Wednesday, January 23, 2013

On an Island in the Sun

It's not like I don't have internet where I am, I think I'd just rather be beaching it than writing on my blog! I've been taking full advantage of the FUNemplyment by going down to my mom and dad's place in Barbados W.I. This is the fifth time down here, and every year it feels more like home. 
This year I had planned to work over Christmas and pay my dues, then come in January. After I lost my job, I really had no reason to book a return flight home! I've been here for a while and I think I'm going to stay for a couple more weeks. I mean, who wants to give up sun, beaches, cheap beer and rum, nice skin...and a fridge full of food? 
I also really wanted to see what it was like to work from a remote location as I grow my business and a freelance graphic designer. 3 years ago when I first landed in Barbados, I was fresh off of the backpacking trail and hungry for more. I decided that I needed a way to combine my passions to be able to work on the road. Now at present day, and with the help of being laid off my full time job, I am realizing my goal and living it!
I've been managing my contracts down here in the Carib and let me tell you, the view from my office is great. The commute isn't going to kill me either! I also have the best clients who will put up with e-mail correspondence. 
I won't bore you with all the details of daily life down here, but we invented something called the FUNscall cliff, and here's a few images to inspire you!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New Horizons

After last nights excitement of landing a new contract, I got really motivated and inspired to take action on my life as a successful career's not going to be handed to me, and it's not going to happen overnight. When I look back at the last year, although slow going, I can see that all my actions have brought me to a place where I feel that I can branch off to become and entrepreneur and feel comfortable about it. Although the road was rocky and doubtful at a lot of times, I am here and I am beginning a new chapter. 

Someone that has really inspired me is a woman and self made millionaire, Marie Forleo. She has built an empire of fitness DVD's, choreography, publications and life coaching. The best thing is that she has some great advice that's easy to apply to a woman beginning her business that mainly resides on the internet. It's not just good business for me, but for every subsequent client that I have. 

One of those clients is my friend Joharra, a self starter in her own right as a talented and beautiful musician. I've been hired to create her online identity and presence and it's been a fun process. Having the confidence to approach her with my ideas and take control of the project is something that doesn't come naturally, it had to be worked on for a long time.

So just when I thought I had this all figured out, I get an e-mail responding to a job that I applied for last  week. It's a new startup for a fashion publication/e-commerce website. I feel like this could definitely be right up my alley, as long as it's not a 9-5er! Now that I've chosen my path, I want to be a freelance contractor, no bound to a desk Monday to Friday. Here's hoping they negotiate!

Monday, November 26, 2012

I Got a Job

Don't let the title scare you...I am still technically unemployed! 
But in my efforts to focus on developing my freelance design career, I have landed a new contract! Over the past few weeks, it's been quite daunting to look over the qualifications a company is requiring of you and realizing you might not posses those skills. I fully believe in myself, my skills, and my knowledge, but convincing someone to believe that too is really hard. 
Getting these freelance gigs have helped my to regain my confidence in my work, and prove to myself that I am worthy of great might just take some time.
This new contract I am working on is a logo and website for a freelance bookkeeper. She wants to gain more clients and putting herself on the internet is a great step in that direction. She's very professional and wants to PAY me! Most big companies can't even shell out minimum wage until you can suffer through a 3 month internship, but this woman is putting her faith in me to help her succeed. The job is mutually beneficial, and by helping her, I will be helping myself...and afford another month's rent.

Moustaches & Mimosas

What a weekend! I actually felt like a busy person. Friday night was the first annual Vancouver Mo Sistas fundraiser event to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer. I've been involved with Movember on and off for a few years now, and it's always a great month to get involved in a growing community of people all working towards a cause. 

With the hard work of our organizer, Sharelle, and the wonderful team who sold tickets or (bravely) auctioned themselves off, we raised $1,872.10.

Sunday was our "Wear a Mo" day. All the sisters donned a mo to have lunch at the Lamplighter and bowl a round at the Commodore Lanes. Albeit the comment from a dude asking if the curtains matched the drapes, all feedback was positive and encouraging for our sexy mo's!
Although Movember is coming to an end, it's a good feeling to be left with that it doesn't take much to lend a hand and volunteer to help out your community...which I'll have more time for now!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

One week

I've been unemployed for 1 week now, and I've done nothing.
That's a bit of an exaggeration and I'm sure I could do a lot less, but I'm still unemployed with no prospects. 
I spent more time redesigning the blog than looking for job...I swear that's coming next. I'm applying for freelance design projects so I actually have something to fill my time with, but if I actually made a list, there are plenty of things to keep me occupied, I just refuse to acknowledge them. 
But instead of being negative, I'll focus on the positive. I've rearranged my room, finished a contract, created 2 websites, fixed my own website, have applied to some jobs, and started going to the gym. Go me!
But I will admit that it's the feeling of isolation that's really gotten to me. I'm used to hanging out with my buds for 8 hours a day, and there's no filling that void with another homemade casserole.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I'm gonna be somebody

I've recently begun working on some websites for a few friends of mine as a way to help them, help me! Although I do these for free or creative trades, it's a good opportunity to learn and build my portfolio until someone thinks I'm good enough to pay me. So, check 'em out!

The Long Road Home Movie Website

Kuhno Music Website

Design Notes* The platform I'm using is called Moonfruit. This site has many templates that are fully customizable or options to create your own. The beauty is that you can be a total beginner or you can have knowledge of coding and be able to manipulate you site as much as you want. They also offer hosting and domain names.
I've been designing from an initial template, and then modifying to suit my design. I always think it's a better idea however to conceptualize on your site before you begin. Choose fonts, colours and a general layout so you don't spend too much time poking around at the me, you'll be there for a long time!

False Impressions

As a followup to the last post, I went in to the bar to talk to the managers today, and it went better than I thought.
I was pretty fired up over the last week or so and put a lot of assumptions on why I haven't worked in a while. I still hold my theory as the truth about the Vancouver Bar industry, but it may have not been the case with my situation. My boss just told me that it wasn't busy enough and I'm pretty much the one that doesn't need shifts.
Although I feel relieved that I didn't have to go on a rant and quit in a dramatic way (it's really just not my style) I still feel like their approach to managing their employees is very unprofessional and inconsistent... and another reason why this may be a blessing in disguise.