The fourth iteration of the coolest fest in the Midwest℠*, Weapons of Mass Creation, just wrapped up two nights ago. This is an event I look forward to every summer — this year more than ever. I spent the extended weekend as a featured designer, Kickstarter backer, volunteer, and Ink Wars participant. You could say I’m a huge WMC advocate and ambassador. I think you’d be right.
What I Did
Collaborated with awesome new friends at 2 Night Stand Thursday and Friday.
Enthusiastically tore sheets of wristbands and ushered in the crowd for 6+ hours volunteering at the Friday night mixer.
Freaked out whenever I saw someone giggling/commenting/cooing/pointing at my work on the gallery wall.
Ran around watching old friends showing their stupid talent with guitars and basses and drums and voices.
Took cutie-cutie pictures with Boybot before The Appleseed Cast and Braid (!!!) graced the stage.
Participated as one of eight Ink Warriors in the first-ever Adobe-sponsored Ink Wars battle.
What I Learned (& Why I’m Writing This Post)
I matter. My story matters. My voice matters.
My perspective is unique; what I have to say isn’t what everyone else has to say and I say it in a way that’s inherently different from everyone else. It might not always be worth listening to, but it’s worth expressing. The more I express, the closer I’ll get to my best self.
I’ll never be exactly where I want to be creatively/technically/professionally, but I know I’m on the right road. The path I’ve paved so far is the right one because I’m doing what I love.
I’m killing my idols. Unfollowing my heroes. I’m done putting myself and my skills down because my work doesn’t look like @_____________’s. Now I have the courage to understand my work shouldn’t look like @_____________’s and I shouldn’t want to be @_____________. I’m me and I’m transmuting my creative insecurity to confidence.
I was recognized this year for a reason. There are other people way more talented than me, but I was given opportunities this past weekend because someone thinks I deserve recognition and a platform. That doesn’t mean I expect or demand constant opportunities and platforms, or that I think I’m entitled anything. I will continue to work as hard as I have and then push harder.
I have a story to tell. I have passion and a skill set to tell it. I’m starting now.
This weekend I got in a room full of strangers more than once, feeling uncomfortable and out-of-place and too young and an all-around-gold-medal-level of weird. Maybe the room wasn’t for me, but the whole venue was. The whole world is. I belong where I am as long as I believe in myself.
After a full 46 hours to process the weekend, I feel just as I did Sunday at midnight: emptied of all the stress, anxiety, nervousness, missed sleep & skipped meals — and ready to be filled with wonder and amazement. Definitely ready for WMC Fest V.
A huge thank you to Jeff Finley of Go Media for starting this event, working your ass off to make it so amazing every year for everyone, and inviting me to be a special part of it. And to everyone I met and reconnected with because I want to be friends with everyone all the time forever ♥!
*terrible slogan totally copyright me