Rear View Mirrors

Brian Gardner

I am going to write this post in a way that I’ve seldom ever written anything. There’s a part of me that wants to stare in the rear view mirror, but I know that deep in my heart it’s the wrong thing to do.

This morning I read an article written by one of my favorite people, Paul Jarvis. If you don’t know him, you should follow him — his unapologetic stance on personal expression is not only infectious, it’s undeniably accurate.

Like most other creatives, I struggle with self-sabotage, self-doubt, and feeling like an imposter more often than not. I struggle with expressing myself, because it does sometimes feel easier or safer not to.

Over the past few years, I’ve struggled mightily with my website. If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’re nodding your head in agreement, and you probably could sue me for all of the whiplash I’ve caused you.

I often struggle with focus, and pair that with the gift of creativity and being an “idea” person and I’m pretty sure you see where this is going.

What I’ve never come to realize is that the back-and-forth nature of my being was the result of a dichotomy that my work and personal life are separate entities.

This mentality has caused me conflict with authenticity in a way that I truly wish to experience. The allure of metrics and the definition of success has driven me to avoid reality and that’s something that I have inwardly resented.

A few months ago I re-launched my website as a design resource, where I decided to share some things I created and teach you how I do what I do. But I haven’t shared with you what I feel and why I do the things I do.

I love what Nashville-Based designer Ruthie Lindsey says here:

All of us are longing for connection and authenticity, and what we believe will repel people does the exact opposite.

I’m a creative person. You’re a creative person. We are creative people.

I want to share with you the entire creative process that I go through. It might be surprising, because what you see is only 10-20% of it.

What I feel, how I think, things I experience … that makes up the other 80-90%.

For me work is personal, and personal is work. I’m not going to avoid either in an attempt to gain (or out of fear of losing) any kind of numbers. So it’s time to do what feels right and have them be inter-related.

I’m not looking back. And neither should you. So if you came here looking for inspiration on design or to learn how to build things, stick around.

You might learn something about yourself, because what’s inside of you, and the things you think and feel, come out in pretty much everything you create.