CTM - Philosophy for commoners.
No matter how much success I may or may not experience in life, I don't think I'll ever see myself as anything but working-class. I'm proud of that. Regardless of what happens I'd always consider myself that way. In fact, if you look around, some of the best innovations and biggest global brands out there arise from people who were otherwise considered an average Joe, with no academic qualifications to boot. The problem for me is that more often than not when they "make it", a large portion of those people forget where they came from.
Looking back , I had always dabbled with art and creativity growing up. But pre-internet I never really thought I could do anything with it. As a kid, pondering over over my sketches I remember my Mum saying "I wonder where he gets it from?." Some people would hint at my old man's cousin, who was quite a big name in fashion circles, having been the costume designer for multiple large film sets including The Lord of the Flies, Elizabeth: the golden age, and Pirates of the Caribbean. But we didn't know her, not really. She was from a village down south and definitely wasn't working-class, at least not anymore.
A big problem for a lot of people growing up in towns like ours is that they don't feel worthy. Fuck, it took me until I was almost thirty to grow some and take the plunge. Throughout the years I've met tons of intelligent people with massive potential and heaps of great ideas. But most of them, through lack of confidence or self belief will take it to their grave. Luckily for me I've always had a rebellious streak and a kind of blind faith. I don't like structure. Which is why I hate having a boss. No doubt it often wasn't seen as a positive growing up and was probably the reason I came out of school with pretty much nothing. But now, as a bloke pushing 40 I'm thankful for acquiring such a quality. In fact I can't think of anything I hate more than rules.
Since leaving school, I had worked a multitude of mundane and boring manual labour jobs. And aside from meeting good friends and having a laugh, I hated each and every one them. And whilst your'e clock watching packing boxes or sat on a forklift in a loading bay, deep down you know that your'e wasting your life. Or at least I did.
Since the MySpace days I had designed and sold a few graphic tees. All of them themed around my passion for clothes, football and trainers. It was only around early 2012 when I came to what I felt was a crossroads. I got a small payout of a few grand from the sale of my house. Not long prior to this I'd had to move back into my parents house and at the time I was a labourer, but I was also doing side work freelancing as a (self taught) graphic designer and illustrator. I'd told family members what I wanted to do with the money (create a clothing brand) and they all looked at me like I was going a bit mad. I had even mentioned the idea to a few work mates and it was met with silence and smirks. A couple of weeks later I told the same set of lads about the option of using the money to retrain as a gas engineer. This time I got a response.
"That's the most sensible thing you've said for fucking weeks."
And it was with that one comment my decision was made...