Mar 21, 2010

Newsletter from February 8, 2010 & The Future Mindset

The newsletter posted below the foreword was sent in early February. If you would like to sign up for future newsletters, there is a sign up on the bottom of


I will be on the road soon. After a year, my time in California has come to an end.

I hope to find some time to reflect on the past year during the 1000+ mile drive north to Washington state.

As I think of the past year, of all the negative experiences (Because there were definitely several of them!) and of all the positive experiences, I can't help but to think about how I've changed over the past few years.

One caveat of being an artist is that your imagination not only touches your work but can enable you to live your life deeply in your mind, which is what I did, mostly in the pain of the past, in the fear of the future, wallowing in the misery of being a victim. (or rather wallowing in the fact that I was allowing myself to be the victim, or wait, maybe I was allowing myself to THINK that I was a victim!)

(That was one long run on sententce.)

Only a few years ago, if given the chance to have ever been born, given the lackluster view of life I seemed to relish in, I would have wished that I had never existed.

But a few years ago, I left that version of Jimmy behind. I suppose having spent a considerable amount of time musing about myself, wallowing in self pity, living in the fantasy world of my mind, I decided those methods were highly inefficient in obtaining a full life experience. It's amazing where you can go when you finally take responsibility of the helm.

Recently, I theorized that it might have been the alcohol and the chemicals in the cigarettes that helped to keep my mental state in such a slump. In the past year, I have had very little alcohol (and no smokes) and my emotional and mental state have been fairly positive, and not prone to sweeping erratically as I was typically accustomed.

Who knows. Maybe I just finished puberty. I still get zits though.

Regardless of the reason, I don't spend much time mulling over bitterness (at least too much, there is some value in evaluating situations for their utility or lack of) instead I look to the future with great anticipation and optimism. And sometimes, I wish I could live ten lifetimes, so I could experience all the wonderful things life can offer.

My Grandmaw told me a great way to be happy was to be thankful, and look at all the blessings you have in your life. It seems I might be using that bit of wisdom a little more these days.

I don't mull over the bad stuff much nowadays, since it just seems silly since there's so much goodness to be had when you just turn off your angry face, make time for the... happy place? What would be a better rhyme?

Even now, I don't think I will really think about all the pros and cons of the past year on my drive, (although I would like to firm the good ones into my memory for future nostalgia) I will probably think about the near future and all the great things that might occur.

I'm actually moving up there for a girl. We've been talking since August, and for the majority of the time since, we've usually talked for an hour or two daily. I feel like I'm moving up to be with my best friend... a best friend who I can make out with and think is hot.

Relationships are a weakness of mine. I love my freedom and individuality, and in the past, relationships have had the ability to wrought me to my knees as nothing can lift the gloom of a broken heart. So just like moving cross country, or taking a chance going freelance, the girl represents a challenge and an opportunity for growth.

Might as well...

I feel silly quoting a movie, but here's a great one: "Get busy living, or get busy dying."


Dear Diary... and Newsletter Readers


Late 2009 was a difficult time. I had to make some pretty difficult decisions. Two months later, the outcome of my decisions have become apparent. The choices that were made were good.

The last few years of my life have been difficult to explain.

I lived on a ranch.
I was a professional contest winner.
I moved cross country.

Even now, it's somewhat hard to explain the details of my latest decision that will affect my daily life and future.

Though the net result is that

I now work exclusively from home, and am now free to move anywhere I wish.

I still work with Matt and Jason of Design by Humans, but the focus of my work is now concentrated on working with Teefury, their spin off company.

There were significant sacrifices, but they were in exchange for major advantages perfect for my tendencies and overall life goals.

I've long believed that working at a 9-5 desk job was a scam, especially for me. Unless you work a commission based job, regardless of how hard you work, the income is the same. (BTW they paid me awesome, I have no gripe with DBH) For some, a 9-5 is great, but I have a tendency to overwork. I've even had coworkers at different jobs tell me to work less and not so hard.

So when the opportunity to transition to a contract position as a.d. of Teefury arose, with income partially based on productivity and success of the company, and ability to work remotely, I took the leap of faith.

I wish I could find the email I wrote to Layne Hunter of Teefury long before Teefury ever sold it's first shirt. When I saw that there was a new shirt site based on a shirt-a-day like, I was eager to get my foot in the door because I believed in the potential of the business model. I remember I wrote to her/him that I would be willing to provide designs every month to have my foot in the door, and that I wanted to be "the front man." That was prior to November 2008. And today, I am an integral piece of what I call Team Awesome. Despite what snarky online commentary may seem to suggest, Teefury is thriving. It is by the team efforts of many of the same players of Design by Humans: Matt, Jason, Tom, Andrew, MJ, and the awesome production and fulfillment team at our printers.

So, although I've had to sacrifice a significant portion of my income and health insurance by relinquishing the majority of my DBH duties, I've recouped a significant amount of my time back which I have been able to efficiently spread back out towards earning an income by creating art.

It's worked out perfectly. It was sad to watch all my artists friends excelling and growing artistically while my artistic endeavors were at a stand still. Now, I can join back in the journey, while still helping other artists get exposure on

I'm not sure what the next couple years will bring, but I'm certain it will be difficult to explain as ever.

"I resigned from my desk job to work from home... so I can art... and so I can move to Seattle for a girl."


Maybe. Maybe.

My insight on the decisions I have made in the past few years, that make my life a little difficult to explain, mimics the advice of the Robert Frost poem, The Road Not Taken.

Truly, when you break free from conventional thinking, walk the path of the unknown and take risks, it takes you on fantastic adventures that regardless of the hardships, is well worth the leap. It will make "all the difference."


In regards to having more time to create art. I've recently created a few works for Sullen that will be available for print soon. Logo work by Hydro74

I am also working with the famous apparel industry artist Joshua Smith aka Hydro74 with his new apparel line, The Brass Tack.

Arbor Collective will be releasing a couple skateboards and a shirt in the near future that I designed for them recently.

I've also recently worked with Art Directors Mike Morton of O'Quinn Apparel, and Aaron Hennings of Billabong, but currently do not have permission to post images of the work.

I still design shirts for Teefury, (of course! I approve them!) and I have Rock N Roll Lincoln coming up. I am currently getting permission to include free stickers with every shirt purchase. I am uncertain if Teefury would be open to cross promotional branding, but I think the consumers would enjoy my stickers especially if they are already buying my shirt. Tentatively sometime in March.

Thanks for reading! I hope the world is bending to your efforts and will.


Slaterock said...

Hey Jimmy. Interesting look into your life for the past year or so. You're a talented mofo, and I'm sure wherever the winds take you, you will excel in what you're doing. My wife has a lot of family in Washington, if we ever head out there in the near future, I'll look you up. Good luck with the drive, can't wait till you're settled again and cranking out great art!

kat said...

You never cease to inspire me. Your words often come to me at just the moment I need them to and you don't even know it. Your growth encourages my growth. Thanks.

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