What a year it has been. I should have completed this post before the new year arrived, but hey, “life happens”...that’s what they say at least. It's always nice to look back and take a look at my year in review. Let's get into it, shall we?
My year brought about many slow periods but also work with Atlassian, Target, Facebook, Netflix, Riot Games, and beyond. All great things, right? Well, as with any human, the year had plenty of ups and downs. Let’s get into it, shall we?
A Very, Very Slow Start.
My year started off on a slow note due to some health issues that began toward the end of November 2017. Luckily, after lots of testing, everything is all good! The testing process, the waiting for results, the lack of appetite, and oh so much more left me feeling drained, uninspired, and stuck in a very negative state. I had lost about 8 pounds in 2 weeks with plenty of anxiety and depression settling in. I found myself journaling, enjoying the outdoors, and removing myself from work for a good 3–4 months until I slowly began to feel like myself again.
Starting the Year Off Right...In March
I needed a creative jump start. A way to electrify me out of this temporary depression from the health situation I was previously in. Here’s where the Adobe Creative Residency comes into play. Just like the previous year, I applied once again for the hell of it. This time was different though. I got a Skype interview, it went well, I was asked to make revisions, sent those along, and then a few days later...I got a request for an in-person interview. They flew me out to SF along with 2 other creatives (my new homies, Lauren and Nate) for a full day of interviews – interviewing with 7 different people. This was serious business.
After flying home, Lauren, Nate, and I all felt we KILLED it. We were all so sure we would be the next residents. Later on, in April was when we all received the devastating news. Yep, sadly didn’t make it but like many current/previous residents have stated, it only set me up for success. I had my year and beyond planned out thanks to the proposal Adobe had us put together.
4 years later, I get a message
Shortly after finding out I didn’t get the residency, I of course was still ready for that “next step”. Something to help me break free of my typical day-to-day and ideally bring about new and exciting projects. Well, it just so happens a week after I got the rejection email I was contacted by my old friend, Doug Bell who I had not chatted with since my Senior in college — roughly 4 years ago. We met up for coffee and in came the perfect next step I was searching for, BrandLoyal.
I’ll summarize our meeting and get straight to the point. Doug was in the process of starting BrandLoyal — a collective of freelancers all working together on various projects each of us brings in. I of course said, “hell yes” and moved into the Monorchid co-working space a few weeks later. At the start of it all, it was Doug, Alex (another BrandLoyal partner), and myself all tucked in a corner of the loft area at the Monorchid in downtown Phoenix. Now, nearly a year later, we've expanded to a team of 8 and have almost consumed the entirety of the upstairs area.
Being a part of BrandLoyal has been a huge improvement to nearly every aspect of my life. It forces me to leave my apartment and enjoy an average everyday commute. That commute brings me a healthy amount of daily exercise since I ride my bike to work every day. On top of that, after freelancing from my apartment for 2 years, it’s so nice to interact with other humans and be collaborative again. Over time I was beginning to become very lonely as I freelanced from home only seeing my girlfriend and my dog.
I’m Set for Endless Success
With the health stuff at the beginning of the year, missing out on the residency, and moving my workstation into the Monorchid, all of those things were the culmination of endless success. Each event taught me more and more about myself. I feel like we’re all trying to understand our true selves in the first place, right? Sometimes that takes years to understand and luckily I encountered it early on to now do nothing but succeed. I have learned so much along this year-long journey. Setting up better eating habits, meditation every day, constant exercise, yoga, endless vitamins, healthy work/life balance, and the list goes on.
It’s crazy to see the amount of growth and change I’ve experienced in such a short amount of time. I almost feel as if I’m a completely different person because of it all – and that's a good thing! Beyond excited for what 2019 has to offer and you can bet I’ll be applying for the residency again.