As I have explored deeper into how you find the courage to create, I often find that you have to find courage to stand up and lead. Leading can come in many forms. Sometimes that form has to be leaving.
D’Wayne Edwards is the perfect example of courage. Imagine having what many of us consider a dream job creating footwear for the greatest athlete ever and for the brand that inspired most of us to get into footwear design and stepping back and saying “I am moving on”. Take the fact that it is a dream job but also a consistent income with amazing benefits that provides for you and your family. Take the fact that you are rethinking everything you have built the foundation of who you are and now you are starting over.
Next realize that you have to create the foundation for many youth trying to become the next in footwear design.
That is no easy feat.
My question is, where do you think courage comes from?
DE: I think the core of it comes from CONFIDENCE. As Designers I feel confidence is one of the most important traits you must have or develop. It can be developed from having a strong creative process that you have achieved success with. I am not talking about once or twice type of success but consistent success to the point it becomes how you create. Your creative process can be developed by asking or paying attention to other creatives respect and study how they do what they do. Extract the things you like about each of them to create your own. Now, it takes courage to humble yourself to admit you need to grow and that you can learn from others. Once you make that decision to build up enough COURAGE to do that your CONFIDENCE will increase. Your CREATIVE PROCESS will be natural and you will start to get closer to your CREATIVE BEST.
Is it internal and a part of your personality?
DE: I think it can be but ultimately we are a product of our experiences. Most of the time people are introduced to COURAGE through SUCCESS. Now this success can be small like the 1st time you didn’t shit on yourself and your parent celebrated you. most build on these types of small moments and seek more but the key is being aware of all types of successes big or small. As a Designer I would say we have more failures than successes because we are hard on ourselves(or at least we should be) but it is those moments inner strength to want to solve a problem that gives us the COURAGE to keep trying.
Is it gained through experience?
DE: ABSOLUTELY!!! As I mentioned before we are a product of our experiences. Good or bad we learn by doing. In order to reach your CREATIVE POTENTIAL we need to increase our CREATIVE INFLUENCES. It is the KNOWLEDGE we gain through our experiential journey that defines our creative results. If, you only experience the things around you will not grow. If, you experience anything that comes your way or seek those experiences that make you UNCOMFORTABLE your COURAGE to go beyond your limits will have a foundation for your genius.
How did you find your courage?
DE: It started when I stopped shiting on myself. 🙂 As a kid in my pants and as an adult in my mind. I had a combination of encouragers and haters that fueled my drive to be better than I knew I could and that others ever thought I could be. In, my opinion I needed both. I grew up in Inglewood, CA in the 80’s and if I made it to 18 and I was not in jail I was a success. Society already decided my fate so I was determined not to prove them right on top of that I had 2 older brothers (Michael and Ronnie) who were better artist than I ever was but they died before they reached 24. They were my encouragers along with my Mother (who was also artistically gifted and also passed away) to have the career they never had a chance to have. At 17 my Mother gave me a card (that I still have to this day) that gave me the COURAGE to not make excuses and I travel with this card (image below) everywhere I go to this day because knowing it is near me gives me the COURAGE to do anything I set my mind to.
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