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Life is a massive journey of creation. We are all products of creation, and we are all living for creation. However, there is seldom a clear path that paints the way for our dreams, our happiness, and the meaning our existence.

We all get lost. It is the root that allow us to create ourselves just as we please.

After all, we cannot find ourselves unless we lose ourselves.

Mike Brennan was absorbed in the magic of arts as a child, and he loved making others smile. By creating, he was able to bring out more smiles in those around him, and it brought him peace.

He always had a vision and drive for working in the arts the rest of his life, but life takes unexpected twists that bring mass confusion.

In this chat, Mike and I discuss the struggle and confusion of growing up as an artist, and all of the blindside magic that life throws at us. He also gets into his creative techniques and his campaign to create a new piece every single day.

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Highlights 

  • 09:29: Mike reminisces about his childhood and how his talent for drawing, already very much in evidence then, shaped his decision to seriously pursue art – much to the initial dismay of his Dad.
  • 18:30: About how the book “The Creative License” gave him a different perspective of his art and how it had spurned him to a different level of creativity.
  • 20:21: About the start of Mike’s social drawings with line art through an iPhone app and how he had used this momentum to keep on going with other art projects.
  • 24:00: How it feels doing live paintings during a concert when all eyes are on him.
  • 27:30: How it is to be a graphic designer and surviving the nitty gritty details of living.  The constant conflict between being true to his art and the practical concerns of career questions.
  • 32:54: About how knowing yourself and investing time to get to know yourself can help with goals and tracking progress.
  • 36:30: Shares how small goals can be important in the battle to be on track, how he keeps 5 small things to be tagged as “Done” on his whiteboard on a weekly basis and also to remember to celebrate the ticking off of each of these little milestones.
  • 41:20: Shares his definition of success and how it is achieved by staying on course no matter how difficult.
  • 45:01: Talks about how it is to lose a passion and a dream and how his faith showed him another path. Certainly, it was not graphic design nor art but God’s design because suddenly Mike finds himself in full-time ministry work and loving it. Listen as he talks about how he started a church.
  • 51:18: Listen as Mike shares how it was for him to go back to the design world after ten years of doing ministry work. The crazy polarity of these two interests was just too much in one resume. Amazingly, all turned out for the best and now Mike is the graphic designer of a church! Mike attributes this astonishing twist of fate as the hand of God in his life.
  • 56:10: Mike shares his thoughts about how to put the true value on a piece of work that is also almost a piece of himself.

Creative Influences

One hour to create something, with anyone…

  • “My immediate go-to would be Van Gogh. His passion… and his creating from heart. I would love to be a fly on the wall. The opportunity to collaborate would be like – tremendous. I would not even know how that would look, but it would be something incredible.

To defeat Godzilla with his talents…

“I will do a painting for the wanted poster of Godzilla. Then I will make Godzilla watch the last two Godzilla movies that were made and he would probably just pack it in himself.”

Advice from the show…

  • It has been part of my journey to embrace, ‘You know what? I am a mess and I love it!
  • There is no such thing as an overnight success.
  • Would you do what you love to do, even if no other person gets to know about it? 

Mike’s Links…

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