The other night, Kirby Ferguson of Everything is a Remix gave a talk at Kickstarter about creativity and inspiration. The above quote really stuck with me.
When I was working in southwest Virginia, distant from any design community, it was really easy for my admiration of designers to progress into idolization. These were people with whom I never thought I had any chance of talking, working, or even befriending. The physical distance sometimes felt like it was deeper than that, and this is something I’ve found other designers in remote places feel, too.
The reality is that we all can work at companies we admire with people we admire and create great work. You’ll never know unless you try.
"In 1974 at the age of 5, I began to follow my grandfather every day on the family farm as he tended to his ranch. Over the years, he taught me a lot about farming – but more importantly, a lot about life. Then one day in my late teens, he told me to get off of the ranch and “go chance lions.” I never asked what he meant by that because something inside me already knew. It’s been 20 years now since he passed. I’ve been chasing lions ever since."
Chasing Lions 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, North Coast
Six months ago today I moved from a small town in southwest Virginia to New York City. I came up here with just a duffel bag, a suitcase, and a backpack. I slept on an air mattress in my friend’s living room in Bushwick for three weeks until I was able to move into an apartment in Brooklyn Heights. I sold my car, got rid of a third of my wardrobe, and moved to a city that’s basically the opposite of the place I had been living for the past six years. After working at a digital advertising agency for almost three years, I decided that I wanted to switch industries and quit my first job as an adult. To say my life has been full of changes in the past six months would be quite the understatement.
A week after I moved up here, I went to the Future of Web Design conference and saw Swissmiss speak. The whole talk was incredible, but the timing of her talk was what meant the most to me. One of her rules was “If an opportunity scares you, you need to take it”.
Nothing about moving here has been easy, but everything has been worth it. I can’t wait to see where I am six months from now.