What's Next on the Menu?

So after that bombastic re-introductory post on Monday, I’m sure some of you are wondering how I’m going to follow that up. I’ve been pretty busy with some existing projects, but I’ve got a couple of things in the pipeline, that I’m going to be sharing soon. I’m going to be doing a lot more writing-my goal is to post one long-form piece a week, and at least something every day, whether it’s a inspirational quote, a smart video, or anything that might help the creative process-be it mine or yours. I also have one big thing that I’m a ways off from being able to share, but when I can tell you about it, I promise it will be worth the wait. It’s something I’m going to be very proud to have been a part of.

So how did I get here? 

Well, after moving back from Minneapolis a few years ago, I was kinda in the dumps. I had made this big, bold proclamation about what I was going to do with my career, and this move was merely the first step. I was leaving Seattle behind,and looking forward…and then I very publicly fell flat on my face. I didn’t want come back to Seattle. As I’ve told many of you, I didn’t choose Seattle, I chose Melissa. So I felt like I was coming back here with my tail between my legs. 

But since I’ve been back, I’ve been very blessed to have had almost all of my freelance work come from referrals. I quickly picked up work with my old company. Ironically, they called me back to do the type of creative work I wanted to do in the first place. Had they let me do that, I probably wouldn’t have ever left. But if I never left, I definitely wouldn’t be here, so it’s a net positive. I’ve never had to go look for freelance work. I’ve been very lucky. But what it told me what that I did good work, people enjoyed working with me, and I was capable of doing this on my own. But it didn’t make sense for me to keep doing the same type of work I was doing when I was largely miserable. If I did that, I’d just continue to be miserable-well paid, but miserable. 

So I decided that for every project I took on to pay the bills, I could afford to take on a project that might not pay as well (or at all), but it would be more creatively fulfilling. And over time, I could flip that scale so that I was getting paid to do creatively fulfilling projects AND pay my bills. And that gives me the strength to get through the corporate gigs, while allowing me the freedom to work on things that drive me during the slow times. Eventually, my goal is to do some pro-bono work; maybe take on one project a year for a non-profit or charity. I’d like to maybe be a mentor at some point-I’ve always wanted to be a part of Big Brothers when I felt like I was at a point to do so. Well, there’s no better time like the present, right?

So far, it’s paying off in spades. I’m in the middle of a branding project for a winery that will be launching soon, I’ve met with some local filmmakers and will be working with them on some interesting projects in the future, and I’m in the early stages of prototyping my first iPhone app, and will be looking to develop that soon. Once I put the vibe out there that I was going to change things up, opportunity started banging on the door. It feels good.

On Monday, I’m going to be posting a piece that I’ve been working on for a few months, and even though I’ve changed my career path a bit, it’s still something that I feel very strongly about, and I hope to spark some discussion over it. I’m slightly terrified to put it out there, because it has a tone that’s very different from the jovial, fun-loving guy you’re all used to reading, and it’s a tone that, quite frankly, takes me out of my comfort zone. But that’s where I need to be right now. I’ve been seeing a therapist since April, and one of the things she told me recently was to “be more of a jerk”. And she’ll hate that I put it out there like that, but what she meant is that I need to be more assertive and confident in myself, and not apologize for my history or who I am.

Monday is another step toward doing just that. I hope you’ll join me.

Soundtrack for today’s post:

Dwight Battle

Studio Battle, 9410 35th Ave SW #A, Seattle, WA 98126, USA

Dwight Battle is an award-winning independent art director specializing in mobile and digital design, branding, and creative direction. Dwight has been an art director and designer for over twelve years, and have worked with a variety of clients in a variety of stages of growth, from Fortune 500 companies to small family businesses, and from established companies to early-stage startups.