Refuse To Be Average

Each month I focus on a new core value that’s represented through a hand lettered poster. For January 2015, I choose to center my theme around Motivation.

I created this piece to motivate others to reach for greater heights and refuse to be average.



With this poster I wanted to illustrate a feeling that many of us struggle with, being original. We all want to be known for something greater than ourselves but we rarely do the work to get there. Sadly many of us settle for what’s comfortable rather than going the extra mile to follow our dreams.

I realized that the only way for someone to make their unique contribution to the world is to stand out. It’s scary, but nothing is more satisfying than going against the grain and becoming more successful because of it.

It’s my hope that this piece could help others let go of their attachments, of who they think they should be or what others think. To let the real them emerge far better than what they have already projected to the world.



I started with a few thumbnails to establish a simple but balanced composition. I filled several pages with different experiments of lettering styles, layouts and hierarchy. I try to really push my creativity in the beginning so I can give myself room to play with lots of rough ideas without any pressure.

This piece needed to have very clean lines, so rather than digitalizing a detailed piece in ink (like I normally do), I decided to jump the gun and work from my rough sketches directly in Photoshop. Using the lasso tool I cut out each letter, slanting and stretching to keep the words level and centered.

Once I had the skeleton of my layout established, I went ahead and painted on top of my drawing with my Medium Wacom Tablet using a fine hard brush. I wanted the lines to still have that handmade appeal while maintaining a very pristine look.

Going with a vintage 1930’s baseball theme, I used a patriotic color palette with banners and stars. I wanted this piece to tie into the authenticity that came from that early American spirit. Making sure to use dark colors against a worn out paper texture while highlighting “Average” with a pop of bright red.

Surround yourself with things that inspire you

Put up some motivation to fill up those empty walls of yours. Purchase this artwork to keep as a beautiful reminder to never settle and reach for greatness.