We sat down *virtually* with the creator behind the GROWTH 2022 Calendar, Michell Clark, to discuss affirmations, trusting your vision, and the importance of encouragement.
Tell us a little bit about yourself! What do you love to do?
I’m Michel! I’m a 31-year-old writer, strategist, husband, and father. I write affirmations for creative entrepreneurs committed to bettering themselves and the world around them. I love to lift weights, make my daughter laugh, send ridiculous tik-tok videos to my wife, and write–preferably late at night.
Can you speak a little bit about your newest project - the 2022 GROWTH affirmation calendar?
The GROWTH affirmation calendar is a collaboration between myself and my friend Nkosi Ndlovu, an absolutely brilliant illustrator based in Melbourne, Australia. Each month features an affirmation by me that speaks to the challenges that we experience during that time of the year. Each affirmation is paired with an illustration by Nkosi, who utilizes elements of surrealism, dadaism, modernism, and afrocentrism to create stunning illustrations. This calendar is the first product that I designed for myself! I had to trust myself and my vision in a new way.
How did you select the medium and the theme?
I chose to create an affirmation calendar because throughout 2021, I noticed that I found myself in need of different types of affirmations as the seasons shifted. In January, I needed to know that I was capable of turning over a new leaf. In June, I wanted to feel supported in my desire to be more adventurous. In December, I wanted to make peace with the year. I created a calendar to give everyone a sequence of timely affirmations that speak to our shared experiences, needs, and emotions.
Can you say a bit about your affirmation writing process? Why do you think there is power (and there truly is!) in this practice of working with affirmations?
A lot of my affirmations are inspired by issues and problems that I’m working through in my own life. As I’ve grown to share them in public more consistently, I’ve also drawn inspiration from conversations with people who are a part of my community. I write affirmations and other encouraging forms of content to help people who are trying to become the best versions of themselves while dealing with depression, anxiety, or imposter syndrome.
If you could have tea or take a Boketto moment (a moment of daydreaming and of rest) with any person, dead or alive, who would it be? What kind of tea would you have?
I would mint tea with my father’s father. Over the past five years I’ve learned so much more about my family history, and how many obstacles had to be overcome for me to even exist. My family is only a few generations removed from sharecropping, which is a radically different reality than the life I was born into. I’d love to hear about his aspirations, his dreams, and his goals. I daydream a lot, and I’m sure my grandfather did, too–I think we’d both be blown away by the intricacies of our respective realities and the power of our respective dreams.
What does a moment of rest, recharging, or nourishment look like for you?
I sleep better when I clear my thoughts and resolve any outstanding, pressing worries in my head. So, some of my most rejuvenating moments of rest are naps that come after meditation, journaling, or the completion of the day’s most pressing tasks. I like to sleep with a clear conscience.
What’s something you want people to know about you that I didn't think to ask?
In 2022, I’m pushing myself to get more comfortable talking about ideas that I care about on-camera. I’m excited to create more content–not only as a writer, but also as a presenter and orator.
Photo by Kenny Bundy