Jennifer Blake: {Guest Post} Ethan talks inspiration and passion

{Guest Post} Ethan talks inspiration and passion

September 23, 2012


Hey guys so starting with this awesome post from Ethan, I have a few guest posts lined up for you this week while I finish last minute details and as I walk down the aisle next weekend. Enjoy.


One of the things that I find absolutely wonderful about Jenn (and I’m not just saying this because I’m guest blogging for her) is she’s always so encouraging when we chat about things that we want to do in life in regards to things that I’m interested in, and the same can be said for her life as well. I can’t count the times she’s said she wanted to do something, whether it be making a whiteboard out of a picture frame, some glass and a piece of scrapbook paper or going back to school and planning a wedding at the same time, and followed through with amazing results.

I wanted to talk about the importance of maintaining your interest for whatever your passionate about, regardless of what people think of you. This definitely holds true in my life, because as a straight male my interest in fashion is unheard of and often scoffed at. But you know what, eff the haters, (oh god, I sound like I’m reverting to my angsty high school self), if something makes you happy, then more power to you! As an individual whose not only interested in just about three things (graphic design, tattoos and fashion), but creative on top of that, I often find myself getting burned out and I wanted to share some tips on how to maintain not only your interest in something, but to take it and expand upon it. Even if you’re not creative, you can still use these tips because I think they apply to everyone.

1. Find inspiration everywhere. Regardless of where you are or what you’re doing, always be on the lookout for things that can inspire you. I always find movies to be a huge source of inspiration, and I’m starting to find a lot of inspiration from books as well. Even on my hour drive to work every morning, the way the light catches a tail light, or how the fog rolls in over the hills can spark something in my mind that’ll eventually translate into a doodle, a (horrendous) sketch of a garment, or some form of design. I carry a sketchbook with my everywhere I go, and often jot down notes/ sketch when I have time and I’m a total Instagram addict (follow me! my username is ethanmonster) and I end up posting a lot of stuff I find inspiring on there, right now it’s sunsets and the beach. I know Jenn uses Pintrest like a champ, and that’s actually a fabulous site to just throw together ideas and organize them. Movies that
I’m inspired by include: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Fight Club, Black Swan, and Sucker Punch.
2. Theres a difference between being interested and passionate about  something and being obsessed with it. I hate when someone is like, “OMG I’m so obsessed with this right now” because let’s get real for a minute, you’re probably not obsessed, just really into it. Obsessed people cannot stop taking about whatever it is they’re obsessed with and find a way to literally work it into every aspect of their lives.  Having a strong interest in something is healthy, it not only promotes mental growth, but also gives you something that makes you uniquely you. Obsession on the other hand is usually a huge turn off, and quite gets out of control.
3. Have an icon. Regardless of where your interests lay, I always found it really helpful to have an icon. There’s something almost religious about having a figure to look up to who is the epitome of what you want to accomplish. Your icon also serves as a reminder that whatever you’re trying to do can and has been achieved before, so you’re not alone. Your icon can be anyone, from a youtube make-up artist (in the case of another one of my good friends) to the late Alexander McQueen (who is my favorite designer), you can find an icon in anyone. Aside from McQueen, I also look up to Kat Von D.
4. Don’t fear failure, embrace it. I’m a firm believer in the phrase “everything is a learning experience” and when it comes to failure, don’t look at it as screwing up. You’re not perfect yet, so acknowledge the fact that you’re going to make mistakes and it’s going to take a lot of time to get to the level you think you should be. When you fail, take a moment to be like, “Alright, clearly that didn’t work. How can I do it better?” And don’t even call it a fail, because that word is so negatively charged that we immediately feel badly about it.
5. Have fun. Hands down the most important thing here. If you’re not having fun, then you need to move onto something that you do have fun with. Don’t try and pick up an interest just because it’s the “cool” thing to do. You’re not staying true to who you are, and I’m a firm, firm believer in being who you are and not really giving a shit about what other people think.

If you guys like what you read, feel free to check out my blog: 
theboywiththeoctopustattoo.wordpress.com

Lemme just take a minute to not only thank you guys for reading, but also to Jenn for letting me share my thoughts! Keep rockin’ and always stay true to yourself.
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