“Hearts on Fire at Firebelly”
You know how you have those experiences that nearly take the breath out of your lungs, those moments where your life feels like it changes with every step, the wheels get the turning in your mind? Inspiration runs wild and passion drifts a foot? Thanks to a little luck and perfect timing from the man upstairs, I was stepping indoors to one of my favorite design studios in the Chicagoland area, Firebelly Designs.
My first year as an AIGA Member, I chose to be apart of a mentor group, which is essentially one of the coolest things you can be apart of in this design organization. Basically what happens is a veteran artist takes you under their wing and plans out activities, usually twice a month, where you get to experience the world of design. Groups usually run about 6-7 people, who you all begin to get to know through this whole experience. This week was the trip to Firebelly Design, and I couldn’t be anymore excited.
As I stepped into the door, I was floored by the beauty of the place. A warehouse/storefront repurposed, a design lab took place behind these beautiful doors. Not only did artwork and design happen in these many walls, but it was also home to a non-profit organization with a focus in giving to others, a design camp and a full multi-person internship program. This organization was living my absolute dream and I was about to meet the one that made it all happen, Dawn Hancock.
We went about a tour of the location, my heart racing with utter excitement and dreams a brewing. My notebook was on fire with the notes being scribbled about. Seeing the facilities where everything happened made it all seem so real, completely opening hope that anything is truly possible. By the time question and answer time came, my nerves were at an all time high. Here I was, in front of one of the people that I admired in the design world, living the dream I want to achieve in a few years, I mustered up the courage to ask my question.
“How do you get past the fear of achieving your thoughts, putting your ideas in action?” It is a true fear of mine, having a head full of ideas, but being able to talk yourself out of them before they go into action. It is definitely not a talent, but quite a common thing.
She answered back humbly, expressing her thought processes. She mentioned how she always had an attitude that everything would always work itself out and to put your ideas in action, as it is the only way you will know if they stick. Such simple words but completely genius.
A common thing I’ve noticed in the art and design community is that many achievements are created by simply doing. Simply putting yourself out there, making yourself vulnerable, putting out work that you are proud of for the world to see. All it truly takes is one idea to take fire and spark inspiration for us all. During my long drive home, Dawn’s advice resonated with me, and will for years to come.
Here’s to putting ideas to action!