However, things started to change and I was working long hours and the work was getting less and less enjoyable every day and I felt burned out most of the time and I had been wanting to resign for almost a year. I was the bread winner of my family so it was not an easy decision to just up and quit. Anyway, after thinking about it and pushing through for a year, I decided to resign and take a break before searching for a new job. So I did. I resigned in August of 2018. But I needed money so I decided to try freelancing a try. Thankfully, I was engaged to design artwork for the 9th Human Rights Film Festival before I resigned so I just jumped into that after I resigned. As I had the free time also, I started posting my artwork on Instagram and that helped me get even more work. I decided to try this out fulltime to see how it would go – worst case scenario would but that it would fail, I would be broke and have to look for a job. I just took a risk and registered my business (Shawk23 Design & Media) in January 2019 and God’s been good because I just made it past my 2nd year and heading to my 3rd. It was something I wanted to try and see if I could succeed and off course to not be broke. So far, so good!
There are so many artists and designers/design studios I look up too – too many to even count. But the one who really inspires me the most and who has really made an impact on me – not just as a designer but as someone who owns and runs a design business is CHRIS DO. Chris Do is the founder of Blind – a design studio based in Los Angeles USA. He also is the founder of The Futur, which is an online education platform that teaches creatives and designers about (in his own words) “the design of business and the business of design.” He is definitely someone I aspire to be.
Yes, I do a monthly feature on the 23rd of every month called “Spotlight on the 23rd” (it’s a play on my artist name, Shawk23). Anyway to goal of that feature is help other local artists (mainly on Instagram) get exposure and grow their audience. It also allows me to contribute to building the community of artists (especially digital) and also discover new talent. I have been very blessed for my own social media platforms to grow as much as they have and I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of those of my audience. I feel that I can give back to the community by at least using my platform to show support and give exposure to the many talent artists out there!
Time is more precious than Money – so spend a lot of that time practicing and mastering your craft – it will pay off huge in the long run. I’d also tell him that his art is not as bad as he thinks it is was and that he shouldn’t be too shy about it and keep it to himself. Life gets better and he should live it to the full and dare to take more risks – perfection is overrated, there is Grace for our mistakes and failures and that Life is meant to be lived, not just to exist.
- Chan, Shawk23