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Francois Bach

Can you tell us something about you and your career?

I’m a Product Designer, meaning I design apps for a living.

For starters, I grew up in Northern Canada, skateboarding and playing music. Skateboarding piqued my interest in art and design, while also training me to see the world differently… to see opportunity where others may not.

Playing music taught me the spirit of DIY, and the idea that you can make something of nothing. Both of these early interests have been massive drivers behind where I’m at in my life and where I’m headed.

It is well known that you have been involved in many projects and won numerous awards. One of these is surely Headspace, the world’s most popular meditation app.

How did you start this project and what did it give you over the years in terms of personal growth?

I started meditating when I was running my own design studio, Bureau. I was self-employed, stressed out, drinking too much, all of that stuff.

Discovering Headspace allowed me to find ease, to lessen that anxiety, and through practice I’m always trying to find a lightness of being. I never imagined I’d work at Headspace. I was living a world away and could only dream of sunny California.

Fast forward a couple years — and I find myself in LA. I bumped into Andy Puddicombe (co-founder and voice of Headspace) outside of a cafe and soon enough I was interviewing for a role there.

I was lucky to join a company that had already found success, and that had an incredible team of smart, talented, creative people.

I’m so grateful for Headspace and what the company has offered to me. I’ve been able to grow as a person and sharpen my skill set as a designer, practicing mindfulness, awareness, kindness…

You mention on your website:

I’m interested in the relationship between mindfulness and creativity: how meditation can empower you to be a stronger designer and more engaged contributor.

How mindfulness become part of your life?

I spent a lot of my early career rushing through things without focus, not always considering how the things I said or did made people feel, and meditation helped change that for me.

Mindfulness has come into my life in many ways… through books, podcasts, etc. but originally I began meditating at a health centre in Sudbury Ontario with a teacher named Don. I used to fall asleep every time I would try but just kept practicing.

What did mindfulness bring to you and your career?

It’s allowed me to find purpose, meaning, and guided me when I’m faced with difficult decisions. It’s helped me cultivate stronger relationships, and be more impactful in my everyday work.

Small gestures like listening intently, getting to know people, being curious of their story, are so important in building bonds, communicating better, designing with intent, and so much more in the workplace.

What is your personal point of view about the correlation between Mindfulness and creativity?

  1. Meditation can help you enter a flow state, where ideas come more freely and naturally.
  2. It builds the skills needed for creative problem solving.
  3. It declutters the mind and lets you settle on a vision or direction more confidently.

What is for you a mindful design process?

Well, I wrote a blog post about this once and you can check it out here 🙂

There are many takeaways, no matter what kind of creative project you’re working on.

What would you recommend to beginners who are about to approach mindfulness to empower creativity?

Approach it gently, with no pressure. Try to be curious and non-judgmental. Dream big but let ideas go. The good ones will return to you.

Try the “Creativity” course on Headspace and also check out David Lynch’s “Catching the Big Fish” book.

What do you plan for the near future?

I’m not sure. As long as I’m growing, I’m happy. I try not to worry too much about the future.

On Twitter: @francois_bach

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