Thursday, 1 September 2011

prolific idyll


My daughter's birthday is around the corner in October, which reminds me, that I have now been self-employed for almost eight years.
Had you asked me ten years ago whether this was my intended plan, I would have said, straight out: Ah, no.

Before retiring into open design pastures after the arrival of my kids, I had worked for large, solid and established design agencies where I was one of countless many and although not shy of responsibility, I was happy to have my bread generously buttered every month and a constant flow of work provided to my desk – which was usually fixed to a window with that one single view. every day. I payed for this security by living the typical mid-morning to late-night-single-designer lifestyle where hours melted away, unnoticed. No one except your client really needed you. Wine was drank with studiomates and one last idea can be easily pursued well after midnight. There is no differentiation between a professional & private life. They simply merge into one.

Unlike many of my colleagues, I never dared to go off and strike it on my own. I'm not sure whether it was lack of confidence, timing or laziness that held me back. As things would have it, eventually, I found myself working on small projects after the birth of my first daughter to keep me busy and more importantly, sane. The weight of my newborn responsibility didn't seem to fit into what i knew was expected of agency life and so, much to my surprise, I found myself finally taking that solo flight.

I have just returned from a month spent on a tranquil lake in rural Qu├ębec. Powered by a minimum of tools at hand: internet access and my frequently charged MacBook Air, I was able to pick up requests from various clients which I effortlessly weaved into my already full day – these intensive creative spurts nicely balancing a swim in the glossy lake or twilight story time with my daughters.

It was eye-opening to realize that at this point in my career, my experience allows me to be as efficiently prolific on holiday as the design drone i once was, endlessly busying myself at my studio desk.

Within freedom, lies reward.

1 comment:

  1. creativity finds an outlet between fun with the girls....imagine your life without technology....

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