Acrylic on Canvas
Final disc cover design with bleed lines.
A long time ago when I was around 18 years old, I met a guy named Nico in a coffee shop I was working in. He was a colorful and lively person and he knew how to carry a conversation, but the most interesting thing I noticed about him was that people were drawn to him. At that point in time, I was a shy kid who made mediocre grades and hadn't the slightest clue about what to do with my life. Nico, in many ways, embodied a social character that I deeply wanted to be like. Of all the things he was good at, he was best at one particular thing: making the person feel good about themselves. Now, in no way do I think this to be manipulative, in fact it's quite the opposite. If you want to capture someone's attention and invest them in a conversation, get them to talk about themselves. No one knows you better than yourself, and because of that carrying a conversation can be easy.
This one a great lesson I learned by watching Nico interact with people, we became good friends after half a year or so of working together. At that time I was an aspiring designer, I really wanted to have my own clothing design company. I made a lot of stuff like what's shown below under the pseudo-name Voltage Moon:
Do not ask me what "Tapes of Democracy" is supposed to mean... I have no clue. This is a great example of being an angsty 18 year old and just drawing whatever first came to mind. It was circa 2007, I had a freeware copy of Photoshop 7, a large library of ripped screamo music. I guess I was just messing around with random tools until I got the added effect I wanted. no classes, tutorials, fancy brushes, etc... My designing more-or-less was turning google images into stuff:
Essentially this was the start of my interest in design. I'd find an image on google, flip the colors (I used to use Threshold a LOT), and scratch in something that was related to my brand and "company:" Voltage Moon Clothing. I look at this stuff now and snicker/write articles on it, but back then, I was learning an incredible amount just by DOING. I was listening to this amazing podcast last week my brother-in-law sent me on accruing wealth and finding success (PLEASE listen to it). About halfway through there is this very incredible point made by Naval on the topic of native competition:
“Escape competition through authenticity.”
"Basically, when you’re competing with people it’s because you’re copying them. It’s because you’re trying to do the same thing. But every human is different. Don’t copy.
I know we’re mimetic creatures, and René Girard has a whole mimesis theory. But it’s much easier than that. Don’t imitate. Don’t copy. Just do your own thing. No one can compete with you on being you. It’s that simple."
I do not consider myself successful, but every day I learn something new, and I think that is the most important thing when it comes to establishing yourself as an artist, scientist, salesman, analyist, etc etc. I think it's safe to say that a Nobel Prize would be a strong symbol of professional/academic achievement in any field; it took Dr. Peter Higgs almost 50 years to have his work proven in the LHC in 2012 (even though the theory was presented in the 60s').