graphic

"Back to the Future, Circa 1985" : Illustration

Back to the Future, Circa 1985 illustration on t-shirt

Back to the Future, Circa 1985 illustration on t-shirt

"What if I send it in and they don't like it? What if they say I'm no good? What if they say 'Get out of here, kid. You got no future.' ? I mean, I just don't think I can take that kind of rejection." - Marty McFly

So...who can relate to this? I know I've experienced many "Marty McFly" moments so I definitely can.

Sometimes before we even put pen to paper to start a new project, our minds prepare us for ultimate failure. The 'what-if's' swirl about and the potential rejection seems to be too big to ever come back from. Our dreams flash before our eyes and we make a decision to not even bother. 

On one hand, you want to get out there and make your place in the world; Show them what you've got. Then there's the other side that is scared of being judged, criticized, and rejected. Putting yourself out there can be a scary thing so it's natural for your brain to want to protect you from all that. But in reality, it's usually never as big of a deal as we make it out to be. If we want to gain any traction or want experience new things though, we have to do those scary things anyways. 

This was a block for me, for quite awhile. I didn't pursue what I wanted or share my work for the fear of being seen as amateur, not having what it took, or doing it wrong. A bit extreme, yes, and I had to do a lot of personal work to push through that. Once I did though, I became more confident despite those criticisms. I improved. I tried again. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. It is slowly becoming habit and instead of seeing the 'what if's' in a negative way, I'm starting to turn them into curiosity & wonderment.  'What if I succeed?!'

I also wonder if there's a slight fear in that thought too. What IF you succeed beyond your wildest dreams? What IF you realize something new about yourself? What IF you unlock new worlds? Is the risk of rejection worth it? Um...YEA! 

When I sat down to design something inspired by Back to the Future, I watched the movie to refresh myself and brainstorm people, words, phrases, and key points in the movie.  Originally, I had a very different idea but it already existed so I had to change direction.

I'm a big nerd for organization and love the photos where people lay out their wardrobe for the day or travel accessories in somewhat of a grid system, so I decided to combine those two ideas. The thought of illustrating everything overwhelmed me but I was up for the challenge. When I finished, I immediately wanted to ditch it. That little voice said, 'It's not enough.' Then it said, 'Maybe it's too much.' So I sat for a bit and thought about what worked and what didn't. I added. I removed. I sized. I rearranged. Until it had just enough to make it feel balanced. 

I was able to get passed all the noise in my head and, in the end, I was pretty happy with result. It's now up on my RedBubble site for all to enjoy and I even have a t-shirt of my own on the way which I will share on my Instagram when I get it!

In the meantime, tell me all about your "Marty McFly" moment.

Beyond the Fence

“Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity, and in cold weather becomes frozen, even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind.”  - Leonardo da Vinci

As of late, I've been feeling creatively stagnant which leaves me feeling non-productive. And there's nothing I dislike more, than that.

Right now, I'm having a hard time putting the creative engine into gear, whether it's drawing, design, and even writing. I'm just drawing blanks. Everything I try, I feel like I'm failing miserably at and the results aren't up to snuff. (In my head at least.) Since creating is one of my favourite things in this world, it is quite frustrating when my right brain goes into sleep mode like this. On an average day, I never have a problem self-starting anything that comes to mind or getting items on my "to-do" list done. But these last few weeks have been far from productive.

I know that forcing the creativity to happen just won't work - as that theory always proves true - and leaves me more frustrated than before. I'd feel like quitting everything and start something new so I didn't have to feel like I sucked. I would describe this is as the "tantrum-phase", which I am slowly closing in on.

Luckily though, I've managed to get through many of these ebbs without flipping a table. I've also come to understand that the key to unlocking these creative blocks is movement. Whether it's doodling meaningless things on a page, to writing whatever comes to mind. The point of it all is to stop over-thinking and just do. I recognize that I am here now and am trying to work through it - even embrace it - and realizing it's only temporary. I'll get my fire back. It's all part of the process.

But first, I have to get beyond the fence in the backyard, so to speak, and stop waiting for something to intrigue me. I need to wander the neighbourhood, explore without direction or purpose, and see what comes.

At this point, it feels, that I'll be kicking an empty can down the block for some time until something interesting comes along but I can't worry about that - as it'll only make this journey worse.

So here I go...