Phen Grant
Graphic Design + Art Direction + Illustration


One Year in NYC


As of today, I’ve been in New York for a year.

I’m proud to report that it’s been the most difficult and challenging move that I’ve made, and totally worth it. I don’t think the Minnesotan me would recognize the one standing here today.

I’ve been through months of trials with finances, emotions, relationships—then adding layers on top of the stress, and I haven’t sunk yet. It’s been raw, but I’m awake and alive, and I couldn’t be more grateful for this city and the people in it constantly stretching and molding me, all while I’ve held onto my kindness, empathy, and ridiculous sense of humor.


Photos by Tyler Rayburn


A few learnings

You don’t have to make conversation if you’re not in the mood. It’s not rude, it’s self care.

Give as much as you get. Don’t be a resource for emotional vampires. Gauge the situation and remove yourself if it becomes twisted. Constantly reevaluate people in your life, including your close friends. They should bring you joy when you hang out. If they don’t, figure out why and address it.

Treat your body well. Good food, lots of water, sex with a person that you love. Don’t let yourself slip freely into someone else’s emotional baggage: that’s theirs to deal with. Give yourself permission to keep yourself safe emotionally.

Lastly, and most importantly:

“Love yourself—flaws and all—you’re the only one vouching for you, and I promise you’re worth the effort.”

Phen Grant