I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve questioned what the hell I wanted to accomplish with this brand, so here’s my explanation:
The intent of APRBLEM was to marry several creative pursuits: podcasts, photography and clothing design; however, NIL happened. It grants the NCAA sole ownership of a student-athlete’s “Name, Image, and Likeness”. For that reason, an athlete cannot reference his/her participation in intercollegiate athletics for promotional reasons. Thus, the podcast I created in January 2020 centered around the unpleasant details of transfer experiences, including my own, was booted. It’s on Apple podcasts, but I’m not name dropping 🙂
The pod that shall remain nameless is all anonymous. No names nor schools are mentioned because people love to call shenanigans when anything doesn’t fit their pretty picture. Plus, they can keep the lawsuits—claims of libel, defamation, or slander are very real. We’ve all been in a situation where someone or a group of people invalidated our story based on arbitrary reasoning or their own biases. I say to hell with all of that because your story is your story is your story. The same can be said about one’s emotions or thoughts. I care about the vestiges of traumatic experiences, and I think others ought to follow suit. For the time being, I will do my best to find people who trust me with the intricate details of their experience in order to improve and grow this venture. Just know that once the NCAA takes the leash off of every collegiate athlete across the country, it’s lit.
In regards to branding my photography, I didn’t have a portfolio, unless you count pictures of my mom, and Polo the dog as something. So, I broke it down this way: learn, spend, execute. For some reason, I love staying up through the night scouring the inter web and scribbling notes as I navigate through hours of informative YouTube videos—it’s one of my favorite pastimes (don’t judge me).
Learning was the easy part, but then it came time to spend. If you know me, you know I’m not a spender unless we’re talking groceries or DoorDash. Four digit price tags damn near sent me into shock. I’m fine now because I realized that quality doesn’t ALWAYS come with the heavy tag, so I placed my orders, cursed myself for having the gaul to do so, and counted down the days for the packages to arrive.
Execution came with A LOT of anxiety. The first day Mark and I went to take pictures, I nearly walked back home in light of the phantom sickness I developed in the moments it took him to walk out of the door. The same happened with Jeff, then Chris, but at that point, I’d developed a little bit of confidence in my abilities.
Please don’t get me wrong, this entire process has tested how much I need to know, how much I need to spend and how much is required to yield desirable results. It’s an ongoing process, believe me.
Not gonna lie though, I love it. Maybe it’s my incessant need to solve problems or the feeling I get when my mom says she’s proud of me, or when my friends love the pictures or the clothes. I’ve learned that everything doesn’t have an answer and as long as I feel this way regarding APRBLEM, as the late great Coach Dave would say, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”.