My Routine and Other Things

I am trying to learn a little more about vector based artwork, I am not super savvy in that world of digital art. Thanks to the Adventures In Design Network (AID Network) and being part of the Circle Of Trust, I am able to snag two months of free classes through SkillShare! So look out, cause ya boy gonna be playing with all sorts of vectors and whatever else comes along with that medium. 


You should check out some of the shows that the AID Network has to offer. I am not good at listening to podcasts but these shows have a great balance of delicious, juicy material and side splitting moments of laughter, which make them easy and enjoyable to listen to.

Which gets me into the topic I want to chat about in this post - my routine. I’ll also share a few of my favorite shows and episodes with you at the end.

I must say that what got me into the routine I have now was due to the first AID podcast I listened to, Power of Daily Routine (you can find it here). I had to take a step back and look at the things that allow me to get the job done. This may be obvious to most people but I needed help to come to this realization. 

At that time I had just got off of a 5 month tour with Drake and the Migos and I couldn’t have been happier. It was draining all around and in every aspect of life. I longed for my friends, art and a vacation. So that’s what I sought out. I spent most of my time at Brooklyn Boulders Chicago getting caught up on my climbing and hanging with friends. I was prepping for the Renegade and Revolution Craft Shows as well as knocking out some commissioned work. So I hit the ground running printing and drawing, and on top of it all, my trip to the Faroe Islands was right around the corner. I was stoked to have so much going on and it all positive things. 


After a super successful outcome at Renegade and a blast of a time at the Faroes, I was back in Chicago and the holidays were quickly approaching. My buddy, Rob, have gifted me a membership to the Adventures In Design podcast. 

This podcast has changed my life.

So I have created a routine that allows me to get amped, create, and feel accomplished without overworking myself. 

At the start of the day I get my coffee going. I rock out a nice pour over while listening to the news. I give myself 30 minutes to an hour of relaxing, walking up, listening to the news, sipping coffee and snacking on some brekky.

I’ll brew up another cup of jo, and start my journaling for the day. I use this exercise to clear my mind of any distractions, straight up a stream of conscious written down. As I get the nitty gritty, distracting, and tough thoughts outta the way I get into what excites me. Typically a project I am working on, climbing goals that I want to hit, or the excitement I feel about hanging out with certain people. The second half of this gets me amped to take on the goals that I had previously set for the day.

I use an  Ink+Volt planner  and Moleskin journals

I use an Ink+Volt planner and Moleskin journals

Journaling is key to getting my head on straight for the day. It sorts out the negative thoughts and allows me to get past those distractions in order to move to a direction of creating and positive thinking. It allows me to process things I need to process and helps make decisions that I find challenging. Journaling provides a way to balance out pros and cons of opportunities. This means that journaling is a definite must for me in order to get the day off to a good start and more free from distracting thoughts than I would be otherwise.

Moving onto the rest of my morning and it typically looks like computer work - making changes on my website, submitting orders for more inventory and fulfilling orders.

  • I’ll scope out my wholesalers’ websites to see about deals and seek out inspiration. I explore new products, usually gets me pumped and inspired to create. I am contemplating flasks, wallets and belts just to name a few. A little research on how I can get these products made and where I can get them from. 

  • I’ll check my website numbers and see where I can improve advertising, marketing, as well as the overall design of my site

  • I’ll go ahead and get any orders that I need to ship out prepped and ready to be mailed. 

  • Finally I’ll make one last push to respond or send any emails. 

I try to get the things that require me to be at my computer done before I leave the house. It’s extra weight, another thing I have to be conscious of while I am out, and a distraction. 

After I get my desk work hashed out I venture to any number of my favorite coffee shops.

I’ll spend a few hours at my selected office for the day. Joined by another cup of coffee and a donut I set out to review my goals, work on current ones and set new ones. 

By this time I start hanging with my friends from the AID Network. Typically I’ll listen to Hammer Time, my favorite show for drawing too. Hammer Time (insert link) where Mark Brickey (podcast host),Michael Hammer (owner of Violent Gentlemen), Biggie (entertainment manager at Good Fight Entertainment), Tavo (tattooer at Torch Tattoo) get together and talk art, favorite restaurants, Disneyland, and poke fun at each other. This show tends to be the one that I put on while I draw. It’s lighthearted enough to follow along but if I miss something then it isn’t too much trouble. 

IMG_3144 2.jpg

After I wrap up my day of drawing and goal setting I find myself heading to Brooklyn Boulders for an evening of friends, climbing, and hanging. I’ll get a good session in with my homies then we head out for food, chill vibes, and good times.

This is arguably the most important part of the day. The time I get to spend with the people I want to spend it with. These are people that inspire me, that motivate me, that keep me accountable, and push me to be a better person. They love and care about me and want nothing but happiness and success for me.

Now, I trust that I have created opportunities for myself and it was me who decided to take the risks and chances but these guys had my back the entire time, through good decisions and bad. 

It’s important to surround yourself with likeminded, driven, and encouraging people. That influence rubs off and works both ways. I can’t stress enough as to what my friends and community means to me. 

So there you have it, a brief rundown of my daily routine (while I am at home, my daily routine while touring or traveling shifts a lot and I draw and goal set in my downtime, which varies). The day to day tends to shift a little. I may throw in a yoga class before drawing. Or I may forgo drawing altogether and decide to work on music instead. there is a chance I’ll go to Spudnik Coop and do some screen printing. Either way I do my best to fill my allotted time with something creative, even if it doesn’t happen to be drawing.

56642933535__51F63311-51E7-4894-BAEE-620BEF1B3BC8 2.JPG

Scheduling this out before the day comes help relieve the stress of deciding what to do and how to fill your day. A little trick I’ve found very affective for me, setting yourself up to have certain decisions made for you before you have to make them.

Alrighty, so a few of the shows I really dig from the AID Network are Shop Talk and The DKNG Show. Both are dope and will get you motivated, laughing, and educated! These are the ones I tend to lean to when I want some motivation on how to make my next creative steps meaningful, intentional, and effective. Like I mentioned earlier, the Power of You series is really what set me off and got me jonsing for me creative endeavors and how to really do what I want to do with certain intentions and goals.

Thanks for reading guys! See you soon!

  • Jordan W.

It Was A Busy 2018 - Recap

This year has been a good one of growth, exploration, learning and failing. That being said it has been the most challenging year since I finished up chemotherapy back in 2011. Not that the two are remotely close as far as a challenge but I’ve had a nice chill ride since then. It’s been good to reflect on how good things have been and all the dope people that have entered my life and without those people I wouldn’t be where I am today.

So I am not a huge fan of the “new year, new you” saying. It is nice to have a date, landmark, or event to kickstart new habits, trends, and goals but I feel like unnecessary pressure comes from these kind of “start dates”. But, what do I know?

I do try to plan things out in a way where development comes naturally and dependent on deadlines or expectations. The planner and journal I use comes from Ink + Volt. Within this journal there are overarching goals that you can set. Then over the calendar year those goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, and even daily steps. This method tends to work best for me and sets me up for the most success in accomplishing the things I set out to do.

Anyway, 2018 was busy for a lot of people, including yours truly. So 2018 was really the first year that I actually pursued art to the fullest extent and there is still so much room for growth, which excites me!

It all really started at the end of 2017 where I spent the month of December in Iceland at a residency drawing and playing music at different cafes around Reykjavik. In pursuing that opportunity and chatting with my employer it was decided that I wouldn’t have work when I returned to Chicago in January. It was on good terms and totally understood why, I had already spent a good 3 months traveling at the beginning of the year, 2017, and I didn’t plan on easing up with the travel anytime soon.

My studio space at the SIM Residency in Reykjavik, Iceland

My studio space at the SIM Residency in Reykjavik, Iceland

So, as I returned to Chicago I relied on some freelance work I had with Blue Man Group to help me along. However, the holidays had been good to me and people reached out for some commissioned work which is what helped me shift gears into seeing what freelance artist/designer life was like.

Thanks to Spudnik Press, I learned how to screen print, then I continued to dropped some coin on a few items to print on and to sell at the Revolution Craft Show, the first show I had been part of. I had no idea what I was doing but at that point I had made myself accountable to showing up and providing some products for people to enjoy, or not. Fortunately it was a good experience and very successful for my first attempt in the craft show circuit.

Next up was the Randolph Street Market. This was where a learning opportunity came into play, it was not the place for me or my art. Not quite as successful as the first show but not a complete loss. Probably won’t do that market again.

By this time I had started setting routes part time at Brooklyn Boulders, the place I had to quit in order to travel (heh heh heh, I snuck back in - they couldn’t get rid of me). The 12 hours a week helped supplement income with the little art I was making.

Do Division Street Fest was an dope experience and very exciting opportunity! Super successful both financially as well as networking and meeting new people. The atmosphere of summer time vibes, live music, and a bunch of creators/makers sharing their heart and soul with their fellow Chicagoans was legit. I shared a booth with my great friends Melissa and Bruce, they were slinging Trolls with air plants as hair - check them out (Fat Plantss). We had a great time that weekend.

Do Division Fest 2018

Do Division Fest 2018

It was also the weekend in which I was offered a job as LED tech and camera operator for the Drake and Migos Tour. Super random considering I had no experience with any video equipment and had little to no knowledge in that field. This gig was absolutely because I had networked while I toured with Blue Man Group years prior. All about who you know.

So the tour was cool and all. It was a lot of hard work and long hours in not the greatest conditions which I can totally handle it just forced me to set art aside slightly. I was still working on commissions throughout that tour, I designed a tumbler for Ipsento and a handful of tattoos which you can find on my Instagram. It was a great experience but happy to see it end, June through November is a long time to be away from home.


Back in Chicago I hit the ground running, prepping for Renegade Craft Fair! I was so stoked to be part of this. I pumped out a new series of prints and, a new line of t-shirts, hoodies and hats! With the holidays just around the corner I was hustling, slinging art left and right, and sharing where the inspiration for my work derives from - primarily the trips I’ve taken to Patagonia, Iceland, and Sweden.

Renegade wrapped up and I hit the road for the Faroe Islands, in another blog post I’ll share all the juicy details.

Back from the Faroes I had the Revolution Craft Show to get ready for, the one where it all began! I couldn’t believe what support I had from all my friends both new and old as well as IG followers that came out to say “hi” and hear about my trip. So much love was felt, it was a great time with lots of laughs, drinks, and arts.

This coming year, as long as touring doesn’t hinder me from physically being at these fairs I plan to hit more this year than I did last year, I may need a few people to stand in for me if I happen to be away so hit me up if you’re down to stand behind a table and try to convince people you are the artist.

I have got to say that things are been off to a great start considering it’s my first year trying to make this, art, happen. Know that I couldn’t have done it without you all supporting me, giving me the drive and holding me accountable to continue to create. Thank you all! I can’t wait to see what happens in 2019!