THAT "bit on the side".

Until recently, over the past 2 years, I'd shared very (very) little of my dedicated time to anything else but my studies, freelance, and personal work. I thrive on being immersed within my work and it's related interests, continuing to develop, progress and open new doors. That and being hell bent on coffee for even greater depths of motivation has kept me dialed in on my area of work almost 24/7, relentlessly chasing my next idea and/or opportunity.

Previous to my venture along the road of photography and the creative arts I'd upheld many interests and hobbies that fed my soul in one way or another, from weight training, cardio, and cycling - to skateboarding, (socialising, lol) and video games...

My endeavor into photography started very heavily, I threw myself right into the mix and began educating myself prior to the start of my studies. Reading up on key influential practitioners, getting engrossed in anthropologies and critical studies pertaining to the photographic arts and wholly surrounding my time with all natures of visual material.

This sole dedication has proven invaluable over the past 2 years and has helped to secure opportunities that have taught me skills and knowledge that cannot be found in the classroom, connecting me with all manors of inspiring creative individuals, both professional and amateur pertaining to the creative arts.

However, being so heavy tuned-in does come with its detriments...

There have been numerous times during the past 2 years were I've driven my mind into an absolute meltdown, hoping to ride it out, waiting for that second wind, and yes! That second wind does come - But with a price.

As sure as the clock strikes midnight, I was only setting myself up for a greater crash...

During a period of my teen years there was a time when I was facing a similar mental strain, not from a state of mental exhaustion, but from the social pressure of being overweight, aka "fat". I'd never found a way to suppress this dwell. Of course, the obvious answer "loose weight", but back then I had no idea of how to loose weight and I just wanted an escape - That's when I found skateboarding.

Skateboarding gave me a platform of expression that was purely personal and different to other sports and unlike many other activities. Just rolling down the road gave me a momentary relief from the way I felt about myself and provided that vital escape. Skateboarding also yielded a very accepting community, people who just wanted to skate and enjoy themselves - accepting anyone who wants to socially participate. 

Long story short, I skateboarded for the next 2 years (15-17 years old) curbed the gripe of social pressure and even lost the weight I needed to eventually!

Recently, my mental state was burnt out, I'd began despairing on my own work and questioning everything relating to my practice. I had also just received my dissertation brief so naturally, I began toiling my mind over the planning of that too! My barrel of creativity was seemingly bone dry, my mind had been spending almost every waking hour on-subject at least somewhere in my mind for the past 2 years and a secondary outlet was needed.

(but I didn't know this at the time)...

I was on Youtube watching a video about a sculptor and artist called 'Tom Sachs', when on the right side of page where it list's "What you might like" sat a thumbnail titled "A day with Mark Gonzales". Mark Gonzales was a key pioneering skateboarder who really drove the street skating movement and always preached how skateboarding was an utmost personal affair through his actions and personality. I clicked on the video, watched it and within the first 5 seconds of the film knew E X A C T L Y what I'd been missing.

Skateboarding was my secondary outlet, I'd just dropped it after I had adopted it all those years ago and now it had to make a return in order to elevate my overflowing mental capacity and continue my creative and progressive flow. 

Like a bucket of water dowses, a fire - my mind since starting skateboarding again has begun to rekindle it's clarity and reform order to my thoughts.

Being wholly dedicated is great! But being better at it is Greater.

Find that "Bit on the side".