I opened up this browser today because the nagging tiny voice at the back of my mind could not be ignored any longer. I have neglected this blog for exactly SIX MONTHS (to the day!).
To my defense, there has been a hell of a lot going on in my life… when you divide your time amongst a ton of little projects, months have a way of slipping by, virtually unnoticed. Where did the time go??
But I have made progress, albeit quietly. I enrolled in and completed a round of business courses aimed at entrepreneurs. It was here that I came to the somewhat earth-shattering conclusion that I didn’t want to be a graphic designer anymore. Ever. I just didn’t enjoy it (I’m not sure if I ever did?). So I sat down and admitted that what I really love most is this — this combination of writing and photography. They say that you can find where your passion lies when you look at the things that excite you most when there isn’t a paycheck involved. While working on ‘Wanderful’ for VancouverIsAwesome.com I remembered how satisfying it was to have something creative that existed beyond myself. I put a lot of hours into exploring neighborhoods and trying to capture a bit of their stories during that project. But as autumn progressed it became increasingly more difficult for me to keep a creative focus, take business courses, and coordinate my days of wandering with days that actually had decent weather (this is Vancouver, whoamIkidding?). It was hard to strike a balance. In the end I decided to put Wanderful on a bit of Winter hiatus, so I could devote my energy toward a brand new venture: starting a business.
After a frustrating and fruitless year of trying to find a graphic design job
somewhere anywhere (all the while feeling totally unexcited by the process), it seemed like the universe was trying to tell me something. So I decided to focus what I’d learned in business classes to build my own company, doing something that does excite me.
I wanted to take my passion for photography and couple it with my enjoyment of writing. So I began to imagine a business that would offer a combination of marketing options for niche retail companies in Vancouver. By using photographs to capture individualized details about them (their premises, people, products), I could then use that content to write weekly blog posts and update their social media — a kind of tailor-made form of storytelling, for small businesses.
Hence, Fable Creative was born.
At first the whole thing seemed like a bit of a lark: a direction to head in because all the other possible life directions were leading me nowhere. But as I began to write and develop a solid business plan, I started to get excited. Like, ridiculously excited. Freelance graphic design and one-off photography gigs were always somewhat stressful because you knew that after that particular project, you needed to get yourself another project ASAP, or starve.
The beauty of Fable is that it builds an ongoing relationship with just a handful of clients. This option is more compelling for companies that understand the importance of social media & blogging but don’t have the time or inclination to do it themselves. It gives them the ability to not have to resort to stock photos to accompany sporadic blog posts… but instead use personalized photography and regularly written blog articles to showcase what’s happening, and to help create a dialogue between a business and it’s customers. It’s not a new idea, but I think my combination of photo, design, and writing skills can all work toward Fable offering something a bit unique in the marketplace. The bank must have agreed, as I have secured my start-up loans and funding. Exciting.
Did I mention that I’m excited?
I enjoy the flexibility of working from home and eventually I would like to relocate to somewhere that is sunnier. Running my own business will give me the opportunity to explore those options. And maybe travel too, finally – wootwoot!
One huge hurdle I need to figure out in the meantime is this “temporary” apartment. I’ve lived here for 9 months now (time flies!), and as much as I adore how charming it is, a bachelor suite was not made for all of this. Truthfully, although I don’t miss having a bedroom, I do really miss having a real office space, with a huge white board for idea-sketching and cork boards for pinning up inspiring stuff. Plus my pasty skin misses sunlight (as do my poor plants, who are one by one shriveling in these North facing windows). I feel like I’ve gotten almost everything I can out of it — it has been a great apartment, but it’s almost time to move on to bigger (literally) and better (figuratively) things.
So that’s the scoop. My life always seems in a constant state of change. But it feels like this is big. It took the tumultuous events of last year to bring about the desire to really build something awesome with this one. Exciting. Excited. Excitable.
Yes, all of the above.