First off, can I just say that being back in the midst of a creatively-challenging project that excites and consumes my imagination on a daily basis, feels great. If you’ve read my previous posts The City vs Country Life or Productivity & Its Destructive Counterpart: Productive Guilt you’ll know that I found the first few months out of university life quite difficult. Without the direction and momentum that university gave me came a short stint of creative block. And although, in hindsight, I was probably just creatively drained from my art degree and the right cerebral hemisphere of my brain just needed some well-deserved rest, for someone who always feels the need to be productive and working on a creative project, I found this quite tricky.

But since launching Mantra Sport and conjuring up this idea to open an online shop, I feel I’ve got my mojo back. My mind has been running wild with concepts, product ideas, and just the possibilities of it all! I’ve spent months working hard on the first collection of prints for the shop (which I’ll get to in more detail in a minute) and figuring out exactly what I want it to be, how it will look, and what I hope to achieve with it. Once again I’m visualising all the little details, like the possible placement of type and imagery, before I drift off to sleep and mornings are spent trying to remember and translate these to Photoshop - which is always the trickiest part! It was only the other day that I became conscious of the fact I’m currently in that ~sweet spot~ of a project. The ~sweet spot~ being where everything feels exciting, your head is full of ideas, and you’re fully in the flow of things. And, as any artist knows, these moments must be cherished before the next wave of creative block rolls in! But yes, for now it feels very satisfying to have that concentration, momentum, and sense of moving forwards, back. I feel excited and proud when I share snippets of the first collection, and even more excited for the official launch! 

"My mind has been running wild with concepts, product ideas, and just the possibilities of it all!"

So, the shop! What is it? Well… it will be an online gallery for sports prints that celebrate athletes, events, world records, and memorable moments in sports history. The main collection, that I’m working on at the minute, is called Citius, Altius, Fortius, and is a series of prints that celebrate athletes who define and epitomise the 1924 Olympic motto, which is Latin for “Fastest, Highest, Strongest”. I’m envisioning this collection as kind of the backbone of the shop as I plan for it to be ongoing and continually updated with new prints. Beyond this, I hope to design and release a number of smaller collections. 

Admittedly, it has all taken alot longer to come together than first anticipated but… doesn’t everything. Nevertheless, I’m gradually chipping away at it and feel big progress is being made. In fact, this week I received one of the prints in the post from the manufacturer and am so pleased with the product. So, things are coming together and I cannot wait to share more when it’s all ready to go live!

And whilst we’re on the subject of goals, the rest of my objectives that I’d laid out in a post at the start of the year, New Year, New Goals! are also coming along. I officially qualified as a Level 2 Swimming Coach in February and have been teaching part-time since. It’s a great part-time job that keeps me ticking over and allows me to chat about swimming and sport all day so what more could I ask for! I also successfully completed my 5km charity swim back in March, which was a fantastic feeling. I’m not training for any events at the moment but, nonetheless, still putting myself through my paces everyday just for the fun of it! Of course, with all these happenings I haven’t really travelled much but hopefully I will manage a short trip over the summer to have a bit of a break. 

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that things feel like they’re moving at a good, steady pace at the moment. I like to reflect on my original intentions that I’d laid out for the year, periodically, as a way of checking in with myself and how I’m doing. I’m super excited for the launch of Mantra’s online shop and hope you are too! It’s nice to see things coming together and even more exciting to think about the chapter that follows once it’s officially launched. For now, back to work! 

Written by

Dawn Broadbent