(Writer’s note: Let’s file this post under ‘PERSONAL’. Did you know Thomas Edison was told by his teachers that he was too stupid to learn? He invented almost 1,000 lightbulbs before he finally invented one that worked.
This post is not meant to be an attack. It is meant to be a personal driver and confidence builder, for the many folks out there with a dream and passion to venture out into the unknown. But understand that naturally nobody is interested in your idea, at first. The world could care less. You have to constantly persuade and demonstrate that you can pull it off. There are those who will never understand your idea. And then there are those who do.)
Almost 16 years have passed and I can still remember it clearly. With sketches bound in a folder, I nervously stepped into an empty classroom to present my idea to artistically illustrate the ‘History of Lacrosse’ as my senior thesis to my college professor. Aside from artistic concepts, I was armed with historical research, facts and more importantly, actual playing experience since the 4th grade – that I knew this more than anybody on the art school campus of The Pratt Institute. When my professor told me “I don’t see a market for this…” I wasn’t surprised. My biggest reservation became a reality. And my personal goal/mission to this day, started at that exact moment. A debate ensued, and I was allowed to pursue my thesis, regardless of my professor not being very happy with my choice. It was just the beginning.
A few weeks into the semester executing my senior theses, I had a drawing class with the same professor. While doing hand studies in class, my professor stood next to me, called me out, and yelled that my hand drawings were “weak”, and that “if you can’t properly draw hands, nobody will ever commission you…” I did not make eye contact, but I could feel my classmates looking at me. It was embarrassing and uncomfortable. That was 1999.
Last year, I executed a piece that I thought had a unique meaning in the sport of lacrosse, but required a personal challenge and made me travel “memory lane”.
The title of the piece, above, says it all, because stringing a stick requires practice and repetition. I always thought that EVERY lacrosse player should learn how to string a stick, because it is the best thing you can do for your game while sitting on your butt. The piece became a popular seller.
With the recent WILC 2015 (World Indoor Lacrosse Championship) that took place last month, the piece became a bit more popular. The months leading up to it, I kept it under the radar, until now.
Made in collaboration with Nike Lacrosse and the FIL (Federation of International Lacrosse), I lined up and purchased one myself because I had to “experience it” – that this really happened. After the event’s opening ceremony, I stared at it back in my hotel room.
The next day I saw people wearing them around on the Onondaga Reservation.
I felt like I was in my wheelhouse. That it was good to see and hear from people who got it. After I got home from the event, I received a few cool things from the most recognized sports company in the world, which I’m now proud to call a client.
To my college professor, Nike’s slogan is ‘Just do it.’ Almost 16 years later, I DID IT!
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