where stress relief mantras, civil engagement, & typographic experimentation intersect:

Selections from the daily “I’m Voting in 2020” exercise I created running up to the U.S. presidential election of 2020 💆‍♂️. The premise was simple. Use the same text to create a new typographic poster every day. You can see toward the end I experimented with multi-image carousels with instagram and the final image, which changed the text to end the series. A bit apocalyptic, you say? I’d agree.

course changes, platform changes, etc…

I was going through my files to back up the other day and I stumbled upon this project. It’s crazy—even though I spent a lot of time on this over the course of several months, the images had sort of been erased from my memory. I’ve always naturally been drawn toward process-orientated projects that are more endurance-based than outcome focused. Obviously, the 2020 election was a very stressful time for most people in the United States (and world for that matter). So much stress and fatigue had been building up since the 2016 election, the all-out, year+ shit-show battle leading up to the election (coupled with a global pandemic) was too much to handle. Making sense of it all felt impossible. This continues to be the case, as reverberations from 2016-2020 politics in America are still being—and will be—felt from now on. We have entered a new space of uncertainty in so many domains. That said, some of these spaces were badly in need of change—maybe one of the only silver linings here. So, what did I do? Well, I tried to focus on the only thing I knew I could actually control—voting. I applied to work the election in my community (which I did—super stressful, but I worked with amazing people) and I created a one sentence “I’m Voting in 2020” mantra. I used my design and typography skills to practice this mantra as a method to communicate resilience, focus, and resolve. I had so much nervous energy this is the only way I knew to vent it. I did this over the course of 3-4 months. I ended up creating around 50 images total. The original idea was to share daily on instagram, which I did. I have since taken these, and well, everything else I had up at the time down. Why? I’ve grappled with this on the blog many times…and the blog was what I elected to put my time into instead of instagram. I’m back on instagram, but using it very differently these days. All of the posts are very fast to make and only serve what I’m doing here. Why spend a ton of time on something just for instagram when it is consumed in one second and then relegated to the digital waste heap of sadness that is, instagram. P.S, this is fine, if that is the mentality. Any sort of emotional attachment to content is a recipe for sadness—and I’m a pretty emotional guy, lol. The media flood I was willingly a part of during the election exhausted me to the point of total burnout. I knew there would be a media war and consciously joined the content battle—this project was my way of doing that—I think in many ways it undermined the mantra aspects of what I was trying to do. Honestly, I think it ended up creating more stress than it relieved! It’s only now I can look back and see some value in what I did—both as an exercise in focus and as an exercise in design. Some of those images are pretty damn nice if I do say so myself! It took making the same thing over and over again to get into that truly experimental space, though. It was personal. It was emotional. It was too damn much. I decided I would stop getting political on instagram. Its a fickle platform—it’s a screaming match. I’m done with that. I put my thoughts here. Anything that is even slightly political now has its home here. It’s a place where you can actually learn something real about who I am if you take the time to look. I think maybe at one time instagram or facebook (or other platforms) were that, but not anymore. But, would I do over again if I had the chance—yeah, I would. Just some thoughts on a Tuesday. —ciao

🙃 + 👨‍💻 + 💆‍♂️