Thursday, May 21, 2009

Following your heart and your gut.

It is a common saying - "follow your heart", but one that is easily forgotten, until you actually stick with it and see the positive results of doing so. Case in point: About five years ago, after a decade of graphic design work, I decided to go back to school. I kind of fell into the Graphic Design business after getting my Associate's Degree in design and pre-press and meeting Bonfire Snowboarding co-founder Brad Steward in my hometown Kinkos. Brad offered me a gig doing design work for his then, fledgling, snowboard clothing company. Since I had recently fallen in love with fine art of snowboarding, I took the gig, which propelled me into the industry and a ton of cool gigs. Fast forward ten years and I realized that I didn't really enjoy the 100% office/desk/computer commitment and lifestyle that was associated with graphic design. Sure, I got to work with a ton of cool people and participated in some amazing projects - but in the end - I yearned for something more.

In high school my curiosity had been sparked in film-making after being one of a handful of students that were part of the Senior Film class. I had since dabbled with home video making over the recent years - but decided it was time to take a serious look at film and video as a profession, which led me to DeAnza College in Cupertino, California, and my second Technical Degree. The very moment I took this step, and put my heart, soul and passion into what I REALLY wanted, was the moment doors began to open. My very first project while still in school was a Marketing Video for a "little" local bike company called Specialized. Imagine that? This quickly moved forward to gigs with sports documentaries, adventure/travel television and more.

Fast forward five more years. After spending a year up in Bellingham skiing Mt. Baker and working part time shooting Seattle Sonics homegames - I decided to return to my beloved Oregon - and once again, get serious about my film and video path. I landed a job at a dotcom doing video production for the web, and begrudgingly, everything else for them. After two years as a jack-of-all-trades for the dotcom - the good old economy tanked - and yours truly found himself collecting a hefty unemployment check.

Enter - Winter 2009. What do you do? Hmmm... that heart and soul thing: Snowboarding! Haha... damn straight - midweek powder days-a-plenty this season. Perfect timing really. The dotcom 50-hour office commitment had wore me down again - so the time couldn't have been better. Which brings me to this fine Spring day in May - and the reason for this post. Even though I've been looking for a new job in both Video Production and Graphic Design world - there is a serious lack of opportunity out there in town. Not to mention - the idea of clocking back into the desk cranking out catalog designs, print ads and such, for some industry du-jour, isn't really tickling my fancy.

So - the moment I decided not to settle, but to remain true to my heart and soul, is the moment doors began to open again. Those of you that have seen the film "What the Bleep..." might get what I'm talking about here. It has to do with manifesting your own destiny, believing in your path and your mass of positive consciousness altering the flow of molecules in the universe. Really? Indeed. Easy to forget and get bogged down in the day-to-day doldrums that could be blocking your chi. But very real for those who believe and practice.

Two things have happened in recent days to vindicate this power of consciousness and positivity: One - a lucrative cottage industry as a legal videographer has just fallen in my lap. Not a full-time, sleepy courtroom sort of thing, but the occasional, and remarkably easy, on-site shoots, at full production rate. Perfect. And two - and certainly more importantly - I met a guy for beers this week who produces a rather successful and respectable piece of media in the world. Not only is he cool-as-shit and seems to vibrate on the same frequency as me, he is on the verge of creating my dream job for his company. Truly. Funny, when I first approached him to chat - I just thought he had a cool product and wanted to somehow get involved. Little did I know that he would proceed to tell me he planned to create this new position, of which it seems, I could not be more perfect for. Stunning really. Not sure he feels the same way just yet - but I have no doubt the more he gets to know me and what I do, the more likely he'll have to agree. I must say - if this goes the way I'm thinking it is going, I will be the happiest, most creative, radiant and thankful man alive.

Until then - I'm off with my trusty video camera to yet another interesting part of Portland, to shoot and learn something new.

Follow your heart, trust your gut and believe in yourself. Powerful stuff.