is not only the aesthetic qualities of home décor that satisfy some inner anxiety about making things look good. Our homes also represent an extension of our identity and with the rise of individualism in the last century, our homes have come to express that individuality as something external to us, but still an intrinsic part of us. Interestingly, with the dramatic effect that our spaces and places exert over us, this effect becomes reciprocal. In other words, not only do our homes become expressions of us, but our identity also becomes an expression of our home: where it is located, in what community, what style of home it is, how we decorate it and what other structural elements are taken into account for the places we live.

According to environmental psychologist Susan Clayton, our homes are part of our self-definition which is why, even though it appears to have very little value, we water our lawns and decorate our living rooms. They are part of how we exhibit ourselves to the public world and become representative of us in our absence.

However, in this day and age, many people have lived in much more than one place and travel is at an all-time high in terms of history. So how does all of this free movement and travel affect how we not only define our homes, but in decorating them, how we define ourselves?

Interestingly, most Western academic thought on the subject continues to put forth the idea that even if the places change, the individual remains the same. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. In adapting to new places and making new places feel like our homes, we unconsciously shape a new part of our fluid identities. Where you choose to live could be a matter of wanting to show your uniqueness, beyond the comfort of just having a place to settle. Especially in the case of people who develop a real flare for décor, or who alternate the look of their homes on a regular basis, this can be an exercise in self-development that has real implications in shaping who they are over time. For many other people in non-Western parts of the world, the home is not a place you live, where you store artifacts that reflect your individuality. Home is not where the heart is: rather, the home is who you are, it is the heart.

Other factors that influence the level to which we recognize how our homes shape us and reflect us include economy – the ability of one person to express themselves through a place to the capacity that they desire depends on their income and, in a way, having to compromise due to funding issues can lead to new décor as well as personal discoveries about the self.

An article by Toby Yull stated that the act of decorating our homes and creating a sense of self through the home is, first of all, an act of creation, of creativity. It is an attempt to bring a sense of order and classification into our lives in the midst of what can be an extremely chaotic world. Even more important is the social aspect of this creative work: the act of sharing it with others. Our homes are not isolated and insular. Ultimately, when we feel comfortable with how our homes look and the level to which it represents ourselves, we want to share that space with others and the act of home décor becomes a social necessity and a bridge for communication.

Finally, place holds memory and helps to shape it. When we look at old pictures and we see decorative cues that hold a key to our past, we unlock parts of ourselves that are held in the recesses of our mind and within the place itself. We often underestimate the power of decoration as a way to shape our memories of our lives and we often confuse decoration with ornamentation. For many, the holidays are a time when the home changes and reinvigorates with memories of the past and community rituals. The placement of a big chair by the window flooded with sunlight can help to reminisce about the many books read there and all of the adventures they took you on. The addition of a crib in an office that became a nursery is a rite of passage in itself and this, from a simple change in furniture, but holding such important meaning!

As Yull put it, “Whether the walls are purple or tan, I always remember that the walls are only backgrounds for the people who will live in the rooms, for the evidence of their passions and collections, and for the faces of their friends.”