My guest today is Hida Behzadi. While she is a graphic designer by trade, she’s also worked as a creative director, a UX strategist, a design lecturer, and continues to work as an art instructor.
In addition to her design acumen, Hida is an accomplished fine artist whose beautiful work possesses remarkable emotional and visual depth. And as I think you’ll hear over the course of our 80-minute conversation ( ! ), she approaches all things with a wonderful, positive curiosity, passion and great care.
For Hida, any job that is closer to design, to service, to culture and to helping humanity is an ideal job. I couldn't agree more.
If you enjoyed this episode, please check out our good friend and sponsor, Stache Studio — a streetwear clothing brand focusing on quality products with a positive message, inspired by the resilience to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome.
The Stache mantra is that even in the darkest times, there is a light revealing prosperity; find your light and let it guide you through the darkness. Visit https://www.stache.studio/ to check out their incredibly well-designed products and learn more!
Joe Natoli: 0:08
Hello and welcome to making UX work. I'm Joe Natoli. Our focus here is on folks like you doing the tough, often unglamorous work of UX In the real world. My guests share their struggles, their successes in their journey to and through the trenches of product design, development and, of course, user experience.
Joe Natoli: 0:29
Before we get into it, I'd like to give a quick shout out to our sponsor Stache Studio, a streetwear clothing brand focused on quality products with a positive message, inspired by the resilience to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome, something obviously very close to my heart, for those of you that know me. The Stache mantra is that even in the darkest times, there is a light, revealing prosperity. Find your light. Let it guide you through the darkness. Visit stache.studio to check out their incredibly well designed products and learn more.
Joe Natoli: 1:03
My guest today is Hida Behzadi. While she is a graphic designer by trade, she has also worked as a creative director, a U X strategist, a design lecturer, and she continues to work as an art instructor. And in addition to her design acumen, Hida is an accomplished, fine artist whose work possesses remarkable emotional and visual depth. And as I think you'll hear, she approaches all things with a wonderful positive curiosity, passion and great care. For Hida, any job that is closer to design, to service, to culture and to helping humanity is an ideal job. Here's my conversation with Hida Behzadi on making UX work.
Joe Natoli: 1:45
So Hida, how are you?
Hida Behdazi: 1:46
I'm good. Thank you so much. Our ijo
Joe Natoli: 1:49
I'm very good. I often complained, but I shouldn't way. We're just talking a minute ago, actually about being busy and learning to take breaks and and you said a few interesting things about that and just in terms of how we're all sort of stuck in front of computers, Yeah, today I want to talk a little bit more about that. It's kind of a conundrum, right where we're sort of physically, physiologically psychologically, probably emotionally, we're not really built to do what we're sort of forced to do all day with the advent of digital technology, not just our jobs, right, but like we're talking about social media as well the fact that you're constantly in front of screen all day. I mean, how do you reconcile that with or find balance between that and I don't know, living.
Hida Behdazi: 2:41
Are you asking me? Yeah. Um I want the secret. So that the first the first on straightforward and most honest question is I struggle. I struggled with that, um which is somewhat what? The top of part of the topic That you send me a note about initial iwas. I try to catch myself and I'm too connected because I realize all of a sudden Oh, my God, I'm swimming in this virtual world and I'm enjoying it when I do that, obviously, because probably on one of the many, many, many people in the world that are addicted now for certain reason, we have to be addicted to this thing. So But I try to catch myself and understand. Oh, my God, how many other things in the analog word have I not done? When I was connected and I try to intentionally put the phone down so you would see once in a while At the moment, I'm more Ah, more active and instagram. If you want to talk about social media and I'm a very visual person, obviously, because I'm all about design and art and stuff like that. And I actually just put more of my art on my instagram because I feel that something that is more tangible for people then maybe even more healing sometime, because I have that aspect to my to my work, as I want people to be happier, to see color things like that. But
Joe Natoli: 4:08
yeah, yeah, and I would agree with that. Seeing as someone who has seen a lot of your work and is absolutely in love with it, I think that's very true. I think that emotional aspect and he even the healing aspect that you're talking about in the positivity, the human nest, humanity, whatever you wanna call it, I think, really, really comes through in your work. So I think that's a that's a good thing.
Hida Behdazi: 4:29
Thank you. Thank you for that. So I tried to, but even with that, I try to once in a while just disconnect and tell myself that what you need to disconnect because you have something more important, like today you'll have to talk to Joe. You just disconnect from now or for a week. Or like, I feel that, um I get Malays. I could get a little bit sick if I'm looking too much. If I'm doing too much and then I intentionally put it aside. But it is a continuous a struggle because I am not a very, um I'm not as good as, like, some business people that are really strict on their hours and time on this stuff like that. So I try
Joe Natoli: 5:11
me either I should be. But I'm not. I just I've never been that person. I'm you know, I guess I'm right Brain person as well. I mean, I was an artist and a musician before it was anything. So there's sort of this I don't know if you feel is, but I sort of have this natural resistance to too much structure. It's almost like I can't
Hida Behdazi: 5:31
funk. I love to have a structure. It's just that maybe I don't know how to ward it. Maybe what you said is correct. It says, if something in my brain resists against it, I try. I do try and I sometimes physical structures easier for me. So I start with that, like Marie con doing thing you know. So if I can, um if I can organize things are grouped them. If my physical surrounding is calmer, then therefore I am doing better. I'm more organized. I also try to inject certain things that is a scheduled by other people into my into my schedule. That kind of keeps me on my toes to be more organized with my time. So, for example, I take gym class is not just going to the gym doing things, so that puts in a structure on my schedule. So I kind of become bound to Okay, This day at this time, I need to be at the gym. Interesting. So that that that helps me to organize the rest of my life around things that are scheduled already. You know, if that makes any sense,
Joe Natoli: 6:42
it does. I mean, I am sitting here thinking, I wish that worked for me because I've tried. It's been like with exercising in particular, right? I've tried taking classes. I've done yoga in the past, which I love, all right. It's not like I dislike any of these things. Something happens. We even when something on the schedule it's like I'm that much more resistant to it for something. I don't know why.
Hida Behdazi: 7:03
Yeah, I think every person needs to get to know themselves, but all that, all of the things that I said I didn't I didn't say any of those to tell you that I'm a really organized person. No, no, no. That's what I said. All of those to tell you that I got I struggled to be organized because the rest of the world it seems, at least it seems to me the people who are let's call them more successful are more organized.
Joe Natoli: 7:32
I don't think that's true. I think I think that's appearances
Hida Behdazi: 7:36
that that, too as well, maybe,
Joe Natoli: 7:38
I mean, I don't know. Maybe I should hardly I
Hida Behdazi: 7:40
think partly. But as I coming to like I'm getting as I age and I get older and older, I understand that if I have a, um, better schedule for my sleep, for example, then I do better if I if I am sticking to it or if I have even for eating, like if I have a schedule for not not time wise. But I know exactly that I have everything prepared, you know, if things are prepared Let's call it this way. If I'm prepared for the situations, I tackle things easier, but that needs a little bit of organisation for you to be prepared for something. So any time I'm not prepared, I get a stressed. I fall behind. I do things, you know differently. So anyways, right,
Joe Natoli: 8:27
do you have trying to
Hida Behdazi: 8:27
figure it out?
Joe Natoli: 8:28
Yeah. Do you have any particular routines that you do? Is there anything that you do on a daily basis to sort of help yourself stay that way? And the reason I ask is because I mean, just from outward appearances, I mean to me, you always have a lot going on. You're you seem to be very prolific number one in your in your artwork where you're constantly creating, At least that's the way it seems. I mean, you're you're lecturing your teaching courses. Um, you know, you've worked your working as a creative director. Um, you've got gallery showings here and there. I know. What do you do on a daily or weekly basis to try and to try and not all not just keep all that organized, but to make sure that it happens
Hida Behdazi: 9:08
a very good question and maybe one that actually, if other people listen that might have similar struggled to all of us. To you, To me. Ah, part of this. As you said, his appearance. What you see out there is the appearance. So maybe one of the main things that is happening is I make sure that I haven't have a continuous flow of stuff coming onto social media to instagram. Right? And part of those are not from today. Sometimes I get these messages from people that said, Oh, are you in Montreal right now or are you in Chicago? So we'll get comfy. Where are you? How many shows are you goingto I'm jealous of you? Actually, no, I'm not in Chicago, but I waas like, say, maybe a month ago or six months ago, and I produced so much material than I'm under move like I take continuously take pictures, which is too much like I have about 30,000. Picture's probably on my phone today. Yes, it's a scary I I do too much that I don't have time to read it out. Even so, I worry for myself what happens next. You know,
Joe Natoli: 10:17
make sure you back up.
Hida Behdazi: 10:18
Oh, my hope is that some there in, In in Arizona, Apple is doing that or something. I don't know. Somebody's back into drugs on. So part of what you see is really the appearance. Um and so I have been. No, I actually took a break from work since start of September and the school year start started. So if you might from outside, think that I am doing a lot of creative direction and I'm doing you X and I'm doing this in reality, it's just the appearance, because how would you know the rest of it? You
Joe Natoli: 10:53
know it's true.
Hida Behdazi: 10:54
Yeah, only if you talk to me one on one, then you would understand. Okay, Actually, she's not doing, I can tell you that I'm continues to keeping myself busy, that's for sure, But what am I keeping myself busy is a different question. So it's not necessarily creative direction and this and that, you know, so of sometimes I needed downtime, so I had been taking. I have been taking that down time since September, taking courses instead and connecting more of in my friends and tightening my circle of support around me and attending to my veil nous on exercise and and all of that because I feel that I need to regroup. I need to understand what my next move for job is. I have to be hold before I can give anymore. Sure, So that's Ah, that's the reality of it. So it looks like everything is bad, understand? Perfect from outside. But there is a whole lot of struggle in everybody's life and in mind, too.
Joe Natoli: 11:56
I certainly I certainly believe that. I mean, do you? This series is going to seem like an obvious question, but I'm gonna ask it anyway, please. Do you think it's a little dangerous that that's sort of false sense of of having it all together? They gets projected, particularly on social media, where people sort of think that, you know, you're you're in complete command of your life and you're accomplishing all these things, and then they start to feel bad about themselves. Well, why can't I do that and get that level a cz Well, and I say that because I spend a portion of every week responding to people you know, whether it's direct messages or e mail. Oh, are something sort of patiently explaining like, Look, it's it's not all perfect and ordered and easy and simple. You know, a lot of this is hard. There are a lot of bumps in these roads. It's not what it appears to be. As you just said, it's not this perfect realm where my life just sort of sales by and and all this stuff magically takes care of itself. It doesn't work that way. But what do you think? It's dangerous that were sort of living in this time, at least where it appears that hey, your life should be simple. Why isn't it must be your You know
Hida Behdazi: 13:11
what? Why don't you? Perfect. Yeah.
Joe Natoli: 13:13
Does it feel that
Hida Behdazi: 13:14
way? I think you are right. It is dangerous. And it quickly makes me to think that I have to be on the guilty seat partly for something like that. Because as much as I want to be aware that there seemed to be this competition for, um, it's like in marketing, right? We're we're having We are all having your marketing front. Yeah, If I want to look at some of the giants and doing that, they like you saw a post from about Andy Warhol the other day on my feet that they have learned to be an artist and a commercial artist and a designer and whatever. But the front is very glamorous, you know? So, yeah, we I think it's dangerous because we're all competing. We're all competing like how many people are on Instagram. I don't have the survey for two to tell you how many they are, but But I did something as I said, like I was trying to learn and fill the gaps that I felt in my knowledge and skills since the start of September. And couple of really great classes that I've been sitting in are about technology and big tech and platform capitalism. And how the CA modifying of Web or Internet so to just understand what is happening. I think it's so important for all of us because I was doing all of these and I thought, I know some things like, I'm also listening to something inaudible about dark Web, simultaneously listening to Harari about the book called SAPIENs of the Past and Present of Future, like the history of human being Ever, How did we get to Larry God so all of these things that I said are teaching me a little bit about How did we get to this? I don't want to call it a bad word, but maybe a mess. So we have created for ourselves to be and as much as I am in the digital war than I want to be in this world and work to make it a better place for human, Um, for people. So I still believe that you're right, It's dangerous. You're competing all of us, because we're you have this fear of falling behind, you know? But what happens if I fall behind? How do I make my money? Do people hire me again? Or all of that is so, so worrisome for all of us that will keep. I think they keep putting this front on. So maybe one word. Yes, I think it's dangerous for me, too now for the for them, for this emotional and psychological bitterness for all of us. Maybe we should once in a while, that really step back can see what's happening. Yeah,
Joe Natoli: 16:05
which I think is hard. I think it's hard, it's it's your sort of so wrapped up in it from minute to minute. It's sort of hard to step back and take a look at it and see it for what it is. But I've been this year it towards the end of last year and this year in particular. One of the things that's constantly on my mind is this idea that you have to be perfect. And I think that's because I get this question so often at conferences online, other word where I feel like there's this collective growing unease and from for purposes of this conversation among people who are you? Exercise designers are this idea that at a certain age okay or by a certain point in your career that you have to have accomplished this or this or this, you have to have this knowledge or you have to know how to use these tools, right? I've been talking to older folks in the last two days. We're trying to get back into the workforce and going into U X, and they're like, I don't even I don't feel like I have a shot at all, because I can't learn all these new tools and stuff in this thing that I'm like it's killing me. I I'm I feel like I want to stand on the mountain and scream, Take a step back. Forget about this, this pressure wherever it's coming from. Forget about it. Ignore it, Pretend it doesn't exist. Leverage what you've got. Leverage. Everything that's brought you to this point in your life and just put it forward, and that's it. And it it really bothers me that there are all these messages to the contrary, you know, particularly from from people who were out when I was on this soapbox. But put it from people who are industry experts in particular, who I feel like in some cases are ratcheting up that pressure. And I think it's It's not only inaccurate, it's grossly unfair.
Hida Behdazi: 17:53
Does true. I do agree with you, and you have been one of the people that I actually wants to know when I have the chance to listen to you, whether it's to read on Facebook or to listen on a podcast, or to go to you Tommy courses that you have of any in any shape or form and I listen to you. There are some basic pillars in what you say that that actually brings me back like, makes me feel okay. That's okay. Just just calm down. Take your breath. See, Jackson, That's
Joe Natoli: 18:26
just good to hear. I hope so. That's that's kind of my goal. You know,
Hida Behdazi: 18:30
You know, there's something that I never forget like, and it's easy mantra to have, but you say design is design is design I never got can hear your voice in my head. So at any time I'm caught somewhere. I tell you something about this. It reminds me of something I I started my journey with fine arts with drawing and painting and drawing became the staple of my work because drawing is so, I feel it's much more pure than then painting drugs. You see everything naked in drawing. There's not much to hide behind s. So I had a really good drawing teacher's on some, like their prominent in my life, one of them, especially so any time in the designer school that I would fall short. This is not something that everybody would know, but I would go back to my drawing his skill. I would pull from that and I I would think How would I solve this with my drawing skills, you know, or sometimes I would think how it Picasso think at this moment, so to go back. And I think some of the basic pillars that you have are always going to come back to help you. So drawing always saved me, like whether I'm drawing like designing a new logo. Today I teach at a school I t like. Last night I was teaching her to the kids how to do their monograms, which is like a logo. So drawing has been serving me for many, many, many, many years, and it's not going away any soon. It was like what you said. You learned the basics of design. That's that's that keeps coming back to save you. And the moment I have forgotten it when I have been in work outside in the industry, like it hasn't in a corporation or someone I was working the moment I forgot my essence, which is all what I have learned. The fear took over me and I I I don't know what I'm doing. I really don't know what I'm doing. And I had to step back or out
Joe Natoli: 20:33
of that. Yeah, that feeling I know that feeling? Yeah, yeah, and that's I think that's something that is missing. I'm going to sound old. You're not for younger, younger generations in particular. I think that you just mentioned drawing okay, and that's what I'm talking about. I think that is missing from a huge gap in design and what's not become user experience education. Putting pen on paper is not done nearly enough or often enough or taught as a critical component of how to think how to get your brain moving in. These programs are giving an example. There's an exercise that I teach him one of my courses, and I got the same question this morning from a student, and I swear to you in the last two years that this Lauren actually probably 3 to 5 years his courses bill in line. I cannot even list the number of times someone has said what told you used to do this, and I'm like, there's no tool, it's hits. I just happen to represent it, you know, in visual slide form. But you do this on a whiteboard. You do with a marker. You do with a pen and paper. There's no software required to think,
Hida Behdazi: 21:50
put a thinking, but yeah, and and it
Joe Natoli: 21:52
bothers me, and I think I'm not picking on any of those people. Honest. I say that because I feel like they're so ingrained to lean towards technology and lean towards tools and lean towards Okay, But what I used to do that that that they're sort of stuck, right? They don't They don't have the tools in some way to step back and say All right, well, let me just pen and paper figure this out.
Hida Behdazi: 22:19
Yeah, E Don't you think that might be the byproduct of for the lack of better word? I'm gonna call it, call it a system the system that wants you to buy into the to the fact that just like fast fashion, fast food, fast everything and having choices as well. Goto, I love shampoo. I always say you don't, especially when you're new to something like I came from Iran to Canada. And yes, we do have options if I go back now, after so many years to run its resembling The situation resembles what we have here because the whole world is kind of resembling each other anymore. But you go toe. I love shampoo and there's so many different things in the box, and you have no idea which one will do what on all of them are saying your hidden here is gonna be full and shiny and straight and I don't know, like whatever it says. So it's like all these courses that are online and create this illusion off quickly. You can become a design. Think yes or quickly. You're going to become a critical thing. Whatever critical thinking, design, thinking all the buzz words as well. So don't you think it's so easy for people to think if I buy into? And I'm not saying anything bad about any software company or so no ex, you know? Yeah. So I've become overnight, and I'm saying this and I have that illusion myself because I'm Yes, I'm new, like I'm an older generation. But I'm still buying into this whole thing, partly partly because I'm I'm grown analog and I have done everything by hand. And then I had to. A soon as I came out of the university, there was no choice. You had to do everything by computer, even though we have done everything by hand before. So I think that the younger generation, or basically everybody, is media is so strong. That doesn't give you my choice. Unless if you really cut yourself off for a little little bit on their to do that
Joe Natoli: 24:32
Yeah, yeah, I think that's right. I think that's right. And I've experienced this as well in a lot of my courses, where people want more practical examples, right? They want Maur tools, they want more processes. They want Maur silver bullets in a way, you know, and I find myself explaining a lot while that stuff is gonna help you. Number one. That ground's been covered, you know, a 1,000,000 ways to Sunday. There are people out there teaching those tools who are better at it than I will ever be s. So there's no reason for me to do it. Number one, Um, I'm not nearly as well versed as as those folks aren't. But the second thing is, I don't believe that any of that stuff is a critical inch to your success or your career or to your effectiveness in whatever job that you have. It's it's what you do with what's between your ears I sound like a broken record because I say this every five minutes. It feels like it's like chemically shay with me. Um,
Hida Behdazi: 25:31
how you think Basically, it's how you sort of problems. It's
Joe Natoli: 25:35
true if you don't have that part, if you can't step back and use that part in access, what you're good at, which I think creative people have a natural ability to do that. And I think if you can't step back and access it, you get yourself into trouble worth. And it's kind of what you described right. You feel this sort of creeping Malays in a way where you just feel stuck. You're not getting any words like swimming in mud. Mmm. And you can't figure out why. And it's like, Well, that's when it's time to step away from the screen and step away from all things digital and tools and processes and methods and agile and lean and scrum and everything else and man, just take a step back and think about what's going on. What's the problem? What can I do about it? Right? What's the very next thing?
Hida Behdazi: 26:24
Eso basically let me just see if I can rephrase what you said, And see if I'm correct on. So you do believe. And I do believe that is that I just want to repeat it so that for us who take your role of teacher sometime, it's so important to to have the insight that we need to teach our students thinking the thinking process, not the making, necessarily, because that part they can they they're our resource is, for example, adobe Creative cloud. Amazing resource is right now sure to teach you themselves on Linda and you, Demi and skill share everybody else out there is gonna and YouTube fri, you know, so you can go all of these resources on learned how to work with illustrator, a photo shop or and whatever you name it or for u ex reasons to bid. I don't a sketch or a CZ. You're
Joe Natoli: 27:23
sure? Sure, sure.
Hida Behdazi: 27:25
But what I learned on it took a long time to learn. This is how do I become creative? What is the process of creativity? What is the process of problem solving? How do I break this down so that I can solve it easier and in a systematic way? And I have learned some of these in designer school. Then we've worked with hand. And then I had to I think one way of learning something really good is to teach it absolutely, 20 times. Absolutely. Yeah, Or do a lecture on it. And
Joe Natoli: 28:01
I read that somewhere recently where somebody said, You know, people think teaching is all about expertise. Teaching is also about learning. The best way to learn something is to teach it. Oh,
Hida Behdazi: 28:10
God, yes. You can't imagine I have to. I was talking to some of my loved ones recently, my brother in particular, and and he was asking, So do you have to do a lot of work being that you have been teaching the same course for a years or so now? And I said, Believe it or not, I kind of have to because I have just bugging me that I have to keep tweaking because I never I am happy that everything that I have done and I think I need to be better this needs to be better. This is falling short, plus that the industry keeps changing as well. But as I learned every term from the students from my mistakes, I learned I learned I read more. I look more I, you know, watched it. Experts in the industry, you know, are the ones that are ahead of me. Basically, let's call it up and I I change it, you know? So, yeah, it's a continuous learning when you're teaching to me, that's what it husband.
Joe Natoli: 29:09
So that that drive that need to constantly improve, to change, to revise, to be better, right in some way. Is that something that you feel you have cultivated over time? Or is that something that you were sort of born with? That motivation that need,
Hida Behdazi: 29:32
um if I want to tell you the truth, I believe I just Then this doesn't help anybody. Probably. But I believe a good extent. I have been born with this, and it is It has been manifesting itself in different parts of my life. But But then I there are times that I'm all of a sudden falling short and I feel down. And then I remember that feeling like I go back and I say, remember that Aren't sure that you put on on you didn't believe that you can do it. And you did it like I'm not saying all of those phrases. I just I'm trying to describe it here. How do I go back? I was listening to Joe Dispenser that probably a lot of people know his name, but if they don't know, they can easily find him. He was saying that you become what you think. So I try to repeat that experience in my brain because you can fool your brain, I believe, And you can tell it Remember that high that you had? You know, you go back and replay that remake that you know, you can do it. So I've become my own cheerleader. Um earlier, we were talking about the gym, a schedule and stuff like that. So I literally sometimes say, You have to kick yourself in the butt and go, You gotta go. It's like 7 30 at night. There is a great lifting class, so you gotta go, even if it's like minus 10 degrees outside. And it's windy and it's drizzling and it's Oh, I don't want to get out of us. You gotta go, you know? And I don't have a car. Let me tell you this much as well. I have to walk. It's not too hard. It's not too far too good. But I'm not. One of those that sits in the car doesn't see the rain or snow and stuff like that and go, I I go out and I get a little bit of like When I step out of the house, I feel there's air and I'm so happy that I came on. When I come out of that class at the end, I say I did it. I did that one hour said your brain can remember that high. You know that, that good feeling. So for anybody who doesn't have that innate curiosity or drive, maybe they can't go back to their mind to see When was it that that curiosity is served them and made them feel really good or that achievement and try to replay that? And then maybe that helps to come back to a place that you want it you want to try? If you got we want to go forward. You know you didn't come this. Somebody said something really nice the other day, said you didn't come this far to stop here, you know?
Joe Natoli: 32:11
Yeah, Yeah, yeah. I agree with all that I agree with that, and it makes it makes perfect sense just because by way of personal relation, it's something that I do when I'm exhausted when I'm burnt, like when I fly, I have noticed at this point jet lag is a lot harder than it used to be right, which I guess you get a little bit older and your body sort of changes a little bit. But a lot of times, I mean, I had a lot of says last year in particular was traveling a lot where I was just done. I mean, my body and my brain were just shot, and I called it Method acting. It's It's kind of like You remember the last time that you felt really good, insane and well rested and sharp, and and you act like that. It's pretty soon and pretty soon what happens is you sort of become that in a way, you know, I mean that the fog lifts your body, feels better. Your brain feels like it's it's firing on all cylinders again, so I totally get your point. I think that's I think it's really accurate and I think that part of it aside from being born with, you know, certain intrinsic motivation. I think that part of it is something that can be learned and exercised and, um, and built and reinforced.
Hida Behdazi: 33:32
I do believe so, too. So tell me when When you said that you try to do that method acting. But you you do that immediately when you're really tired, or do you really replenish a little bit? And then you go back to that stage where you can do better. So how do you go about it?
Joe Natoli: 33:52
I'll be honest with you. I do the former more than I do the ladder. I don't. I'm very bad. I'm gonna admit this out loud. I'm very bad at doing things that are probably beneficial to my to my physical health, my emotional health, my mental health. In that, um I don't stop. I'm the person who, as much as I know I should get up and move and go do something else, especially when I'm feeling stuck. My natural tendency and this has gotten better with age, but it's still I still haven't beat it. My thing is all. Sit there and stare at it and try and force it toe work until I'm until I'm stressed and frustrated and beets and ah, you know and then your demotivated. At that point, that's a really bad habit of mine. I don't go to the gym even though it makes me feel better as often as I should. Some weeks, it's three days. Some days it's one day, Uh, some days it's been four occasionally, but a lot of times it's like once, and there's no excuse. There's no reason it's not that I don't have time is not that I can't make time. It's this weird stubbornness of like, Well, I got you know, I'm gonna push through this stuff and just, like, make it work. I don't know what that is. It's a very unforgiving with myself. I think it's part of the problem.
Hida Behdazi: 35:14
I'm going to make you guess. Here, I'm going to make a guess that you're you are busy and responsible person like you have responsibilities to fulfill, which means you can't drop everything and go do something that you love to do. I
Joe Natoli: 35:29
do, and I don't. I do, and I don't. Okay, I have a lot more free time on and I have a lot more control over the things that I do in the things that I take on then then maybe a parent. I'm really fortunate. Okay, in that respect, what I think and I think what I'm saying overall is that I don't really fully take advantage of the freedom that I have of the control that I have, because I insist that will know. I'm gonna sit here and stare at the screen for another two hours and make these words appear, you know, or make this this course curriculum right itself, or or, you know, write the script for this video or respond to the student questions or whatever it is, there's time enough for all that. Okay, but there's a point of diminishing return where you realize that you've expended a lot of energy and you haven't done anything to put anything back. Uh, all right. And I really don't do enough of that, and that's nobody's fault. But mine.
Hida Behdazi: 36:29
I guess that the time comes experience as well. So you probably even you're a Vera. But that isn't that the most important part of every change that you're actually aware of what's happening? Yeah, so? So that's the first step.
Joe Natoli: 36:43
So by the time I'm 55 I'll actually do something
Hida Behdazi: 36:45
about be back. You know, human life. Expense expectancy is gone, so so that you still have a lot of times. You know, that
Joe Natoli: 36:57
was so much better about all this. Now there
Hida Behdazi: 36:59
you go. Like I actually have taught of going I But one of the things I love, it's very un unrelated. Is psychology. Well, the only thing I've done so far is like reading pop psychology or listening to pop psychology. But I keep thinking in my mind like maybe I should go study psychology, like even if it's the two year like graduate degree of something interesting. Maybe I'm I felt I'm good at talking to people and keep conversing. And then I'm very interested to know what's going on in their minds in their life and then maybe cheer leading down a little bit at some point if we can. So that is what I tried to do, sometimes to social media, even if when I'm when I'm scared myself when I or I feel that I haven't done what I had to do or like, you know, all of those negative feelings that come to you. I still try to. I mean, I learned from learning and from other people from reading and stuff to try to put a positive spin until it becomes positive. Louise Hay would say, Fake it until you make it, like, fake this positive feeling until he becomes your reality. Yeah, you know, So maybe I should go to psychology and then share other people up a little bit. I think
Joe Natoli: 38:19
you already do that. I think you already do that. Um, I've always felt that that's that's part of my responsibility as well. To do that. I mean, I think the older I get especially you become more clear about about what matters most to you, right where your value is, what you want to spend your time doing. And in particular, a podcast interview I did last year with a good friend of mine. It has been my lawyer for a 1,000,000 years, but he's just a healthy human being. Uh, Eliot wagon time is his name, and he has this thing is called. So here's my story, and he just invites guests. T tell a story, right to start with a story, something you felt was important, informative or relevant to your life. And we're just winging it right. And I tell the story about how when I was in high school and I wanted to do something artistic and creative, and I grew up in a small town, my high school guidance counselor looked at me and said, Well, your best bet is probably to join the Army. Like, in other words, you're a dreamer artist for, like, losers and dreamers and the world isn't like that and, you know, very small, narrow minded mentality. And I kind of told him to go to hell and, uh, and chose graphic design out of the catalogue is it sounded close, and I'm like, Fine, I'm just gonna do this on got extraordinarily lucky. But what I realized last year when we were having this conversation is that that story has motivated a tremendous amount of what I've done in my professional life, which is at the end of the day, I think what I want most. If I'm honest, I want to be the person who is saying to everybody else you can do this, okay? And I am in your corner. If No. If you feel like the rest of the world is telling you, you're absolutely out of your mind, know that I am in your corner. One person, right? I believe in it. All right. I believe that's possible because it was possible. My own life has proven to me that it's possible and I really, really as time goes on, I take that really, really seriously. So I totally get what you're saying. And I think maybe that's part of our job, for all of us, to different degrees as human beings, you know, to lift each other up, to put things out there in the world that that say no. You know what? You're OK just the way you are.
Hida Behdazi: 40:41
Absolutely. And I think some of us take this on more serious and as a role on some people maybe are not much interested to do that. But you certainly are one of those who have done that and are doing that continuously. Um, and I have said this a story to you, and it's it sounds like repetitive to you if I say it again and again. But maybe for people who are out there, it might be fun or interesting to hear that I transitioned from graphic design to U ex design, you know, like actually transition from being a graphic. I had my own business as I called myself creative creative director because but I was doing everything from A to Z for my own business. And the best title among does was quite creative director, So I picked that one. So yes, it's Ah, it's a shiny title. But it didn't mean that I wasn't the graphic designer on the production person and the person who goes talk to everybody. But so anyways, Dad aside, I was feeling really worried that I'm falling behind because every job title out there was changing from like, I was just having an eye in the corner to see what's happening outside. If I want a transition from working for myself because I was getting and I was hitting the wall, I wasn't very aware of how to hire a second person. I didn't like to do the business part of my work like I didn't like to do bookkeeping, fun, feeling things and my God, I hate keeping. So I, if you tell me, do do Joe's book keeping out. Do it and I have done it for you. It's not,
Joe Natoli: 42:24
Hida Behdazi: 42:25
So I don't mind that if if I have, like a 1,000,000 things in the world and then you give me your job to do, I'm cool. I'll go do that. But if it's for me, I want to do everything else that I like better than than doing that off course. So So I had my eye on it on a job market to see what's happening out there. And then all the job titles were changing from being creative director, art director, our senior designer, too. You are you ex designer and as much as I kind of knew what you are is I didn't know what you X means, and it got me really worried little by little. So and it was, and I had a little bit of background in this because I did years back I did my teases for University, based on Jacob Nelson's Book of Usability, which I'd luckily came across. But for years I didn't touch this in the street. I didn't know anything about it, and I was just being a graphic designer and as good as I could be. That and then in 2014 it was around Christmas I follow. Or I get newsletters from somebody called Jacob Jacob Kess, which has a newsletter called Just Creative. And he generously puts Aton of information every time he sends this newsletter out. And because I get many newsletters in one of my mail boxes, I don't look at every one of them, but this one. Once in a while, I open that one because I'm curious to see what he is recommending. And he said that this this up Is this news that it was about courses on you Demi that are on sale? Yeah, And he said there are a few courses that you want to look into its its They are very good on there, like this one is about you exit strategy and design. And it was your course. Jonah told. So I didn't know a Jonah. Totally, of course. And but there was a photo shop course. There was no aftereffect course, it was your course. And I don't remember if there was 1/4 1 or not, but I went online to you know, I didn't know what you don't mean? I don't think by then on I went online and the courses were about I think your course was initially $299 it was down to four. 24 hours or something. It was like 10 bucks. Something around that 10 99 or something on. Yeah, I
Joe Natoli: 44:46
could flash sale. Yeah.
Hida Behdazi: 44:49
I quickly e mailed a bunch of friends. Not just myself, Some somewhere not related to this field somewhere. But I told them you dummy has a big sale onto one of them. I said this very course because she was a graphic designer struggling, wanting to come out of her own like a lawyer paying job to go somewhere that is more successful and stuff like that. So and she had done Web design more than I did at that point. So both of us bought your course on this course. Both transition both of us to buy catapulted us to your eggs in the street. So I couldn't I couldn't believe it, but it did. So I I always say the $10 doesn't matter. 10. 99 College, $15. Whatever it is, look, the $15 course that I got from Jonah told me. And if I want to be honest, I didn't watch the whole thing. It was I watched about half of it. And then I worked on my portfolio on this stuff, and I went to a situation just to just to talk to somebody in the company that I got hired in. I wasn't a flowing for a job. And
Joe Natoli: 45:59
I took a
Hida Behdazi: 45:59
job. Yeah. I was given a job on Sunday. The amount of learning that I had from you and the confidence. So all of this said to come back the first of all, a huge thank you to you. You think I'm always grateful for getting to know you, And then second, that you are doing that mission that you're you said you're doing. You have changed life of many people. I'm 100% sure I can't be. Me and my friend can't be the only story here. So on.
Joe Natoli: 46:32
And I'm grateful to hear that. I mean, I truly am, and I and I do. And I am very lucky in that. People tell me these kinds of things quite often. I'm not very good at accepting it, but it does. It does mean a great deal to me. And it's important to me that people have these experiences and the question I want to ask you in return. Is it okay? You had experiences up to that point, right? Obviously, fine art and design to difficulties When you took the course, Okay, You were exposed to things, at least in first half of the course, because a lot of that a strategy and thinking and and then it goes into infringed architecture and design things like that. But how much of it felt to you? Like like Yeah. Okay. This is kind of the same thing
Hida Behdazi: 47:20
as in comparing to
Joe Natoli: 47:21
as opposed to walking into something and saying this is a foreign country. I don't know anything about this. It's completely foreign. I don't get it. I can't relate to it. In other words, how much of what you had done up to that point?
Hida Behdazi: 47:33
Very similar. It's
Joe Natoli: 47:34
sort of prepared you or made you feel like Yeah. Okay, I get this. I get this. I've seen this before. We just call it something else.
Hida Behdazi: 47:40
A lot of it is similar, but because the terminology not only in what you have taught. But in general, in the industry, the terminology is different.
Joe Natoli: 47:51
Sure they're vegetables, though. Concepts,
Hida Behdazi: 47:54
Yes, the principal. So that's what I pulled from myself. And then you're you're framing you framed things a bit different and an organized it for us. You know, for me, it kind of made a lot of sense that Oh, this is very similar to what I have done before, right? So was what, um, Jacob Nelson has said in his book of usability That is it's still probably as valid after 20 years or so that I found Oh my God, this is what we are doing on paper or on print in prides, right is the same. This is the mentality is the same. People have to be able to read this from this distance. For example. What? We were doing it for Billboard on post there before. Right now you have to do it for this. A small screen.
Joe Natoli: 48:46
It's an ergonomic concern. It's the
Hida Behdazi: 48:47
same. Yeah, design is designed. This
Joe Natoli: 48:50
design design is this.
Hida Behdazi: 48:53
So So yours was a little bit because I needed I was transitioning to a corporate world that I didn't have the jargon for or the mentality of I have. I've met a lot of clients. When I around a business I had to I wasn't scared of sitting in front of some group of people. I would sit with client, sometimes tree of them, sometimes one, sometimes the board room. So I was very good on my feet. I was very good and talking to people communicating, understanding what they need. But you framed it so that it was more towards getting ready for going to a place where people are speaking more corporate language or they have certain terminology that I didn't have. Now, I also say this as well. I watched this really interesting video from, um Pablo Stanley from envisioned.
Joe Natoli: 49:47
Hida Behdazi: 49:47
don't know. If you have come across,
Joe Natoli: 49:49
I love probably just online. Okay, Know him through Twitter. I mean, we exchange comments and Mrs every once in a while, I just I love the guy a wonderful, wonderful human being.
Hida Behdazi: 49:59
He is, And I have learned things like I I I learned a lot of tricks and stuff that he was teaching about the sketch. So he has a talk. Maybe people can watch it. Or maybe they have wash it. It's called the fake. Here you are, the more successful you can be. So I I write down. Yes, that the fake your you are, the more successful you could be. It's like I think it's early or mid two dozen. 19 year that talks. I have listened to half of it, but not all of it. I have to go and listen to the rest of it. I I I saved it, but Pablo is so funny as well. And he, you know, this is because I learned from him how to work in a sketch, and I know he knows what he's talking about, but the fact that he comes and says these jargon tze and these I don't know, he said something funny. He said, It seems that we have to keep making maps as if you're lost MPT maps and this map, and so make sure that you make some maps in the middle. So I think part of this is I'm hoping everybody is listening to This is part of our our industry. I have learned early on, as soon as I stepped into a user experience designer strategist. So that's the role that I had because I was doing my own business and I was in touch with clients and stuff. They talk. She's good for becoming a designer strategist because she has to sit with the business part of the things like, she said, with the stakeholders and understand them and then translate that to design so she can become. That's That's what designer strategy is in my mind. You have to understand what's needed what whether it's for the owner of that business or for the user and user of that business, and then translated to touch like a tangible language for your design paths that are sitting on the other side. So, um, what was that again? Lost my train of thought because I went to somewhere else in the middle of it. So I said, So what was I saying about that I got here? So they they taught that I'm good at sitting in there, but there's a lot of foggy things in the middle as well. You have to learn that jargon and But when you go in there, you you understand that just like as you said, like in your course, there's a lot of parallels. There's a lot of parallels between being a designer, be sitting in front of your coins as a designer and then going to that boardroom and understanding what these people are saying. And I think you have to keep sticking to that core, because when we lose that core than things, we come back. But this is what I wanted to say. That part of our business in this design and marketing kind of industry has always been to be ready to change and evolve and show yourself as something else, because otherwise we go out of jobs, you know, have to We have to stay relevant to what's happening in the world. So because of that, I remember I came to Canada on the first things I was learning was about branding. So Brandon was a big ward. You had to put it on your business card. You had to have it on your portfolio that sure you do, branding, you know and collateral than blood. And then after that, the big board that I remember was the buzzword was designed thinking Before it was our thinking was a thing in you eggs it was a thing in design. Or like I write, it's
Joe Natoli: 53:29
not. None of this is new.
Hida Behdazi: 53:30
No. So you just have to learn. Like I I felt that Oh my God, we're those same people were just framing ourselves something else. That's a scary but but
Joe Natoli: 53:39
it's everything old is new again,
Hida Behdazi: 53:43
but we have to learn that to stay relevant. I think so. So, yeah, there is a lot of parallels between what you teach on the old like analog world of design that I have been in. I think it's just that we have to. You have to understand that on, keep the core strong and then then learn everything like that. It's like basic core. And then you have a lot of, um, Web coming out of it so that yes, you have to absorb. You have to add their new technology that you have to learn about. But But I don't know if that's what you are hoping for, that your course is actually similar to the previous concepts that a designer or well, I
Joe Natoli: 54:27
just think I mean, you're I don't know that I'm hoping for anything, but you're describing exactly what I believe all this to be and everything that I do and everything that I think everybody does. There are a 1,000,000 good instructors out there. Okay, there you mentioned Pablo. You know, they're all the folks I talked to on Twitter On a daily basis. Yeah. You know, Nick, think that Collins, um Alan Cooper, I mean, from from luminaries to just, you know, people who are maybe lesser, lesser known, but still doing amazing work. I think to me, the common core of all of it is exactly what you're talking about. Which is there's a core of truth of sort of universal, timeless truth to all of this. And the only thing that really changes is the periphery. The only thing that changes is the methods, the tools, the things that become available to us, the delivery methods, you know, every week of my life, I get asked, you know, do you think you x as a profession is going to become obsolete like No, Can it OK? No, because you're looking at the wrong things. Anyone who writes those articles or thinks those thoughts you're looking at the wrong things. You're attributing the wrong things to U Ex or design. It's not about the tools. It's not about the methods about the process is it's not about the delivery is not about a I vs manual coding or any of these types of things is about the core of understanding how human beings think and why they react emotionally physiologically to certain things. You know why their behavior is what it is. It's making things understandable. Palatable is guiding its teaching. You know, it's motivating. That stuff is long as we continue to be fully human. I don't think I don't think any that ever goes away. And so I guess, part of what I'm doing, what I think a lot of the best our cash and say that because I don't want include myself in that category. I was some of the most valuable lessons that I see folks imparting out there, some of the people that I follow, the people, that I am just really over the moon, impressed with our people who are sort of always operating at that core. You have to evolve, but you have to remain true to what you know. You know how this works. You gotta remember what it's all about the first place, and that is human beings.
Hida Behdazi: 56:51
That is, I think I can't agree more with you. And as you were talking something else also, Um, I was coming to my mind that I think from years before, when I started to go to design a school after designing school, I have done a few times of that. So I feel that if I learned anything, the design became more of a science. Now for me, as I said, the problem solving metas, the creative, how to get to that creative point. And I'm not saying I'm all that creative or all like I know it all. That's not what I'm trying to say. I'm saying that has been evolving journey that I have learned that design has become more of a science may be in a collective sense for all of us. Maybe before it was more experimental, just like you X was a few years ago. As I got to his company, everybody said, Don't worry, we're all learning nice. So I think a few years later things got a little bit more solid. But it's just a natural journey, I think, and sometimes the younger generation, especially ones in U. S. U X. I don't know how much in touch they are of it. Previous designers like Design Masters, for example. I think an amazing teacher can be Massimo, Vinnie, Ellie.
Joe Natoli: 58:17
That's where my quote comes from.
Hida Behdazi: 58:18
Which one was that? The
Joe Natoli: 58:19
sign is designed, his desire. You go just like he's. He's my my guide post because he was the one that said, If you can design one thing well, you can design anything. Well,
Hida Behdazi: 58:29
there you go. I have to get that one thing about First,
Joe Natoli: 58:32
I firmly believe that
Hida Behdazi: 58:33
Go go to the next one. But you look at the subway system manual that he put like There's something called You know the cannon Misimovic cannon To look at those things for the young people to him, to anybody else. That there. Who is the guy we call embodiment of graphic design There. The gentleman from New York. I love
Joe Natoli: 58:57
you think Paul Rand,
Hida Behdazi: 58:59
but Paula as well. Paul Randall. Nothing. Glaser. Glaser. I start to show a Milton Glaser's interviews. Well, he's he's still with us. Tank Feli. I wish one day I could see him in person and flesh, but all of these people. I don't know how much the designer schools are telling people, or especially the U ex industry, telling people to go and look at these because you look at subway system mapping that they have done its way. Finding this, it's like interaction design. You'll have to do everything like you're doing in you eggs, you know? Absolutely. And even better.
Joe Natoli: 59:38
Absolutely. It's all same principles, absolutely, all the same principles. I don't think that's being taught. Be honest with you. I don't know for sure. I'd be really curious to find out, but I don't think that's being taught. And I think that's a mistake to your point. There's a direct connection between the work of people we consider masters in the world of graphic design and the world of really good, really solid, really human centered, empathetic, uh, user experience in visual design. You I designed interaction design. I think it's theirs. They're tremendous parallels.
Hida Behdazi: 1:0:15
And then I'm sure the industrial designers architect's all of those, you know. Yeah, I mean, they have to pull from the previous ones on the current ones because they can't be a disconnect like that because they're all you know what we call product design was the industrial design terminology. If I'm not mistaken, right,
Joe Natoli: 1:0:34
right, I can't believe that that's a new That's like That's like a new term now.
Hida Behdazi: 1:0:37
Yes, exactly. Product
Joe Natoli: 1:0:40
that I was product design a 1,000,000 years ago. You know what he's talking about?
Hida Behdazi: 1:0:43
I wonder how the actual industrial design product designers feel about this. I never asked them.
Joe Natoli: 1:0:50
Yeah, I'm curious, Curious myself. And I like I said, I take that been yelling quote toe, heart I have always felt, and this is gonna sound arrogant, and it's not the way I mean it, But I'm gonna say it anyway because I think it's important. I think that if you truly understand design, if you truly understand design is a practice focused on human being and human behavior, I think you can design anything I think you can is as easily design user interface or an interactive experience, or simply thinking about information structure or a physical product that someone holds in their hands, or a tool that someone uses to pound a nail. Um, I think that you have the capability to design all that equally well. I really do The only difference is in the executions and materials, right. It's process. It's understanding methods, understanding production methods. For example. You know, when I was in started in graphic design, one of things you had to learn is how it goes down on paper, the physical process of it, right? How printing presses work. Yeah, all of all different types, right, from screen printing to Web printing, you know, four color process, all kinds stuff. I think this is all the same, whether we're talking about code or whether you're talking about ink on paper, it's It's all a matter of the part that you have in the part that stays with you in the part that makes you good. Is that core that you were talking about before. Everything else is periphery and process and production methods. To me, I may be oversimplifying things, but but that's what I live
Hida Behdazi: 1:2:22
for, people who are younger than us. I'm listening, I think, to come to that the start part two to be good at design. I think they need to understand that that takes a good long time. That doesn't happen overnight. It it involves seeing the listening, observing other people who are doing this and doing it, you cannot go. And I know today I know that until I'm not putting pencil on paper or solving a problem or design and give upside or designing an app or whatever feature said I want to do, I'm not gonna learn it. And I have to do it so many times until I become good. That's
Joe Natoli: 1:3:05
Hida Behdazi: 1:3:06
learned right, but anything so that that should be also, I think, going along with what you said. You first do all of that hard work because without that hard work, you don't come to the point to be able to design wanting good. Therefore, you won't be able to do anything good. Yeah, I agree. You have to do the hard work it does. It's not a pill, it's not an overnight thing
Joe Natoli: 1:3:31
and takes years.
Hida Behdazi: 1:3:32
And you have to keep having this mind said that I am here to keep learning and keep evolving and getting better. And maybe just I add one more thing. I know our time is also probably to the end
Joe Natoli: 1:3:45
of its okay. Good conversations goes longer need.
Hida Behdazi: 1:3:49
There's a very good book, I mean, at least in my opinion, changed by Design. A book by Tim Brown. I don't know if you have ever came across that one.
Joe Natoli: 1:3:58
I've heard of it.
Hida Behdazi: 1:3:59
It's a book Tim Brown from Ideal, and they they I believe they are, like the people who put idea together are all designers at core. And this one is the revised and updated region that I have listened to because I listen to books more than I'd read them. Um, and it actually tells the designers at how much possibilities are in the future. Like where? What? We have to evolve, too. Now, as in our job as it is, If you learned to design and solve problems, then you have to think a little bit bigger now, like before us to stay in in this industry. Yes, we do need graphic designers. Yes, we do need to have designers, but to solve humanity's problems that are out there, you know how to have things. So that goes along with what is the other book that I have really liked by the Norman Nielsen Thea Other gentlemen, Don Norman, the design of everyday things like you, you start absorbing what these people are saying I'm putting it together and understanding. If you are a good designer, you can, First of all, you can do designed many good things that he wants your good. You probably can't put your brain to do many other things as well. But then let's think about the fact that we can solve bigger problems on lend or brain, too, to bigger problems in the world like how to have a better, better school classes. I don't know what you name, the price problems that are around us so that you can go beyond being just a designer, that it's sitting in front of the computer and, you know, just just pushing mouths here and there. So basically not just the production person, but
Joe Natoli: 1:5:44
I think stop reactive, take a step back from the constant pressure to to produce, you know, to to create artefacts, map everything in existence, um, and and think, take a step back and think. And that's I think that's all really, really true. And I think it speaks to what you were saying before, in order to get really good at something, it takes time. It takes time. It takes effort and a lot of that effort is not physical in nature. You know, it's it's it's doing it, experiencing and thinking and really digging into problems and sort of working them, you know, relentlessly over and over and over again. And the more you do that, the more automatic some of this stuff comes later on down the line. I think because your brain is used to working that way and your heart and your emotions are involved, too, Right there used to be that way. I a couple years back, I ventured back into print design magazine Design had the opportunity to be a partner in a magazine called Dinosaur and one of the things that really shocked me. And this is the right word. Shocked I was. When I started designing these page layouts for these stories, it blew me away. How natural It waas for me to sort of look at photographs, read the article that the author had written and just sort of have these visual decisions and visual ideas come to me in droves. It was so automatic and so I don't know what the word for it is. It was so flowing and so natural in a lot of ways, it was clear my vision was really, really clear. No matter how many different topics we had extra recovered all sorts of things, you know, from like heavy metal singers to art exhibits, thio different. It was all over the place, but I just It really stunned me. How have sort of natural? It was for me to adapt and move from one sort of topic, an idea to the next, and be able to make the design really appropriate to that subject matter. You know, to that content, and I think that is that as I'm sitting here thinking about it, I think that's the direct result of what you're talking about. It's a lot of time over the target using those skills, and we're finding them and improving them. It's not easy. It's not easy. You you make a lot of mistakes. You know there's a lot of wrong turns,
Hida Behdazi: 1:8:19
but that's the only way you learn how you can be. Yeah, and what you were saying? You reminded me of something. I don't recall if a famous person said this or not, but certainly a designer told me or repeated this to me that design exists, you just have to find it. I like. So what you said reminded me of that, actually, just about finding the places to put things in there, you know?
Joe Natoli: 1:8:46
Yeah, that's what it felt like. That's what it felt like. It. I could not believe it. And I'll tell you one thing I'm trying to say by a large, and that story is, I was told, was I went to that. That was 49 at a time. I don't think I would have been able to do that in the way that I did it to that depth into that degree of maybe appropriateness is the word that I'm thinking of. I don't think I would have been able to do it that way 10 years prior or certainly longer. I really don't I don't think I would have had the skills or the I don't know, whatever, whatever that is. I don't think I don't think I possessed
Hida Behdazi: 1:9:26
Well, obviously I came with all the hard work that you have done right with an amount of experience you have accumulated. Yeah,
Joe Natoli: 1:9:34
and I think it's also this just came in my mind and it's funny because I was thinking about this before we talk today. When I spoke in Canada and you and I met, you gave me a wonderful a small piece of artwork that is Tuesday, one of my prized possessions and it's it's sits in. My studio sits right behind me, and every time I walk into this room, I look at it when I walk in and I look at it when I leave, and the reason is because part of the you know, the words, the inscriptions that that's on there, it says two of the words are Be brave.
Hida Behdazi: 1:10:06
Yeah, that zoo.
Joe Natoli: 1:10:08
Okay, And that to me, it's it's It's a reminder. It's a sign post. It's a just a reminder that look, no matter what is going on the matter, whether you can see your way out or not, whether it's personal, professional or otherwise, the key component is that its courage, its bravery is a willingness to face all that and keep coming back to it.
Hida Behdazi: 1:10:34
First of all, I'm I'm honored.
Joe Natoli: 1:10:36
I need to thank you for that. You don't know how much how important it is.
Hida Behdazi: 1:10:39
Oh, thank you. I'm honored that it's it's actually always a non urban. Your work travels with somebody on the stays with them, especially if somebody says that I'm actually looking at this and it means something. So thank you for that. But a This is something interesting. 23 years ago when I started that journey of doing, they're called meditation miniatures. What you're talking about if if it's okay that if I taught sure, of course, there Doc came from. I was going through something in my own life. The personal bump. Let's call it and att. The same time I was working at my you exit strategy, I was the strategist at this interest investment company, which was amazing company as well. But it was a full time job, like you had to be there mentally and physically. And so it was a lot of pressure as well as the fact that I normally have to teach something like have as an ID chose to teach. I don't want to let that go. It's important. So when I came to that part of my life where there was a stressful situation, I for a few months first I really was like down and didn't know what to do and talk, okay? I need to get up. As I said, I have this motivation in media and thankfully, actually, it was summer. I wasn't teaching at that moment. Anything I could use, like batteries, had to be charged by seeing the sun going outside as well as going to work. But at work, you should not show what's happening, right. You can't afford t o. So what happened is I, um I thought art, this is where you have to go back. You need to meditate, and you need to do art. And you just need to somehow get yourself out of this emotional situation that you hot you are right now. So I started by the anti I went, but as many If I go take a picture downstairs, there's like it line up of campuses and they're huge. Campus is about actually paint canvases like painted my whole I don't know garage so that I have a studio. All of this has been done. And I started by doing some large paintings and I understood Oh, my God! To do the drawing for this first painting. It took me this long. This is not meditative. this is not going any e. I changed. I changed direction. I said, Stop, drop this perfectionist mentality that not only your help trying to help yourself, but at the same time you want to be perfect and it has to be this size. And I dropped the greeting and I bought this little box of water colors. Half price. Actually, it was a Vincent knew 2020 box of $12 or no. $20. It's usually 40 on by the funny thing as well that I bought it for my mom because I wanted to encourage her to paint. Not funny, because I'm thinking I'm not a watercolorist. I'm not doing this. So I buy this on Die, put it, shove it in her suitcase so that she doesn't see because she doesn't accept gifts. Azizi is like she's like, No, no, I don't want to see it's yours. I'm not going to use it. So she put it back summer on. She said, I told you, Don't buy that for me. Okay, so this was sitting on my desk and I was thinking, All of a sudden I talk. Okay, let's change direction instead of doing Ah 36 by 60 inches. Work right now or I don't know. Whatever size that huge drawing with you're going to do something is small. So I bought these tiny papers. Peter, I think a nine by 12 or something on the painting usually is about four by six maximum in the middle of them. So I said a criteria for myself. I said, Every day at lunchtime, you go out. It was lucky that it was summer. You go sit summer and a start doing a painting without thinking, without painting it. Just pick up this little tiny brush and watercolor kids go outside. Just put paint on. I learned this from one of my teachers in the past, he would say, just there was one exercise. Don't think I'm just troll paint on the papers. I did. And then I started posting these on as Facebook at First Social Media on Instagram, and I wasn't doing this to sell anything. I wasn't doing this, too. I just was trying to heal, and I needed a way to reflect this into the world as well, for some reason, so and people have started to follow me for that and started to buy these middle painting and then a gentleman from one of the Eastern European countries that I connected with like a mentor. His name is Batta. Batta was looking and kept saying, Be brave, be brave, Don't get scared, don't do it. He's a small just go large and be brave. And I did that based on what he said. I got this canvas and I just told black paint everywhere. And then I first did it. On the small side is the one that you have and I wrote his wards, so I don't I do remember it that he says, Be brave and I did that. I made that journey of 52 small miniatures to show the two large ones, actually, and I called them meditation miniatures. And it was so healing and so rewarding. And I said, Sometimes when I fall short, I go back to feeling of a high that I have in the bad. So you remember You can do it. You know you can. You can If you're brave, you can do it. So you gave me some restraint in the past to say Be brave and I didn't I just gave back to you as a token to appreciate the fact that we are helping each, like you helped you change somebody's life to this extent, you know, or batted it. But just saying, Be brave. I actually had something in me. I just needed that last push of somebody to say Go go forward. She brave, you know? So I'm glad that you're looking at that. And I know you're a brave person. Any makes You didn't need my my writing. I think
Joe Natoli: 1:17:02
it did. I think I did. That's Ah, that's beautiful. I mean, the whole thing is just is beautiful and it's it's telling and it's necessary. I think that, um, this is what we're here for. That's what we're here for. Well, we push past our limit, but I don't care. This has all been really, really wonderful, and I'm really anxious to get it out there honestly, because it's been an incredible conversation. So to wrap up instead of the typical hot seat questions that I do, I just want to give you one, okay? Because I love where this conversation is right now, and I kind of want to keep it there If you had one piece of advice to give anybody. And I usually say, you know, if it's a young person entering this profession or any other profession, but it could be an older person, too. Okay? Someone who is maybe changing pats in their life or in their career, Um, and is thinking all right, what's my second act gonna be? What's the one piece of advice that you would give somebody who comes to you with that kind of that kind of dilemma?
Hida Behdazi: 1:18:09
I say what I said to myself few months ago. You only live once. You are given this chance on Lee and only ones just remember that. Does it Ward letting you go to something you don't like or you're scared off. You know, I felt I need a break. I need to replenish. I need to attend to my wellness because I only have one physical body and one soul and one brain and one emotional being you know, on we're deserving. We're all deserving to take. That body is deserving of us taking care of it. So I think you're only the only given one life. Don't forget that. I'll be brave. Just what you said about that painting. So be brave.
Joe Natoli: 1:18:58
Hey, this has been absolutely wonderful. I could probably talk to you for another three hours. Um, if if time permitted. I can't thank you enough for this time being with me. And I certainly look forward to talking to you again soon.
Hida Behdazi: 1:19:14
Me more. Thank you so much, Joe. It has been so exciting to get to know you in person when you came to London to get to take your courses to help. I didn't even talk about that. They help. You did when I was in Iran to provide me with material that I so much needed a last minute. I'm so thankful. Grateful to have you as my mentor and sickle of friends, whatever you wanna call it. So it's pleasure all the way. Thank you so much for it.
Joe Natoli: 1:19:42
You're welcome. And I am honored to have you in my life as well. Thank you. Until next time.
Hida Behdazi: 1:19:48
Bye. For now.
Joe Natoli: 1:19:50
That wraps up this edition of making us work. Thank you very much for listening. And I hope that hearing these stories gives you some useful perspective, Some encouragement. And I certainly hope that you remember that you are not alone out there. Whatever you're dealing with, someone else has been there and just like you will, they have found a way to make it work. Before I go, I want to ask you to please check out our sponsor stash studio. Once again, a streetwear clothing brand focused on quality products with a positive message. Inspired by the resilience to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome. Visit stash dot studio to learn more. I also want you to know that you can find links to our guests, social media profiles, websites and other things that they have accomplished by visiting. Give good u ex dot com slash podcast, where you'll also find links to more U ex resources on the Web and social media, along with ways to contact me. If you're interested in sharing your own story here until next time, this is Jonah totally reminding you that it is people like you that make you ex work