Category Archives: Words

Signature Sound – Testimonial

Thanks to Leslie, Steve, Benny and the entire Signature Sound community I am now officially a published author!

I’m so grateful to have been invited into this group and this book project. The biggest highlight for me was being invited to speak our in-progress pieces out loud over multiple “Reverb Sessions”, which were live video calls with mentors Leslie, Steve, Benny as well as writers involved with the book project. These calls were emotionally charged, super vulnerable and so precious. Literal tears were shed!

Leslie, Steve and Benny have created a safe space for creators to share their unfinished work and gain constructive feedback to help refine our stories. The process of speaking my piece out loud in front of others alone helped me to gain confidence and new perspectives on how I could further develop and refine my writing.

All in all, such a highly rewarding and overtly positive experience that I won’t be forgetting any time soon!


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Signature Sound: “What do you sound like when you speak?”

It’s official – I’m a published author!

Book Depository:
Barnes & Noble:

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DeviantArt Subscriptions Avengers team

“Get involved get INfront!”, “ask questions” and “have something to say”, these were bylines that my good friend Dom Bartolo developed for the Australian INfront design community and words I’ve lived by for so many years.

Selling my GT-R, and then my house, and at first looking for an apartment close to the beach, but now considering a place closer to the city, and taking on a role as community leader of my gaming clan, and now being invited to join a team of artists to help potentially shape the future of DeviantArt… I feel like something is clicking back into place, and I like it!

Here’s an email I got this week from the Marketing Manager and Head of Artist Relations at DeviantArt:

Hi Justin,

Happy Wednesday! I hope all is well.

I’m working on putting together a group of about 30 artists on DA who use DA Subscriptions to create kind of a community/focus group. There would be opportunities to meet with the DA team. give feedback on the product, get an inside look at some analytics and insight and socialize with other artists and photographers in the space on our Discord.

There’s no contract or pay or time commitment or anything too formal. We basically just want to form a DA Subscriptions Avengers team that we can promote and help succeed and collect feedback from.

I would love to have you in the group if you’re interested in working with us. Let me know!

Thank you

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: the act or an instance of justinfying something : VINDICATION
arguments offered in justinfication of their choice
b: an acceptable reason for doing something : something that justinfies an act or way of behaving

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I game hard, but I’ve never confused achievements in a game with achievements in real life.

I think that ability to have an unhealthy obsession is a good thing though. That obsessive compulsive energy is what you need to get a new business off the ground.

Casual gamers are probably mediocre and casual about everything in life.

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I created the “buy now” button for the very first online shop concept for Telstra. I spoke in front of 3,000 people at Semi-Permanent design conference. I founded and ran the Australian INfront design community and we ran Field Trip design conferences in Sydney and Melbourne as well as running design events at the Apple Store in Sydney. End of the day design made me money, but the lack of respect I had for myself as an artist made me quit.

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The old adage “sex sells” is becoming “sex smells”

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What is the difference between art and porn?

art is about sex, porn is sex

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Perception is key

Nelson Mandela.

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R U OK? Day

What do you sound like when you speak?

In 2018 I found myself smoking an ounce of weed a week. I didn’t talk to friends. I was comatose. I didn’t sleep in my bed. I had a scab on the right side of my head that I picked off every day. I didn’t shower. I collected big piles of dandruff and dead skin. I urinated in empty soft drink bottles because I was too lazy to walk to my own bathroom.

I hit rock bottom.
I couldn’t find a reason to live.
I was over it.

Despite protest, my Mum took me into the doctors (which ultimately saved my life). I was diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder and prescribed antidepressants. I’ve always been more of a “rehab is for quitters!” kinda guy. I believed that people who were dependent on antidepressants were weak.

I was scared of my Dad as a kid. He was a large, proud and strong Buddhist man. But I saw a transformation in him when I was 18. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer and as it ate him alive he grew weaker and I took that weakness in a bad light.

In his dying days some random priests at the hospital pressured him into converting to Christianity in order to secure his entry into heaven. He gave up his fight with cancer, he became a Christian and then he passed.
I was disappointed in him for giving up.

When he died I decided to inherit his strength and I vowed never to be weak. I gave myself a deadline. Dad passed away at 47, so in my mind I had until 47 to do absolutely everything I wanted to do in life. I was hungry. I was obsessed. I’ve been there. I’ve done that and then some. I’m now 47 and I believe that this self imposed deadline drove me to make all the marks I’ve made to date, but it was only a few years ago that I learned the hard reality of not being able to choose when it all ends.

The meds helped me to avoid hitting low-lows, but they also stopped me from reaching high-highs.

I was in the middle.
I was numb.

Everything I had ever done of any worth in life had come from meeting the deadline and living through the death of my father, so getting off the meds became a priority and I’m happy to say that I’ve been clean for over 3 years now.

I’ve chosen to make peace with periodically losing my shit. I value the emotional connection I feel when I remember, somewhat romantically, my previous lows. I use my low-lows to create art.

I am an Artist.

If bipolar is about having inflated self-esteem or grandiosity, or being more talkative than usual, or distractibility and an excessive involvement in activities that have high potential for painful consequences, then bring it! I choose to embrace these traits of my mental illness.

So to answer the question; what do I sound like when I speak?

Well, it depends which me you’re speaking to!

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