26, a reflection.
The best year of my life was full of a life i don’t think i could have been prepared for any earlier. With a beautiful and blessed wedding, moving many thousands of miles to a new country, experiencing the joy of expecting a child, and the loss of losing them. As i write this there are a number of trinkets to the left and right of me, adorning my desk surrounded by pens and pencils, i couldn’t feel more at home, steady, or curious. It’s hard not to be puzzled when it comes to the future, and to be completely honest, while i have still ahead of me many goals for life, i feel a newness of desire for them, and though passionate, i feel blank, un-expectant.
As a kid, and i’ve written that sentence a lot now, but the meaning gets more real with each time it embellishes a sentence, as a kid, i remember never knowing what to expect but knowing deeply that there was something for me to expect. It was a split way of living, i had an aching that felt almost carnal in instinct to pursue, pursue, pursue. It could’ve been addictions or work, finances, figuring it out, emotional stability, trivial facts or relationships, i was desperate for everything. I had never been so eager for distraction in my life, but i was under the impression it was what successful people did: a lot. i wanted to be a driven individual not necessarily because i was one, but because i saw that ambitiousness lead to opportunity, respect and admiration. Nothing haunted me more than the last one - forever a hopeless testament to the middle child diagnosis - i needed to be involved in a lot of things so i could have something always needing me back, even if it was just routine... (continued in comments) #1924us#reflection#travel#explore#adventure#ventureonward#hope#home#faith#life#love#experience#style#old#vintage#film
63 6,2928 hours ago
A testament to faith.
Going through the earlier stages of my life, I found the sharing of relationship with God, or any religion, more condemning towards others than not. I was worried that sharing my experiences with faith, unfaithfulness, recklessness and ultimate openness of these things would be damaging to my reputation... both as a businessman and as a person. I remember getting a call from a client after telling them I deleted my Instagram account last year, only to have them refuse to pay me for the work I’d completed because it wouldn’t be associated with the large audience it once was. On the other side, I had a new client come in having no expectation and only excitement for the things to come from us.
It turns out that sharing who I am, what I go through, what, who I love, or even what I believe would never reflect the work I choose to do. The work I do is separate to the man I am, but one in the same as well. What I share on Instagram may or may not affect others in a way I have no control over - this is not cause for silence!
How anyone reacts to who we are or what we share in this life is not our responsibility. If you come into social media with any sort of expectation, hope for success or belief I promise you only disappointment.
The success is not measured by how many followers, likes or attention you get, but the power in this tool lies solely in our willingness to share who we are through it. I love sharing our collections, and trying to be funny, reading and interacting with friends/strangers/clients, I get inspired by artists in completely different realms than my own, and find time to write about my experiences with love, with faith, and with struggle.
I’ll continue to be open because it’s what I believe I’m meant to do despite any opposition. If you ever feel pulled to do something out of a good place, I encourage you strongly to follow up with it. Elle and I love taking beautiful pictures and sharing what we feel, we love seeing y’all share your stories, interact with us and open up too. I am grateful daily for my circumstance and what I get to do is from a place of passion, dedication and faith. #1924us#faith#love
Everything about what we do is a journey. From the moment we’re born until we go from this world, we can give and give of ourselves in anyway we choose. Bends, changes, ups, downs, we’re destined for somewhere but that place isn’t here yet.
Being married, and into having a family, your first thought is that you’re starting to wrap up this pretty package called life. I’m young, but I can’t help but keep myself humbled from the countless words of wise offered to me to be aware of my own fragility. Time is short. I can’t stress it enough in my own life, and it brings me a peace to know I’m doing my best to make the most of what time I am given. If I’m not, or if I fall back, I work quickly to right it, keeping death closer still. Whether you’re up in the mountains, or down on the road, in your sheets or hard at work, what’s around the corner for you is just as known to us as it is to you.
We have something incredible here, a magical life that isn’t fit for wasting time being pitiful over trivial things, whether or not they involve others or just your own mental battles. I strongly encourage you to keep death close as a comfort, not as an escape but as an end that is meant for all of us - do the most you can in this life with whatever circumstance you’re given and don’t let anyone stop you. Who you are is important, and what you have to offer is of utmost value. Those are the two things insecure people will always work to attack, and it’s the one major doubt you’ll always have towards yourself in life as well. There’s a reason you’re here, go find it. #1924us#home#go#explore#life#faith#travel#adventure#places#road#mountains#sky#forest#canada#field#jeep#old#vintage#coffee#maps
28 6,64520 April, 2019
Walking through my hometown never felt like it was settled for me, it always felt like a sort of half-state limbo I found myself walking through after work or school let out. When you grow up in a small town, the most unusual and simplest of things become monuments to how you remember your experience as a child. The one or two stoplights, the polite gas station attendant, or walking from one nearly empty street to the next.
Elle asked me today if I felt homesick, and I can’t ever remember the feeling of longing to be back somewhere - though my memories are fond - my focus is on where I am and where I’m going.
I left my home at 14, and soon realized the harsh reality of being selfish and living under a ‘victim’ mentality. It took me nearly the same amount of years to not just be self-sufficient but kind and humble as well. I’ve learned so much in the last 13 years, and I’m glad to have had the people around me to help me learn that life is much less about my struggles than it is about overcoming. Who you are I pray will always be better defined as how you progress in life - not how you were stunted. We are not defined by our tragedies, they are not accolades to wear like medallions or points of interest... how you navigate, how you are who you are now, is infinitely more intriguing. Tragedies happen to us, but we choose who we become despite them, and I’d say that’s the story worth celebrating.
You don’t have to be from a small town to know that your value in this world is a big one, and sometimes your impact may be stretched far across the world in a way you never could have dreamed up. Now thousand of miles away in Australia, I remember my childhood well, but don’t ache for it. I look forward to tomorrow, but don’t yearn for it to come. The great success of a life well-lived, one that any Enemy will hate for you to enjoy, is to feel comfort, content and peace in your current circumstance... Thank you @ellemaywatson for helping me humble myself, and for watching me grow from hungry to fulfilled. You are an icon for love, and a beautiful representation of the Faith we both hold so dear. #1924us#love
60 8,16417 April, 2019
If you’ve been a supporter, this is an important read.
In May of 2013, I officially started 1924us while years earlier it was just a blog. I want to say thank you. To everyone who has stopped me in my tracks to question me, or pursued me in collaborative efforts - 1924us is a culmination of all my ambition, many hours and steadfast beliefs. But it also the result of great community between all of you and what we do here. For the last three days I’ve had the opportunity to sit and sift through many years and many hundreds of design projects, choosing which to showcase and share through our site. Since I started originally some ten years ago, everything, every job or detail has been purely networked through word of mouth. We are constantly blessed with the security of running this small business to be both informational and inspirational. While most may know us as an Instagram couple, what we actually do is heaps of design and content works to help produce some of the best quality products in the modern world. So after a painstaking 72 hours of hardcore curation, I’ve officially uploaded a portfolio spanning the selected works of ten years and nearly 300 projects. If you’re at all interested in it please, please go take a look at how we’ve captured our design and let us know what you think!
From as humble beginnings as any, and a small town in Oregon of just 3,000 I’ve now had the miraculous opportunity to see my work across many forms of application and travel all around the world to complete it, whether a company is a one man show, a ma and pop shop, or trading on the stock exchange - 1924us has developed some of the most ambitious projects I could never have imagined. We’re always taking on new work and never afraid to get heartfelt about what we do. I’m forever grateful for my wife, my past team, my friends and clients and of course all of you who make me as a 26 year old have the world’s grandest job. Thank you immensely, from the depths of my heart. I want you to know I read every DM, every comment and try my best to reply to as many as I can, so thank you for all that you’ve done in supporting, encouraging and inspiring me and 1924us to continue!
53 3,96914 April, 2019
The challenge of finding love is one we often mistake for being the toughest part - especially when we’re single. It’s easy enough to let yourself get filled with resentment and doubt when love doesn’t walk into your life when you think it should. The truth is, love didn’t walk into my life when it should have, it was wholly unexpected and I was less than prepared. There is joy to be had in the moments you have time to figure “life” out. Do not take it for granted. We are gifted time and opportunities for reasons - most of them beyond our control - so what we do with that time will prepare us for the moments we find love. We live in a generation so fixated on the idea of love or rather the pursuit of it, the “swiping” movement has lead us to believe we can receive the benefit of affection, affirmation and even sexual intimacy before we’ve earned those things, and soon when it’s all over and ended because too much happened too quickly, we move on again. There’s a strange drug-like high that comes from dating and never settling, it allows you the “maybe there’s someone better? Maybe I can get something else!” mentality that is the bane of healthy relationships. And then, when those ‘relationships’ don’t pan out and you’re left scratching you’re head - you become hurt. Relationships, genuine and changing (meaning, they change who you are despite whether you think you need someone to love you for you) take an unfathomable amount of work but it pays off every moment of each day.
While it might be nice to feel wanted by many or feel the affirmations from others that you want to hear, know that there is a darkness that associates with those feelings when they’re not gifted to you from a place of affection but of habit. No matter how many people you think you have to go through to find the “right” one, you’ll be blown away when you realize even after a year, how much a person changes.
In life we only get addicted to temporary things, our mind is built that way, drug or sexual highs, they last only as long as they can and then they falter away. True commitment is rewarding because it puts an end to any doubt, and creates something, through hard work, that withstands.
63 8,47213 April, 2019
It’s been said between Elle and i that we believe strongly in content over aesthetic, that the purpose of what we do is more important than how it looks. While lately we’ve been focused on crafting beautiful products, high quality and lasting things, along with content and missions that we believe people can get behind, it’s hard not to feel like some of the best things we can do get lost in the noise of everything else going on in the world. The “Content” of everything is flooding in, number of photographers, makers, story-tellers and so forth is at a bursting point in a great way, but maybe one we need to be careful of.
More than just creating, there is a responsibility we have to what we make, say, do, video, photograph and most of all - share.
While you may take the most beautiful photos, or have such a yearning for travel, how you share your life and experience is what will universally always be recognized. Art is beautiful, often because of how we perceive ourselves reflected in it. And while confrontation, and sharing might be challenging, the way in which we make ourselves vulnerable will always captivate. We can relish in our openness. Perhaps through our art we feel a sense of sharing, we connect through what we share, so what we share should be purposeful and intentional. It’s on my heart lately to be more aware of this, so i’m not just writing nonsensically or speaking because i want to. We’re all desperate for real connection, what is rooted inside of us yearns to come out. The importance of sharing is never undermined in life, it is the history that will soon define us in the years to come.
i pray for a rest in those of you anxious to keep up, or struggling with comparison, those eager to succeed - in your openness, your willingness to share, there is a great reward of marking a testimony for others to witness. You are a testament for a life-lived! Whether anxious, successful, depressed, desperate - your story is more than your art, do not live for the way in which you share - but what you share. You are the culmination of everything you leave behind, and everything you choose not to.
39 1,65512 April, 2019
Although moving countries has its challenges, I’ve been putting in daily effort to remind myself of how blessed I am. It wasn’t always that way, and to get to where I am now took an immense and indescribable amount of hard work and just trying. Trying new things and putting it out there even if it wasn’t great. No one makes great work on their first go, even the historically greatest of talented individuals started out somewhere far from where they ended up. There’s this idolization of status or jobs or work that comes with any sort of creative field, that photographer got that or this designer did that, and it’s all completely irrelevant to your own growth.
There’s great starting off points for everyone, helpful tips, tools, tutorials and so forth that can help you start - but how far you’re willing to take it is what separates you from the rest. There is no secret, lots of practice, risk and failure, lots of growth, pride in work created and joy from a job well done.
To have this chance to feel these emotions everyday is something I couldn’t have asked for, it’s bigger and greater than any accolade or job, just being able to simply wake up, sit at my desk and drink a cup of coffee while I draw is a grand reward.
Here’s to wherever you are - it’s not where you’ll end up unless you let it be. #1924us#home#design#art#illustration#travel#explore#coffee#type#lettering#typography#branding#designer#christianwatson#portrait
34 7,13211 April, 2019
I’ve been collecting for many years now, and the number of strange, important and beautiful objects in that collection grow and inspire me all of the time. Generations before us that dedicated so many hours into the beautiful work that’s preserved so well and still functions purposefully today. It’s one of the biggest motivators for my work as a designer, and a product developer - what can I create that will inspire, motivate or influence the generations after me?
Great news requires bold headlines, and unfortunately, boldness, and loudness are often confused today with strength and confidence. Just because you shout it doesn’t mean you should, and the louder you are doesn’t make you more convincing. I’ve been thinking about the often wrestled-with struggle truly beautiful people have when it comes to sharing their thoughts and feelings... If that’s you. Your time is short and fleeting, so allow yourself the ability to share what you need to. Be open and warm, forgiving and kind, and talk about how you feel. There is no need to hide behind your fear. The people in power have always been loud, expressive and charismatic - but often they say the most vague things to get a reaction from the general public. How you’re feeling, thinking or acting may not be relevant to everyone but even if you inspire just one person, then you’ll have done a great work worthy of celebration.
Continue to share and be vulnerable in the best of ways. We all yearn to have a community built on that, Elle and I deeply desire to find ourselves continuously surrounded by people who are not only passionate and convicted, but open and learning. We all need heroes, heroes need heroes. And what we create now is left behind for the great many to come ahead.
Have you ever cursed at God? Whenever I didn’t get my way as a kid, no matter how much I felt I deserved it, I was always sure that it was God who didn’t want me to have it. So like a child, I grew angry and got so frustrated. Fast forward to now and I am in perpetual awe of what has happened in my life despite the difficulty of my circumstances, and the periods in which I “lacked”. My dad wrote to me the other day and said “I have failed to be the right person for my children, and I can’t change that now, so remember that in your growing.” Now, I’d never heard my dad say anything like this and I’m 26. But the capacity for his heart to change has been immense and inspiring, my mother too. No matter the struggles you face or feel defeat you, there is room for grace and change. You don’t have to stop right where you are and accept all of the things you’ve ever done, in fact the best show of character can come from admitting - even just to yourself - that you’d like to be be better than how you were.
I never in all my life imagined I’d visit Australia, let alone migrate here. And though situationally it hasn’t been the simplest of tasks, it has been undeniably the exact purpose of my life. And to marry into such a wonderful family that has been such a shining example for my own marriage, for the friendships as well that my mom and dad now have... it’s eye-watering. I know how deeply at times we all want to feel justified for our anger, for our hurt or our sadness. But what you allow for others is a reflection of the gift you’ll receive when you come up short. All of us come up short. No matter the life you’ve lived, endured or battled nothing is worth instilling bitterness.
I am so grateful for my relationships, my position and my everyday growth, and more than ever thankful to have such a wonderful partner by my side through all of it. Things aren’t perfect. We argue and get upset, we hurt and cry and furrow our brows... but emotion doesn’t define the health or longevity of a relationship, it ebbs and flows like anything. What keeps you strong is what you share, is your openness, and daily tablespoons of grace.
It’s 12:18 am and for the last few weeks Elle and I have both been working til very late, only to ride early and continue on again. We get tired, and I think we’re nearing that stage of exhaustion where our bodies just need peace for as full 8 hours. I have a really difficult time trying to keep up with myself, trying to run a creative agency while running an antique shop, plus being newly married and trying to move my whole life to around the world - it just seems never ending, but in the best of ways.
So far we’ve released a How to Brand tutorial, and with a How to Draw, and a How to Style/Photo tutorial on the way, I can’t imagine us making many more for the foreseeable future. Really what we try to do is put our best work out there and share how we do it. 99.9% of the work in the world comes from your own creative drive and never from anything someone else provides. However, we have heard such incredible stories from you all about how our guides, presets, tool lists, and even our stories have helped to push you. So thank you, so very much.
Our tutorials are all available online! Please check the link in our bio, and if you have an idea for a product you’d like to see in our shop. Let us know!
Alright, time to go play my favorite game... catch the Zzz’s. #1924us#home#work#travel#explore#adventure#branding#design#tutorial#art#type#lettering#howto#guide#hands#tattoo#coffee
30 2,6564 April, 2019
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