2015 was strange and wild. I made a lot of major decisions to hopefully improve my life. These decisions didn't come without a cost though. I had thrust myself into tremendous stress and financial insecurity. I've never exactly been the type of person who oozes confidence either, so entering a new career where I'd be judged frequently was extremely nerve-racking. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to survive with that kind of stress. Slowly but surely, I found a rhythm. I'm no longer fearful as I start shooting something. I'm confident I'll do a good job and I won't be a disappointment to myself or the client. This is only a recently revelation. For the past 6 months I've been sweating every gig and opportunity. But seeing so much success, not necessarily financial, but practical success, I know I made the right decision this year.
I took a few pages out of both my brother's books. They've both been amazing sources of confidence, encouragement, and inspiration. I'm endlessly impressed with their ability to churn out amazing works of art at such a high rate. My brother Michael created a narrative, drawing a new page every day for the entire year. I knew he would have the drive to finish it, but I'm still blown away that he made it to the end. For three months I posted a new picture on Instagram every day, and that was no easy task! I can't imagine trying to do the same for 365 days. It's interesting going back and looking at Winston's earlier work from this year, and what he has put out in the last few months. He somehow changed his voice. He's a chameleon artist. I don't know what he's done differently, but to borrow the title of a podcast of which he has been a guest, his latest work is "Almost Educational." Whether he's aware of the change, I can't be sure, but it inspires me to constantly try to new things and evolve my work.
The New Year is used as a time to look forward and plan for the future. Resolutions for how you're going to change your life. But I did that back in June. I think every day should be an assessment of what you're doing and how you're improving yourself. I jokingly told my friend Nick that "each year features its own challenges. If you have an easy year, you aren't trying hard enough to make your life better." The more I think about what I said the more I believe it. I look forward to the challenges ahead. I know they won't be easy, I'm sure I'll shed some blood and tears along the way, but I'm thirsty for more. I'm proud of what 2015 turned out to be, despite, or maybe, in spite of the stress involved.
2016 may be my most difficult year yet. Good.
Please take a moment to visit my brothers on Instagram. You can find their work @michaelwconrad and @winston_conrad. I wouldn't be where I am today without them.