Connect. Create. Inspire.

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True freedom is where an individual's thoughts and actions are in alignment with that which is true, correct, and of honor - no matter the personal price.

-Bryant H. McGill

Sunday, I spent nine miles of bike trail searching for something. I'm not sure when I lost it, but its absence weighs heavily on my soul as of late. Every rivet, curve, hill, swarm of gnats, and spider web I hit brought me closer to the realization that I not only lost something, but I was lost myself.

I started off this summer wanting to accomplish a lengthy list of projects that pushed me to my limits. I had high hopes for myself and just knew where I wanted to be at the end of it.

Not only did I not complete even a quarter of that list, I also completely lost sight of that plan. Instead, I spent a lot of time being completely and utterly unproductive. Some excuses were legitimate. I made new friends, dated, helped with various projects, and broadened my professional circle. But, I also spent a lot of time with my head in various social media networks.

I used a lot of my time unconsciously distracting myself. I could probably write a dissertation as to why, but I won't. It isn't worth it and will only bring me down. So, I'm going to view that segment of my life as a season and now that season has come to an end.

It is time to start anew.

Autumn has always been the one time of year when I felt most like myself. There's something both sad and romantic about it all. The cooler weather slows us down and makes the present more palpable. It eases us into the stark realities of Winter while filling our lives with things that bring us closer to others. The one good thing about losing sight of the plan that I crafted was the fact that it helped me clarify what I wanted out of my life. That's why I titled this post "Connect. Create. Inspire." 

Connect. I want to connect with like-minded individuals as well as connecting them to other people or places that could add to their lives.

Create. I want to learn to hone my creativity and settle my anxious/distracted mind. Boosting my productivity will become one of my major goals in the coming months.

Inspire. I want to continue to bring positivity into this world. I want to inspire young people - especially those who look like me. I want to show them that there is more than just the conventional path. 

It is time to align and I believe I've reached a place in my life where I'm able to adequately do so. 

-Bron

Fears & Finding My Style

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Hey everyone! Last week, I talked a bit about one of the biggest motivators in my life, heartbreak. Well, I'm back to talk about another because I love being honest about my process and how I got to where I am. I've learned that by revealing how much I struggle, helps others feel less alone.

So, fear. Fear is another one of the major driving forces for me. Being afraid of things has pushed me to shed a bit of my introverted shell and made me do things that I thought I would never dream of doing.

It has led me to meeting people that I would've never interacted with if I hadn't have taken the leap to talk to them. I wouldn't have started my blog that eventually led to my web comic that eventually led me to becoming a published cartoonist, writer, and photographer.

I do well at my full-time job because I face my fears head on. I interact with, make decisions for, and establish a repertoire with people every single day. I now help plan events. I can deliver bad news. I can make suggestions that help better my clients' ability to reach their audiences.

But fear can be a double-edged sword for me. When it comes to my design and illustration work, I'm always fearful that I'm not good enough. I've gotten a decent amount of freelance business for doing it part-time, but I often still feel like a hack. I worry that I'm floundering along with no  real clue what I'm doing and I'll never be good enough to work at an ad agency or creative firm. This has held me back from reaching my full potential for the last couple years. Don't get me wrong, at 25 I've done much more than other people my age. I've been featured in local art galleries, I'm published in a magazine that reaches thousands of people, and I get hired to do work with local bands and businesses, but I've still feel subpar.

I know that a lot of it has to do with me seeing other, more experienced designers out there just making some amazing strides. And I also see people my age with a very specific style and just killing it. It's all kind of intimidating. For the longest time I was afraid that I'd never figure out my own style or what I was good at. I know, I know, a lot of people feel the same way, but I still felt alone.

In the last several months, I've been pushing to challenge myself. I've spent my free time focusing on building my portfolio, adding new skills, and establishing my style. I've learned that I'm very good at vector work. Illustrator works well for me and I love simplicity. Icons, logos, and vector art really come alive in my hands. When it comes to digital painting, I have a sketchier style that is not rendered to the full extent that others do. It is on that fine line of cartoon-like and realism. I've let go of the idea of being a comic book artist and found the line of the dream and what I'm actually good at.

Now that I know where my strengths lay, I can hone them and make an impression on potential employers. I am shifting into the mindset of getting into design and illustration full-time. I believe that it's time to leave the nest and tackle my dreams head on. Hopefully, I'll get where I want to be and I can show people that never giving up can result in major rewards.

Below is a design that I finished up earlier today. Last year, I would've never dreamed of making something like this. It's fairly simple, but it was something new for me. Let me know what you think.

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- Bron

P.S. I got a haircut and I've never felt so at home.