It all happened very fast. Quite a few months back, I was sitting in the airport on a layover when an email popped into my inbox: it was from a Computer Arts editor, inquiring whether I’d like to take part in their Collection series and share a tour of my hometown along with a peek inside my life and design work. Before thinking to ask about deadlines or what exactly I’d have to deliver (!!!) I said yes.
The opportunity was quite surreal since I was such a huge fan of their previous issues and had been buying and reviewing them on my blog (if you want to get an idea for what they’re like, click here, here and here) — the design and insights are like nothing else I’ve seen available on the newsstands with a comprehensive, no holds barred approach into six various creative disciplines.
This feature was unique because not only does my imagery cover eight pages but I wrote the article as well! I am a confident enough writer but I’ll be honest — I’ve never written a 1,500 word article for a publication before and it was harder than I thought it would be. I’m a fan of getting right to the point when I write and there were many times when I questioned what anyone else could possibly want to know about Portland! But finally, after some (okay, many) prompts from friends, it came together. Joey was also a great sport, riding his bike around town and getting all the shots we needed. Teamwork!
Pursuing design is not about fame and fortune or notoriety for that matter but when things like this do happen, they remind me of why the long hours and pounding my head against the wall at times are worth it.
On another note, I learned something incredibly valuable from this experience and thought I’d share that as well. When I received this opportunity, I thought about what my friend Kat from Rock N Roll Bride wrote back in September: “I think it’s vital to be yourself, to be honest and to be genuinely interested in other people. Taking the time to get to know people, with no ulterior motive, will stand you in good stead when it comes to taking that relationship to the next level and working together.”
This also applies to business relationships and opportunities. I genuinely loved what Computer Arts was doing with their Collection series and felt it was of value to my readers so I excitedly bought multiple issues and blogged and tweeted about them. I believed in what they were doing because it was opening doors into industries that normally don’t share a whole lot about their processes. Our collaboration began because one of the CA editors saw my tweets about their issues and followed up with an email offering me the article. I’ve learned that by genuinely believing in something with (as Kat mentioned) no ulterior motives can organically lead to great things. The key is that you have to be willing to put yourself out there and share what you love.
If you’ve ever wanted to know more about Portland and explore more of its landmarks, shops and places to eat, this article is for you! I’ve been keeping this issue next to my desk, still taking it all in. To work with a team I look up to and respect has been an amazing experience. And one that I’m incredibly thankful for.
P.S. If you’re in the U.S. and looking for Computer Arts issues, I’ve found them consistently at Barnes and Noble. They’re also available in print and iPad versions in the Computer Arts shop.