Now for Something Entirely Different

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.

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  • Can’t wait to read more about it; you’ve already been a huge inspiration to me! Best of luck!

  • Wow Sarah, good on you for doing something that sounds like it will be so good and challenging for you. Honestly wish the best of luck to you with it – I’m in the process of doing something similar (though we’ll see just how similar soon I suppose!) so can understand to an extent. But really wishing you the best – excited to hear all the developments! 🙂

  • Awesome! Sounds like quite an adventure, but that’s what keeps us alive, right? 🙂 Go get ’em! 🙂 Will be watching with interest.

  • Great post Sarah, food for thought with regards to the client work / pet project / “life” balance we all have to wrestle with at some point.

    Glad you’re enjoying it, intrigued to find out more when you’re able to share it. Good luck!

  • A great post. Very inspiring. I’ve just got my first client work (which i’m doing outside my full time job) I think trying new things is one of the most important things in life as well as the industry. This post has just solidified that belief.
    Cheers!

  • “you do realise that you’ll never be poor as long as you have great friends and family around you.”

    Couldn’t agree more – I truly believe that (whether they know it or not) this thought is at the very core of every entrepreneur!

    Good luck!

  • That all sounds both cryptic and exciting. It’s great to change the game every so often. It helps to keep you fresh and keeps the creative process vital and productive. Good luck.

  • Ahhh, a service-based industry! Very curious now… I was expecting you to say you were going to flip a house or something 🙂

  • Goodness me, that sounds very exciting! I can’t wait to hear more about how the project progresses. Best of luck Sarah, if you put one ounce of your talent into it, I have every confidence you’ll succeed. 🙂

  • Design is both a job and a passion for a lot of us. Great to see you working to find the balance.

  • This sounds very intriguing and inspiring Sarah, I wish you luck and I’ll be sure to check back to read more about your adventure.