when I first started college I remember being really freaked out because suddenly how I performed in school was directly linked to who I was as a person. when u make art or design things, u can’t help having your own style. and that style just inevitably links to ur identity. and when u r young u r still figuring these things out. and u r still refining your taste/style/preconceptions/knowledge/etcetera. so when u go to a crit, and ppl critique your work, u feel like they r critiquing who u r as a person. u feel it in ur very soul. and I remember being shocked at first. because suddenly my very core of my self was hanging on a wall for ppl to look at and criticize. and it was terrifying and new and strange. and then over time we learned to distance ourselves from our work a little bit, and not let crits slice our souls. but as we were doing that, our work was getting better and better. and we were growing up. and our quote-unquote-styles were refining themselves. we got polished up, I guess u could say. and now, when I look at my portfolio, I can see it again. I can see my very self in everything. and it’s a nice, more mature, less-worried-about-what-other-ppl-think version. and the crits still come. and sometimes they r useful. and sometimes I push back. and idk what i’m trying to say here rlly. but I guess what I mean is that as u grow up, u get more and more polished, and u become more and more and more of who u rlly rlly r in your soul. and the feedback & experience & practice helps. it all shapes u. the confidence comes earned. and the more u embrace & discover who u r & reveal it through your work, the more ppl tend to look at u and your work and say wow. they find u intriguing. and personal branding weaves itself in all of this somehow. but that’s for another time. just cultivate that gut. refine those instincts. and u won’t have to fake your own brand so much. u will be unique on ur own.

maturity comes earned & over time. I met some old ppl recently who had been through so much hardship. and I told my dad, i’ve been so whiny lately about my easy life, but these ppl r so tough. and my dad said, yes they are tough. but when they were your age, they weren’t tough.

life refines u, polishes u, strengthens u on its own. all comes in due time.

i’m such a wise little college graduate.

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