I first encountered the joy that is Gavin Strange during Adobe Max in 2021. I was inspired by Gavin’s talk – he spoke on how he created his success and was hired for his job at Aardman Animations as a designer and director. (Gavin also has his non-Aardman work at JamFactory.) What I found inspiring about Gavin is much of his knowledge of creative creation is self-taught. He urges us to not deny our urges to learn and discover. “The more you open yourself up to new things, the more you’ll crave.”
Do Fly is broken into sections, covering topics that include how work should be enjoyable, how to stand out, and dealing with setbacks. Each section has several topics that are covered in only few pages. (A search of the Do book series shows that they are all of similar layout.) This structure makes Do Fly an easy and quick read. It’s full of heavy topics handled in a fun way to make them feel light.
The book also includes many great quotes, including one for all the perfectionists: “Don’t make it perfect. Make it now.” And this insightful nugget from James Joyce, “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” Many I hadn’t come across before, and others made me laugh like this one from Elbert Hubbard, “Don’t take life too seriously. It’s not like you’ll get out alive!”
Gavin included the above graphic that perfectly explains the Stoic concept of focusing on what you can control. I wish everyone would make their own version of this chart. Because, as Gavin points out,
Your energy is a very important resource, and sometimes you really have to dig to uncover it, so treat it with respect and invest this valuable commodity only in what matters most to you (with the occasional splurge on something totally indulgent, just for fun).
Do Fly will be an annual re-read for me, and I recommend Do Fly to anyone working in any creative field. This book is packed with little tidbits of inspiration and wisdom from a talented, humble, and upbeat professional. Even if you aren’t a creative but need a bit of a mental jump start, give Do Fly a chance. It’s not your typical self-help book!
I also recommend checking out Gavin’s profile on Instagram: @jamfactory