Plans are great…until they get fucked up. That’s something you can never plan for. That’s where I happen to be at.
Since my days at Pratt, I had thought about operating my design studio. Working on the projects that interested me, selecting the kind of clients I wanted to work with and creating gorgeous, satisfying designs was what I thought running a studio was all about. That’s why when you’re young and full of zeal, you are thinking about all the other factors. Like your personal life—you might be married, you might be divorced, you might become widowed, you might have a kid or two, you might have health problems, you might have family problems or you might (just fill in the blank). When you’re young, thoughts like that don’t come to mind. It’s seen as a clear, easy road.
After almost five years of running my studio, it appears that I will have to let it go. At least in terms of a physical space. Why you might ask? Simple, the cost is draining, I miss the creative banter among other designers and I didn’t market myself like I should. Supporting my wife’s business, preparing for the birth of my daughter (and subsequent removal of my wife from the business fold), still running low on spiritual energy after my first wife’s untimely death (probably should’ve taken the time off instead of plowing through the beginning of a new job) and the enormous pressure of being the sole provider for an entire family took up a lot of my focus that I needed for my studio.. I’ve always been exceptionally strong but just didn’t think I’d run out of that strength. Boy, did I get a rude awakening.
Well, I can’t do it any longer, I don’t want to do it any longer. I feel so far away from my creative beginning. Haven’t really like doing business development which pulls my time away from creative development which is what gets me excited. In addition, I always kept a look out for businesses of color to help them with their visual strategies. This became another source of anxiety as too many were excited about what I could do but always paused at paying for the value of the services. It was expected that I help out because we shared the same skin color. WTF? I’m in business, you’re in business. We can help support one another but this isn’t charity. So I just got frustrated with that too and said forget it to helping another business of color unless we are completely on the same page. Why are some of us so damn short-sighted!
Come January 2012, Straight Design LLC will (more than likely) no longer have a physical location. The business entity will still be operational and I’ll take on freelance work but I started the search to get back as an in-house designer, to be part of a team where my energy can be devoted to creating fantastic visual solutions and not worry about the daily business tasks that help keep the business afloat. While I’m quite disappointed in this turn, I am also very excited about the prospect of getting back to my creative core. Hopefully, a great business/organization and I can join together to create some dynamite visual music…and hopefully real soon.