Makers Athletic society
My name is Andreas Pedersen. Having an interest for drawing since a little kid, I got into handlettering while studying graphic design at Linnaeus University in 2012 and I have been a member of the Ligature Collective since the autumn of 2015. You’re probably wondering why I am telling you all this by now, but stay with me for just a moment. This blog post needs a build-up.
Being a creative or working within the fields of creativity, can be a quite sedentary lifestyle. Spending long hours in front of a computer or at a desk working with colorful, vibrant and inspiring solutions to problems is very much a two-sided coin. On one side you have all the fun and creativity and on the other you have the agony of disbelief and idea blockage.
As you may know yourself, being a creative can be more daunting and exhausting than it may seem. This can become a problem, as confidence and assertiveness can dwindle when the face of creativity decides to go missing.
I found the solution to this problem in running. To me, running has a meditative quality and I often come up with my best ideas or solutions to problems or client briefs after having entered the second breath, which for me is after about 3-4 kilometers. I also noticed other benefits, for example my daily mood got better and physically I feel great. These aspects accumulate and in the end make me feel good mentally. This mental state, that comes from exercising and challenging myself to complete difficult physical activities, enables me to be more creative and motivates me to keep pushing forward in my creative pursuits. It is also through this lifestyle that I came up with what arguably is my best idea ever.
How did running enable you to crack your best idea ever?
It was a cold Sunday morning in early January of 2018. It had snowed during the night and the temperature was way below zero. I love these conditions, probably because we seldom get them here in the south of Sweden. So I decided to go for a run.
I just rounded 5 kilometers. I was sweating heavily and was wondering why I put myself through this. But with each step after that 5 kilometer mark I slowly started to notice how my breath adapted to the heart rhythm and pulse. I was about to get into second gear, or the second breath as some call it. For me, this is where the magic happens. It’s a phenomenon that I can’t quite describe, but one that allows me to feel free of the everyday struggle. I stop worrying, I stop caring, I stop thinking about the responsibilities of everyday life. It’s just me, the road or the track I’m running and my mind in this heightened, meditative state that comes with letting things go. This is where I come up with my best solutions and ideas. In that space of freedom that is so hard to really describe, I am at my most creative.
In that state, on that cold and crisp Sunday morning in the beginning of January I was thinking about the next artwork for my athletic endeavor, #AndysAthleticAttack2018. It’s a running challenge where I will attempt to run 1500 kilometers during 2018. I decided to
challenge myself with this, because the previous year I noticed how running enhanced my creativity during working hours. So I wanted to up the ante. One thought about the next artwork for my Instagram series led to another and suddenly I was thinking about other creatives.
I figured that this conundrum of inactivity in the work life might plague other creatives as well. Surely, I can’t be the only one being stuck in front of a computer and desk all day. After all, most aspects of our jobs are tied to the computer nowadays.
In this state of total freedom and physical challenge is where I came up with the idea for Makers Athletic Society, an online community and athletic society for graphic designers, illustrators, producers, animators, originators, creatives and makers of all kinds. This is where I want us as creatives to inspire each other to exercise, to get more active. This is where I want us to let the athletic and active ying inspire our creative work and sedentary yang.
How will Makers Athletic Society achieve that?
The idea of Makers Athletic Society includes a 3-step dare or challenge, aptly titled #TheMASChallenge.
1. Choose an activity, it can be anything from hiking a mountain trail to playing tennis, surfing or rolling around doing jiu-jitsu. The important thing here is that you leave your creative bubble and instead engage in some physical activity. For it to have a positive impact on you, you should do this at least three times during the course of a week. You should also think about how it makes you feel and what you experienced. Both in terms of physical benefits and situations you faced during your exercise.
2. Create a piece of artwork representing or reflecting on your week of exercise and tell us a story about it. Perhaps you saw a bear on your mounatian hike. Or maybe you smashed the tennis ball right in your friends face. Did you tap out because your opponent caught you in a rear-naked choke? Fantastic! Tell us all about it in any way, style or fashion you want.
3. Upload the artwork to Instagram. Tag @makers.athletic.society and #TheMASChallenge in the post as well as nominating three other creatives to join the challenge.
The Makers Athletic Society will inspire creatives to get active in two ways. The first is through the nomination challenge. The movement will expand exponentially with each nomination and thereby increase the knowledge of the community and it’s cause.
The second is by speaking the language that already inspires the creative people we want to engage – the language of art. Through color and graphics we create a diverse feed with an endless flow of stories from other creatives who exercise and tell us about their athletic adventures. The Makers Athletic Society has as its mission to motivate and inspire creatives of all kinds to lead an active way of life outside of their creative careers. By taking care of our need for exercise and our health, we take care of our creativity and our careers. Because I believe that mental and physical health, as well as happiness and well being is the fuel that we need to be creative.
Together we can start an athletic revolution that, in the long run (pun intended), will benefit the creative industry.
Makers Athletic Society – For the makers, thinkers and creators.