I get it, sometimes it's hard to show your true self in your work. We live in a world where we are taught that hyper-curation is the key to success.
However, what if people want to know the human behind the account?
What if a business wanted to hire a specific personality for their brand that created that work?
I think these are strong questions you should ask yourself to see if that is the missing factor in building your brand. This can also help attract an audience that cares not only just for your work, but for you as well.
Someone who I think is an absolute pro at this is my friend Adam Vicarel who operates Vicarel Studios out of Denver, CO. He's amassed a large audience from his design, direction and outdoors vibe he pours into his lettering and branding.
Adam and I go back to the early days of Instagram lettering where both of our work was dog shit. We become good friends over the years and I've watched him blossom to a point where he's full-time freelance landing clients like Lennox Air and Sharpie to name a few. He also does public speaking and teaches lettering workshops all while making sure he has ample enough time to disconnect from the daily hustle to enjoy life at a slow pace traveling.
I felt spoiled and humbled to have this conversation as he vomits a heavy dose of value that I know you'll enjoy as much as I did.
In this episode, we dive deep into:
Also, be sure to follow him on Instagram and say hello. He's quite the pleasant fellow.
In a world clouded in a mist of negativity, sometimes you find a bright pocket of positivity. That bright pocket (really I'm thinking hot pocket) of positivity is no other than the terrific trio of the Master of One Podcast.
I met Luke, Patrick and Andrew a few years back at Creative South as they had a sign-up sheet that filled up fast for podcast spotlights. These jolly souls bring a lot of niche knowledge from their respective sources of mastery.
Every week they bring you the latest in games, design and film from their world and they have some of the biggest names in the creative industry drop by to share their process and advice.
Listen each Tuesday as they talk about the latest happenings around the community and what cool new items you should be spending your money on. Then listen again on Thursday when they talk with a guest celebrity artist from one of our industries.
Not only will this be entertaining because these dudes love to give each other shit, but In this episode we discuss:
I have no doubt you'll enjoy what they guys put into the world. Definitely, check out the Master of One Podcast and continue the conversation with them in their Slack Channel.
Content tells stories and everyone has a story and has the ability to tell a story. The means are there to learn. Find the best way that YOU can tell a story whatever medium that may be.
If you're a content creator and this doesn't set you on fire to make something that matters than what the hell is wrong with you?!
My buddy Ben Hagarty, aka BenRealVsWorld knows a thing or two about creating content. He’s been creating content on Youtube before it was big and now he’s in LA as a content creator for the likes of Schoolboy Q, Kendrick Lamar, Chris Brown, Mary J. Blige, EA Sports and Madden Football.
I could keep that list going but you get the point, he's the real deal.
Ben is a local legend in my stomping grounds of Cedar Falls, IA. He's a role model when it comes following your dream and taking a risk when you catch a glimpse of what you’re capable of creating.
From creating music in his parent's basement to crashing on air mattresses that needed bubble gum to fill holes, the road to where he is today hasn’t been easy. It's been a slow and steady climb and I guarantee he'd have it no other way.
He’s an insanely talented individual but most importantly, a humble down to earth dude who doesn’t forget he came from a little town in bum fuck Iowa.
In this episode we talk about:
Ready for some down to earth advice and have your face melted with mind-bending letterforms? If so, you're in for a treat as I have a very special guest on the show today none other than Mark Caneso.
Side note: I'm currently loving the shit out of his custom Apple Pencil wraps.
Not only does Mark create amazing typefaces you can find on Adobe Typekit like Hatch, Quatro or Neplus, but he’s made a name for himself pushing letters to the extreme.
His Instagram will make your brain hurt in the all right ways with his ambigrams, encrypted messages and wild experiments.
Not only is he crazy talented, but he’s a genuine down to earth guy who shows you behind the scenes of his process which I highly respect.
In today’s episode, Mark gives you a permission slip to:
I think you're going to find a lot of value in this episode. I was a sponge the entire time and there were multiple areas I found that I can push my boundaries more instead of playing it safe.
When you're done listening, ask yourself how you can take that piece of work you created and push it to the next level?
What did you accomplish in 2017?
Did you build or work on something you can be proud of?
If so, you have a chance to build on that momentum in 2018.
If not, you have a clean slate to get your hands dirty and put in work.
I say it all the time, but you have insane amounts of potential buried inside you. Yet the road to mining it won't be easy.
You're gonna deal with plenty of shit to get to the sunshine as mentioned in last week's episode.
This year is your opportunity to rise up to the challenge of taking initiative, being prepared to say yes and knowing when to say no.
Opportunities are out there to be had, but they won't knock if you haven't built a door. This one is straight from Tony Diaz of Industry Print Shop on episode 56.
It all boils down to being proactive instead of reactive.
I wouldn't be where I am today had I not gotten uncomfortable and started sharing my art on Instagram.
I'd be stuck in my last miserable day job had I not busted my ass working outside of work to build a stellar portfolio.
You can't sit around expecting opportunities to be wrapped up in a Gucci bow and gracefully fall into your lap.
Nothing in life worth having comes easy and to achieve something you've never had, you have to be willing to do something you've never done.
Creating your own luck by building a door looks like:
Get out of the bitching and complaining business. Be proactive, hire yourself and join the door building business.
Back in June 2015, I took the initiative and started blogging. To be honest, I sucked ass in the beginning, but little did I know I was launching my public speaking career.
Only a year into blogging, I was offered my first speaking gig by my good friend Diane Gibbs in February 2016. Diane is a door builder for other people and she makes things happen. The opportunity she gave me was a keynote at a conference called Flourish in Mobile, AL with attendance ranging from 100-150 people.
When she asked if I was interested, every bone in my body wanted to scream out "no."
Looking back on it now, this was a monumental moment in my creative career. If I would've declined the challenge, I wonder where I would be today?
Thankfully I said yes as I practiced my ass off and gave a solid first speech.
A few weeks later I got a call from Mike Jones, the creator of Creative South. He offered me a speaking slot at a conference that sells out at 800 people each year. Again, every bone in my wanted to scream no, but I rose to the challenge.
Blogging and speaking have since led to teaching workshops on how to prepare and give a killer talk.
Side note: I'll be teaching a workshop on this both at Creative South and Crop Conference in 2018.
If you're showing up and investing time into your self and your work, you're bound to manifest some opportunities. The question is, will you be prepared to act on them?
Something valuable I learned in 2017 was the power of saying no, even though I wasn't the best at applying it.
Simply put, "if it's not a Hell Yes, it's a definite Hell No."
That's an easy way to measure opportunities that come your way you'd think?
However, I got to a point where so many things felt like a Hell Yes. This caused me to grind myself to exhaustion and neglect relationships.
November was a hard lesson learned as I:
This was all outside a 40 hour day job too. While these all seemed like Hell Yes opportunities, I could've said no to a few of them for the sake of my sanity.
Learning when to say no to a great opportunity isn't easy. It's hard to see past it and realize this isn't the last opportunity that'll come your way.
Something I'm also applying is writing down a short list of focus priorities within a season. In Q1 of 2018, my focus is solely on building the podcast and delivering killer speeches in February and March.
That means saying no to great freelance opportunities, teaching lettering workshops and anything else that pops up.
Knowing what's most important to focus on should hopefully make saying no to Hell Yes opportunities a little easier.
No matter where you are on your creative path, I hope you constantly mine for that potential buried within you.
Stop looking for the easy trail and seek out mountains to climb in 2018.
It all boils down to how badly do you want it and what are you prepared to do to make it happen?
Rise up to whatever challenges come your way this year. Prepare for your opportunities that manifest from climbing mountains.
Remember, don't expect a damn thing in this world to be handed to you. Stake your claim and take it.