Decided to branch out and start my own merch line. As stated in previous posts, Having my own brand of offerings has been something I've thought about for a long time but lacked dependable resources to pull it off. The gig economy has helped address this issue through platforms such as TeeSpring and RedBubble. I opted to work with the latter as it was the quickest from start to posting designs in your shop.
The first design (iterated into two versions) is the "Damned if I do, Damned if I don't" emblem that was inspired by personal events that were intensified by the advent of COVID-19. DIIDDIID is a mantra I've held and looked to in times when it really felt like there was no point in even trying, knowing that certain situations would arise again in ways I couldn't defend against. This inevitably lead to many days where half the battle was getting out of bed. I know this pangs of heavy depression "vibes" but I can solemnly swear it's mostly related to things happening behind the scenes that would intensify if I started speaking about them publicly - rather keeps things at "not-so-great" than make them "worse".
I let go of a lot of dreams particularly this year, and even started scrapping the progress of my YouTube channel which had started to see increasing and stabilizing growth as it was becoming a major source of anxiety due to the new issues it was welcoming along with the "safe-space" codependency I was developing with it. It became the place I could run to to block out some of the things I could not control. Granted, it made it possible for me to prove to myself that I was capable of building something that could be appreciated-by and help others, but it also incentivized ignoring other things that would not go away without really addressing them.
These unnamed issues are still very much in play, but I've been able to get some perspective recently and take a serious look at where I am, how I got here, how I'm still here, and where I want to go and be. I think the biggest lesson is that things take time. Whether is be healing, learning, rebuilding, the decision of when and how these things take form works on a timeline outside my present perspective/scope and all I can do is work on those little bits that contribute to realizing these goals.
These two designs are the first in a series that represent that ultimate choice we're given at any point: to do or not to do, to be or not to be - either way it's a choice that needs to be made to the best of your ability and hope that you succeed, or at the very least learn to do better next time and not dwell.
In the past I decided to walk away, biggest walk-away was this year when I let go of the pursuit of being an architect, with everything done except the dissertation which was already underway. Unfortunately, and excluding C-19, some things went left and I had to decide if preserving my mental health and regrouping was more or less important that getting that degree which I had been losing the luster for - rather have someone passionate and hungry for it get it. This resulted in me starting my YouTube channel and exploring the things I was more passionate about - something that has done wonders for my mental health and self-esteem (and saved my life in many ways). It did, though, come with new challenges outside the space that showed me that I needed to be more vigilant and attentive with my interactions with people, and I'm thankful for that as I will hopefully not make the same mistakes when I was more trusting and naïve.
There's a wide variety on offer with just these two designs. I know it's weird that my first branded offering isn't even related to AFRIKANIZ3D and its associated imagery. This resonates the most for me with where I am and I look to it in those moments of doubt - Lord knows there'll be more ahead, but that's life, isn't it?
Check out the store here:https://www.redbubble.com/people/AFRIKANIZ3D/shop?asc=u