I’ve been quiet. I know. It’s been a mixture of some very demanding client work and some personal musings over what will make me happy, both imminently, and in the future, and then making that happen.
For a while, I’ve become quite obsessed with the notion of blending physical and digital together. I’ve often used the analogy, it’s like a builder being able to completely makeover a house, with only the skill set he has. The sense of accomplishment and achievement one must get from this would be immense. In fact, I know it is, as that’s exactly what my Dad did with our family home back in the 80’s.
In a digital capacity, I’ve seen my own skill sets develop and change over the years, even though I’m still only 29, I feel like I’ve been through all the era’s of web design; the tiny pixel fonts, table-based, and so on – I now carry quite an arsenal of various different skill sets in the digital capacity, some, undoubtedly, more polished than others, but still – skills none the less. I love working for clients, especially clients who absolutely get what I do – but, I’ve also wanted to plough some of my energy into something I can call my own. I think, judging by others who have been in the industry a similar amount of time, you eventually reach that point, naturally.
A couple of weeks back, I took the plunge. I leased some space. At the moment, I can’t tell you what for because the paperwork is still going through, but its purpose is for something very different to what I do at the moment, as it’s for a specific service-based industry. A service that I don’t carry the skills for, but I don’t feel that’s important. It’s been done purposefully, so that I’m not tied to the shop in a working capacity and I still continue to keep the thing I love – being part of the web industry.
My days are still spent with my clients, but come 6ish everyday, I down-tools for clients and pick up on my own personal stuff. It’s already had some profoundly benefitting effects, on both personal and client work. I’ve afforded myself the luxury (and in my eyes, it is a luxury!) of working on my own stuff. The sense of rejuvenating creativity I’ve felt has really helped pick me up, after last year proving to be a difficult personal year – it’s good to have something that makes me leap out of bed in the mornings again. I also think, when you’ve lost something so precious and dear to you, your entire world flips, and the barrier of what is scary drops. A cliché, but you do realise that you’ll never be poor as long as you have great friends and family around you.
The change in me, personally, has been quite noticeable. I’ve found I have more concentration for my client work, and equally, can flip to personal stuff at the end of the day with as much energy as I have at the start of a working day. All in all, I’m feeling happier and my work is better for it.
So, with the new venture, it’s amazing what skill sets I’ve already been able to put to good use, and new things to learn, that I’ve never tried before, like CAD software for interior shop designs – that’s been very interesting. With my existing toolkit though, I’ve personally been through the branding, web design, multi-device design, email design, tons of print-based graphic design and most importantly customer design processes…and that’s just for starters – it’s a wonderfully bumpy road, filled with great memories in some instances, and proving that just like learning to ride a bicycle, there’s some skills you never forget.
I will be documenting the whole process – which will very much be done from the point of view of blending our skill sets as digital designers with stuff that exists in the physical world. I hope you’ll come along with me for the journey, goodness knows – I’m going to need some moral support – I’m pretty sure my friends think I’m bonkers.