How Muay Thai Changed My Creative Life

 
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I’ve not written anything in a while, so forgive me as I knock some of the rust off these old creative bones. After a pivotal moment in the early summer of 2018, I made my mental and physical health priority number one. After fighting anxiety and depression, with the support of my wife, I made the decision to take the first steps into an MMA gym. 15 months of Muay Thai training, intermittent fasting and exercise later, I’m the strongest version of me yet. It has sparked a new creative jolt that I’m trying to harness. I’ve found a confidence in myself and my work that I don’t think I’ve had before, and I’m trying to embrace the imperfections of my lettering and illustration style. When I say Muay Thai has changed my life, (we joke about it at the gym) I’m not lying.

Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand. It’s kickboxing mixed with elbows, knees and a clinch. And while its nice to know I can probably take a client that owes me money, the real benefit comes from the confidence and mindset I’ve adapted as a martial artist.

Continuous improvement is a way of life, and regardless how far we’ve come, we must continue to push ourselves forward.

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been jaded by the design industry. After seeing how studios use their people up and throw them away, I became bitter and fell into an isolated space. I didn’t look at the power of design and how it can help someone bring an idea to life. I focused on our industry’s faults. That’s when I quit trying to improve. I wasn’t trying to be a better creative version of myself. Muay Thai and that bad mother f’er David Goggins had me wondering what happened.

So I changed. I put in work. I adopted a new mindset, and I surrounded myself with some badasses who inspired me to give more of my heart, my talents and myself.

My mindset and mission are true and clear. I want to give entrepreneurs practical tools that help them find their independence and support them in creating their own livelihood.

A ton of folks are do-it-yourself-ers that prioritize fiscal restraint. Having run my own business, I understand that. I’ve also realized that there are things I can do process-wise to make my services more accessible. I want to help launch 12 new brands in the next year. (If you’re a veteran-owned business or social cause even better) I want to give folks with the side hustle the tools, the look, the experience and the legitimacy that comes with thoughtful design. 

The people I’ve been fortunate to work with in the past have been scrappy, passionate small operations. It has always been a pleasure to work alongside folks who truly love what they do. I love putting in hard work alongside them and doing my best to give them every advantage possible when they finally pull the trigger. I hope you’ll join me on a new ride, one that prioritizes people with big dreams and ideas. (If you want to join me on the Muay Thai journey, I will be the first to hold pads for you!)

Stay tuned. I’ve learned a lot about business and creativity in the last 6 years of operating on my own. I want to share that experience with you and help you turn that big idea into something special.

Cheers,
Stephen