I read an interesting interview with Yuko Shimizu on 99U today. She talked a little bit about changing careers to illustration after investing a decade in advertising. I was able to connect with that, obvs, since earlier this year I shifted my trajectory from corporate technology to illustration.

During almost twenty years working in my last career, I went from building computers to managing tech support around the world to oversight of a global corporate technology infrastructure. My job was with a major record label, so peripherally I helped shape an industry that brings an enjoyable product to the market. I watched technology change the way we produce, distribute, consume and think about music. If you’re not familiar with technology, you might be surprised to know that it flourishes under creative forces. Like any craft, the more innovation and beauty you put into it, the better the results. But to be truly useful, you must align your results to be exquisitely functional. It’s a wonderful balance of right and left brain choreography.

Now that I’m starting my own business, I find myself drawing on lessons learned from my last career. Branding, research and design, production and manufacturing, supply chain, promotions, sales, customer service… Business is business, no matter the field.

What is different is that it’s mine. Mine to develop and nurture and prune and be proud of. I have goals that stretch out into the years ahead. Today I am standing in a newly plowed field and I am planting the seeds. But you can’t just plant seeds and walk away and close your eyes and hope. You have to sweat and labor and work and love and build and enjoy the f*cking process since THIS MOMENT RIGHT NOW is the only moment that ever actually matters because this is your life and then, if you’re lucky and you stick with it, one day the fruits of your labor will blossom and bear more fruits and it never really stops because it always requires nurturing and pruning and fertilizing, so you can never be stagnant, but that’s okay because again, THIS IS YOUR LIFE and all that matters is that you appreciate each moment (even if it occasionally manages to both suck and blow) and remember to breathe and find joy and maybe, just maybe, if you’re really really lucky, you manage to positively affect at least one other human life in the process.

That’s my motivation. What’s yours?


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