When I was asked, “what inspires me,” I struggled to define my inspirations. I spend a great deal of my time reading video, gear, and design websites, and while there is a lot of content that would be inspirational, and while the content and the artistry is top notch, it is not what inspires me. It took me months to crack the code.

At first, I thought it was the work of other designers that inspired me. But I quickly realized looking at other peoples’ work was more a scientific endeavor about understanding why the elements worked together.

After that, I moved on to people around me and searched for qualities others have that I lack. For instance, my co-worker Eli does not have any inhibitions about chatting with people, let alone strangers. I experience unrelenting fear when being asked to talk with strangers. Another example involves photographer Anna Fischer. She produces some amazing photography and is “inspiring” in her own right. However, when she has a very precise idea she wants to frame, and knows how to make her subject feel comfortable, she can command them into a specific pose. For me, this is a challenge, and I look up to people who can exactly what they want from a subject. But, even that is not what inspires me.

Ultimately, the people who inspire me are those who can create a full project, by themselves or in a small group, and still retain its professional quality. It’s the courage to create outside the system, that is inspiring to me.

For my inspire piece, I wanted to give a shout-out to those projects that were of high quality and were created amongst a small group of people. Those projects include:

  • Phil Fish’s “Fez,” a platforming game about a 2D character who is thrown into a 3D world.
  • James Swirsky’s and Lisanne Pajot’s “Indie Game: The Movie,” which chronicles the ordeals, philosophies, and struggles of when highly creative independent game developers bring a game into the market.
  • Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes’ “Super Meat Boy,” an insanely difficult, and uniquely quirky, platform game released on Steam and Xbox Live, with over 1 million copies sold.
  • Anna Fischer’s “The Wild Places,” a cosplay photography set, taken throughout the landscape of the US wilderness.

Aesthetically, I wanted to create something that had a slightly retro feel, with very subtle colors. I felt these colors best articulate my general disposition that I am never close in talent, knowledge, or experience to where I feel I should be. I chose motion graphics, because it made scheduling easier, and after all, if I am going to do a piece about individualism, I ought to do the piece myself.