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Years In The Making

This was an idea that was "years in the making".

Usually when you hear such a statement it comes from someone who was so focused on one thing for a long time.

But do such things always come from such focused determination?

In this particular instance... I would have to say "No."

It's a bit of a weird thing to think about. Throughout the time I've spent on exploring my creative side there were only very rare instances where I thought "That's too stupid to do." Now I did realize that possibly at the time they came up I wasn't in a place to realize them. But I didn't want to shut them down completely.

As life would go on I would encounter various groups of like minded people who were just all "Fuck it, let's do it." There's something about that just grabbed me. If I could tell I was on the same wavelength then I wanted to jump on the ride.

Sometimes the ride went nowhere. Sometimes it would travel some distance and then grind to a halt. And then there would be times I'd jump in and BOOM we're off traveling at fuckin' light speed and mapping uncharted territories.

Through all of that I learned a lot about people.

I also learned a lot more about myself.

There were a lot of rides along the way. Justin's Corner, Spankwagon, 8BitX, Chiptunes=WIN, MAGFest, All Star Felons, 8BeerX, Thoughts With Major, and so on. All to varying levels of success.

But after some time when you get pulled in so many different directions you have to wonder if you're truly presenting "yourself". I would like to think I did well in whatever I did. But if I was to present "myself"... could I possibly do even better?

Within all of this I started to learn what I was really good at. And I also started to realize how some of these things we're keeping me from... well... being fully "me". I've learned a lot through these experiences. Especially my sense of self.

Thankfully one of the things I've learned is how to find like minded people who you know have a really good chance of success. While I can't really quantify how I've done this but I just don't have a fear of people who could do something better than me. When I see it I just say "Just fucking GO DO IT."

Recognizing that and bringing them in is a lot better than trying to do things on your own. Believe me... I've tried. It fucking sucks. As a creative you need people to help celebrate the highs and support you through the lows.

But also within working with all of these people began the "boiling down" of who I was and what I wanted to achieve. Wanting to push myself creatively. Wanting to educate. Wanting to inspire. Wanting to challenge people in a positive way.

I recognized that if things were done right in certain creative spaces this would be huge.

Through a mix of paying attention and some good luck I found people who wanted to do the same.

We want to challenge convention. We want to stand out. We want to go up to people who only think things can be done in a certain way and tweak their noses. We want to show people how we did things and how achievable it is for them. We want to do stupid shit that others are not doing. We want to be ourselves.

It was not a simple path. Many backtracks, forks, and roundabouts led to this. But when you have people who want to draw that map like you do... then anything is possible.

The spirit of six words is present today as it was back in 1999 when I had a video camera with a couple of friends on a random road in Iowa.

Get dumb ideas.

Make them awesome.

Welcome to makethemawesome.com

Rob Swackhamer - May 1st, 2018

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