Over the past few weeks I have been taking a moment to stop and look back at how far I have come, sounds a bit self indulgent I know, but I think it is far too easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day, no matter what you do!
Whether or not you have been following our journey since 2010 (how time flies when you are enjoying yourself), we have pretty much come full circle, but picked up some great skills along the way.
After a string of really dull, tear your hair out, what am I doing with my life jobs followed by creating Textiles pieces in the evenings and at weekends, I had a bit of a WAKE UP moment when I thought, I actually spend more time doing a job that bores me than the Textiles design I love, I need to find a day job I love… or, find one that interests you AND pays the bills.
Now I don’t know if you find this, but I have found that most of my ‘creative’ friends, and me, love to create, hate to take on the ‘business’ side of things. I considered myself quite lucky at the time, I wasn't too bad at the business stuff… but whenever I put time aside for marketing, it felt like it was a bit of a guess as to what would be effective, so when a junior position for a Marketing Assistant became available at the company I was working for, I felt I had to give it a try, and after three months I knew this was the job for me. I thought, finally, a job that I could use with my Textiles, something that I could enjoy… unfortunately/fortunately, nothing worth doing well comes easily. I worked my A#** off to learn and progress, and the upshot is that I had to put One Off Works and most of my designing on hold for three (ish) years, whilst I went off to get a degree in marketing and a hell of a lot of experience. In this time, the carving arm (not intended as a joke) of One Off Works set up their own studio and really made a name for themselves, Ben Algar Wood Carving was born.
To cut a long story short (I am not very good at that), fast forward three years and I was working as a Senior Account Manager for a marketing agency, with great big name clients, I really was living the marketing dream, but my first love of Surface Design was now a really small part of my life. And this takes us to today, after a bit of research a few freelance clients and a difficult head vs. heart argument with myself, I handed in my notice and decided to have my cake and eat it too.
I now am in the process of resurrecting One Off Works, but with a real focus on my first love, Surface Pattern Design, building a new website, setting up my own studio and all whilst working for a few freelance marketing clients as well as myself.
It is quite a juggling act, but I wouldn't have it any other way, and I REALLY do know how lucky I am to be able to do both!! The last few years have taught me so much, and I can already see how much my designs have improved and my style has matured even though I haven’t taken the most conventional route to where I am today.
So I will finish my long ramble with this, just because you aren’t exactly where you want to be today (or you may be one of those lucky people who are), stop and take stock of where you have been and how every small step takes you that little bit closer to where you want to be (and if you are already there, make sure you take the time to stop, enjoy it and feel very smug about how far you have come).
We are at the very beginning of this new chapter and will be updating the blog with less ramblings and more interesting info in the coming months. We would love you to come along for the ride by following our blog here, signing up for our newsletter and following our day-to-day adventures on social media at the bottom of this page... or go to our news section.
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