Mitch Myers is a freelance art director, motion designer, and 3D artist. He is an award-winning artist who specialized in telling stories without words.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I grew up in Osage Beach, which is a nice Lil vacation spot in the middle of the Ozarks in Missouri. It was a really chill place to grow up. I was very into watersports and spent most of my time wakeboarding or on a boat chilling somewhere. Other than that, Music was basically the most important thing in my life at the time. I was working towards becoming either musician or a music engineer for most of my childhood.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
I wish I would have realized how incredibly blessed life with no pain is. My Fibro didn’t show until my mid-20’s and at this point, I don’t remember what a life with no pain feels like.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
It’s mostly just toxic positivity. I always see so much self-promotion that I think people are a little scared to be truly themselves in this industry. I’m not sure if positivity is something people think should be a part of their brand, but I have focused more on showing who I am and not caring too much about what others view of me. I don’t have enough energy to fake my life to the people around me. Not to say that my life doesn’t have extreme positivity within it, It’s just not realistic to have no struggles and It would be much more valuable to see the struggles of those you look up to. It can help you feel a little less alone in your current situation.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
Unfortunately, I am currently in the darkest period I have ever experienced in my life. I began to develop body pain in my early to mid-’20s ( around 2011) and since then I have been working to find out what is going on. At this point, it seems like a Fibromyalgia situation, but I’ve gone through so many different tests, injections, scares, and just extreme anxiety of what this disease may turn into. It’s extremely difficult to live every millisecond of every second of every minute in extreme pain and have no way out of prison. At my current age (31) I am beginning to come to terms that I may be living with this for the remainder of my life. It is a very hard thing to accept, but I am finally beginning to. Fortunately, It has given my mind some extra time to experiment with what acts and exercises can bring the pain down as much as possible. With hope, I will find a schedule that allows me a normal life once again, or at least as normal as possible.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
I’d say the largest contributor to my success has been my fear of failure. It’s definitely not the most effective and efficient form of motivation. It can create a ton of anxiety and depression, especially when your “success” doesn’t feel much like success. I am beginning to learn that failure is something constructed by my own insecurities. Luckily, I am beginning to find some new reasons to create and hopefully, people will connect with that.
What is your morning routine?
My morning routine is very random. Because of my always changing pain levels, some mornings I am up before the sun rises just because my body is in too much pain to sleep, and some mornings I sleep past noon to try to give my body some recuperation time. Once I wake, I am usually working on stretches and meditation to bring my pain level down as much as I can. If low enough, I can start my creative day! If the pain is too high, most of my day is spent on therapy.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
That’s a hard one. I’d say the behavior that has helped me the most is just growing mental fortitude. I’ve had many struggles dealing with thoughts of insecurity. I’m always living in a world of imposter syndrome. Lately, I’ve been more zen. Less caring about the outside world and more interested in what is within. It has brought me some peace and allowed me to really look at my work in a different light.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
My strategies may be a bit different. I spend a majority of my time managing my pain and whatever time I have left working on developing my craft. That has made at least a million different issues from not being able to take on client work anymore to feel left out in the industry because I’m unable to release as much as I’d like. It’s been very important to me to block out what I believe the world may be thinking and just care about myself for once. Now it’s all about me and I couldn’t care what happens to my art once it is released. I’m just trying to enjoy myself.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
I’m all for self-improvement books. Really, anything that allows me to think deeper about my current situation and place in the world, and what I may be able to do to improve myself. The problem usually comes with pushing that self-improvement on others; I think if you can focus on yourself and your own growth it’s easier to see what’s important. Another reason self-improvement books are my vibe would be living with chronic pain. I suffer from fibromyalgia which brings a ton of pain with it. Learning how to look within can be a very therapeutic experience.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
I have a quote from Calvin Coolidge hung up right next to my bed. It reads “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” I look at it every morning. I need to have enough inner strength to press on through my physical pain.