My Psychic Reset

About two and a half years ago, I launched my new portfolio, focusing on an area I always wanted to pursue, typography and graphic design, until everything changed.

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About two and a half years ago, I launched my new portfolio, focusing on an area I always wanted to pursue, typography and graphic design, until everything changed.

My Psychotic Reset

About two and a half years ago, I launched my new portfolio, focusing on an area I always wanted to pursue, typography and graphic design, until everything changed.


Shortly after releasing my new portfolio, a big ordeal happened in my life. I ended a ten years relationship with my girlfriend at the time, a sad necessary step for both of us. Unfortunately, it did not go well for my mental health. A year before, I had sold my shares from the studio I co-created with Mark Lindner, Panoply. We successfully worked on prestigious projects for Louis Vuitton, Mercedes, Jean-Paul Gaultier, and Nike. It was a tough decision to leave the business, but the right one for me. Mark found an even better-suited business partner.

It took me ten months of studying and working towards this new undertaking: learn all I could about typography and lettering, create my fonts, find my graphic style, study, and finally make the things that caught my interest come to life.

Let's go back to that moment. I launched my portfolio, successfully got contacted by Google Creative Lab, took on a project to rebrand the logo for Rabbids for Ubisoft. I was looking forward to this moment of glory for myself; I would finally make it in that realm! The truth is, I had a love-hate relationship with typography. I couldn't resolve myself to kern my fonts for days. I had doubts, among other things. I thought I would go crazy, and unfortunately, I did.


Everything fell apart, a weird succession of events took place for me. I slept with one eye open, and I felt calm and unstoppable at the same time. I started to have visions. Lao Tsu was whispering koans to my ears; maybe it's because I listened to the Tao Te Ching hundreds of times. My dread turned to magic, and I felt very eerie to others for a while as strange things happened to me. I had completely let go, and I was completely relaxed. But soon, I couldn't take enough of this new energy inside me, and thanks to my ex-girlfriend and my best friend in London at the time, I got admitted to the hospital. Everything was so surreal. When they took me in a wheelchair toward the ward, I thought this was all a joke, that I was finally dead and I could go to heaven now, call it victim entitlement.

Because of this ordeal, I lost the contract to Ubisoft and my talks to Google, only to spend five weeks in the ward. It's odd when they tell you you can't get out. You have to take your medicines and behave, or you could end up in the next place.


This experience was probably the most significant in my life. I've connected with others in the ward in so many meaningful ways. I've seen their misfortune and circumstances turn into their salvation and their power. I've seen my brain tricking me into seeing magical visions. I've seen the actions of my fellow patient reenacting their traumas. My voice carried no filter to what I genuinely thought anymore. I've experienced a flow of ideas, endless drawings, crazy connections in my brain, and what seemed like an understanding beyond what I thought was possible to see. This ordeal was a profound spiritual experience for me.

After five weeks, I finally got out, right on time for Christmas with my family. I felt better, yet still a little bit weird. Sure enough, the doctors' prediction appeared to take effect; now, I would soon feel depressed and probably gain weight with the meds.


I can't but feel nostalgic about those feelings of freedom, energy, ideas, truths, visions, and revelations. The doctor said this was common after a manic episode.

It was a long year in London for me. I worked with my dear friend Denis at Feedmelight where I directed a few projects with them, a blessing to my depleted finances. Then I've been fortunate enough to be hired at BUCK in New York and move to the USA for a new start! A fantastic city, a country full of possibility. This move has blessed me, yet there is still something inside me yearning for something more purposeful, functional, or practical. Maybe I could create and design something beyond advertising and Instagram illustrations, NFTs, or others tutorials.



The road back

Fortunately, you will rest assured that I am very well back to normal now, but I tried to keep my edge, to come back with the elixir, I had to figure this out. What happened?


I now believe that our decisions and our creations always emerge out of necessity. The body knows what to do and how to prepare you to ignite change. It has its wisdom.



When the pandemic struck, I knew it was time to change myself, especially after all this. I had to bring something new to the table. So I started reading. Not only reading, speed reading, studying, researching, a lot. I began to work on myself more deeply, my triggers, traumas, fears, and doubts. I questioned why I felt so much resistance to living to my truth and seeing what I most wanted to happen for myself. Maybe this was all part of a more significant design?

After those years of therapy trying to figure out what was wrong, I realized that I was not crazy. There are so many conflicts within us all, a sort of schizophrenic society per se. I know I was playing an act all along because I could not cope with the expectations I imposed on myself from the world around me. I know that healing is part of a process we shall all undertakes if we want happiness. Healing the wounds of generations, childhood, our parents, and evolve towards something better, more harmonious with the whole, and offer new alternatives.


When I went on this quest for knowledge, I realized something. About us, about who we think we are, about the world, about how we relate to it. I realized that our creative desires are proportional to our fear of seeing it happen for real. I dream of invention happening at the speed of our tongue or even our thoughts. In a world moving that fast, it may not be much of a crazy idea after all. I dream about our potential to solve the wicked problems in our world, where passionate people have fun and love to contribute to the greater good. Our thinking is the most crucial technology to create our future, so I want to design thoughts.

I realized that we could say more about mental health for creatives, artists, designers, and inventors. What we yearn for is always a response to our environment, a need to stop being a victim of our circumstances and start creating it. Sometimes, it is ok to feel sick about a sick world, especially when we may be more part of the problem than the solution. And I know that the longing and desire for healing are fundamental in every one of us.


I sometimes found myself back to that flow, where I have much energy, too many ideas but time to make them real. I sometimes feel a natural flow of creativity and clarity coming out of me, feeling very aligned. Maybe I'm just addicted to that feeling. Creativity is a beautiful curse. During these last two years, I caught myself thinking about more possibilities, more creativity, and more of what we can dream of happening in the world.


A new beginning, a leap of faith


Recently, I've been fortunate enough to take a break from my day job and work full time on a new project.


I love learning so much, I know it's time for me to share my discoveries. I have prepared and carefully organized a battery of knowledge, ideas both earned and learned. I gathered those from my experiences, books, courses from titanic wisdom over this time, learning about creativity, mental health, and personal development. I wish to share it with you through this channel that I'm working on, and later as online courses. I hope that you will like them and find them resourceful as well as enjoyable.

I feel a solid duty to share this work with others because it is possible to train our minds to create amazing things to follow our dreams while having fun. For each of us to bring our best to the world out there in our own ways and capacity. To transmute the energy of our dragons and transform them into mighty creatures.


We can harness creativity as a force of nature to awaken this creative flow process inside us. I know that purpose is an incredible alarm clock. We can find our path, our inspiration, and grow our vision to create a better world around us, which is needed now more than ever. We can focus on our processes rather than the results and create better solutions. I've witnessed that recovering from past traumas and difficulties is a real possibility to heal so that we can live a more balanced, happy, fulfilling life as artists and creators. I know that learning to converge our focus and energy can be an exciting adventure. We can find healing to master our minds and harness our power to make us unstoppable in our endeavors as a community. That as producers and creators today, we must create the most elegant solutions for our society. I've seen that accelerated learning can improve your life to acquire knowledge faster, more efficiently to understand the world and anticipate tomorrow. I know that a better thinking process can drive significant results to act intelligently in our lives and environment. And finally, that a deep understanding of our spiritual legacy can make us free to live a peaceful, meaningful life.

"What is to give light must endure burning." — Viktor Frankl


I would forever carry this stigma of mental health on me and the deep wounds and scars that come with it. At least they called me enlightened for a bit. They can call me crazy, but at least I guess I've seen the light!

Yet, as per the ideas of Steven Pressfield, I still feel that resistance. Deep down, something is keeping all of those desires and possibilities at bay. It's hard when others can tell you not to talk about it. You have to take that step for yourself, to say that there are things that are genuinely wrong with us all, to accept that and be at peace with it. A family member told me that opening up about my mental health would not be such a great idea. That there are horrible people who will try to hurt you in this world. But wait, believing that people could have authority over me opening about my truth isn't part of the problem in the first place? Another friend told me that I should stay at my place, not change or do anything too crazy. One could guess that repressing our self-expression and hiding our truths is probably the key to my well-being. I ignored that advice.


Those are all toxic ideas, not toxic people a toxic idea per se. Repressing my true feelings was why I had an ordeal in the first place; it kept me in ignorance. The fear makes our thinking toxic in the first place. Self-expression is the most rewarding thing for us creators, yet it is also the most dangerous journey.


Time for a change


"The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek." ― Joseph Campbell


Today is the day for me to work entirely on fleshing out that content I've researched ready for your eyes to see. And part of me is terrified, of course. But those feelings are very familiar to me by now. Following what you truly want is not an easy path, but it is a critical path, and somehow, it does get easier. I prepared for this through my ordeals. I am ready to embrace the pain and transform it into a joy to do this work for and with others, especially the younger generation, who need guidance and support more than ever.


Empowering people's dreams has become so meaningful to me. And I've been so privileged to make some of my dreams happen and rejoice when others succeed. Becoming a graphic designer was my dream; working in the creative industry was maybe yours too. We made it happen. What dreams can we make happen now as adults? Or are we so doomed that it won't matter anymore?


My friend, from a creator's heart to another, I wish you to see in this world all that your heart truly desires. Remember that you might be in the right direction to change if it hurts, and therefore a path of creation.


Thank you for reading. Would you please let me know your questions, thoughts, opinions? I would be so happy to hear from you, always.


Take care,


Renaud.

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