Believe In Your Brilliance

Category : Musings, News, Projects
Date : May 23, 2016

It’s been awhile since I’ve written for my website, but I feel I’m at the right place to start sharing my thoughts again. I’ll strive to make regular posts about my work (and works in progress), my process, and my thoughts about the expansive world of design & creativity.

Late last year, one of my favourite magazines – Uppercase – had an open call for submissions to contribute artwork towards a 2016 calendar. The idea of having work from a side project published was thrilling, and I didn’t hesitate choosing my submission. It’s my inspiration, my backstory and my path forward.

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Going back to my undergrad period, pursuing a degree in design wasn’t a walk in the park – it was rather challenging. Little sleep, many studio courses, multiple projects needing attention at the same time. After a stretch of tough days, I was in the washroom and noticed a post-it note stuck on the mirror above the sink. Written on the note were the words, “Believe in your brilliance”. A simple gesture from an anonymous source that called out to me, telling me not to give up and to instead believe I had a better future ahead. I didn’t take the note, not even a photo of it, but I did take the memory with me. And to this day, the message still resonates with me strongly.

It’s common to hear people say “Believe in yourself!” So common, in fact, that it becomes very cliched and non-meaningful, despite how well-meaning their intentions may be. Easier said than done. Talk is cheap. So why does “Believe in your brilliance” hold more meaning to me?

“Believe in your brilliance” speaks about how different facets of one’s life all come together, creating serendipitous moments. It assumes I already know the answers in my head and my heart. It describes a guiding light, a small fire burning inside, that I can draw on as a source of strength and hope. It knows no matter what the world throws at me – things I cannot control – that I will discover a way to persevere and continue on.

Each of us has a spark of soul inside. People can see it, even when you cannot. But you must believe it’s still there.

“Believe in your brilliance” led me on a printmaking adventure where I silkscreened multiple copies of the design so I can gift them to people who have had a positive impact on me. Still a work in progress!

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And “Believe in your brilliance” was what I contributed to the Uppercase calendar project. It appears on this month’s spread, May 28 to be exact! In hindsight I should’ve requested it appear on my birthday next month, but I was still ecstatic to see it printed and distributed to subscribers around the world (and in an e-newsletter too!).

In the years since first seeing “Believe in your brilliance”, I’ve learned a few important lessons:

  • Remember to give myself more credit than what I think I’m worth.
  • I am capable of overcoming adversity, from both internal and external circumstances.
  • There are hidden depths inside that still undiscovered, pieces that will eventually all come together. For now, it’s important to keep building paths forward, and just like a spider web, a beautiful complexity will emerge from life.

This is what keeps me going.


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