A New Chapter
Recently my life has taken a big turn. Things have changed a lot and in the last few weeks, my path has altered its direction quite rapidly, taking me somewhere I wasn’t expecting to go, at least not yet anyway! Life is like a storybook, with different characters, various plotlines and a wild array of emotions, and as each page turns, the story develops, the characters get stronger and the direction changes. If my life was a storybook, right now I would be heading into a brand new chapter and I can’t wait to turn that page.
A few weeks ago, my boss called me to let me know that they were unfortunately going to have to let me go. The business had moved cities, I didn’t want to move, and they couldn’t afford to pay me as well as another designer in the new location. Totally fair enough and I had known it was coming at some point, just not when. When the call came, of course I was a little thrown. I hadn’t prepared for the fact that in three weeks time, I would have no regular income to pay my bills and I would potentially be more than a little broke. If I’d known when it was coming, I would’ve saved a little more but alas, here we are.
The practical, sensible voice in my head said, Hollie, any normal person would go out there and get themselves another job so that they will guarantee that their rent and bills will be paid, you should probably do that too. Fortunately (or not, we’ll see), there was another, much louder voice yelling, HOLLIE, THIS IS WHAT YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR! YOU’VE BEEN TALKING FOR SO LONG ABOUT DOING YOUR OWN THING AND MAKING YOUR OWN WAY, NOW YOU’VE GOT THE CHANCE, YOU HAVE TO! Ugh. That voice was so annoying, but so right.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about not knowing what path to go down and how I was unsure which direction I should head in. Deep down inside I think I knew all along but I was too scared to take the leap, and the fact that I had a steady job was helping me to procrastinate as it became my safety net. Now that the job is gone, I feel like I’ve had a swift kick up the backside that’s almost forced me to take the leap of faith.
I’m lucky that I’ve been running DesignGel for a while now so I am getting some income from there, but as an agency, it’s often of different amounts at different times from all sorts of different clients, so there’s no guarantee of a consistent income. To complement that, and aid with the financial stresses, I’ve decided to start my own business, doing the thing I really love. As of now, Black & White Studios is in the process of becoming a professional provider of typographic lifestyle goods & custom lettering work, all designed by hand by yours truly!
For the longest time, I’ve wanted to be a handlettering artist and typographer. It’s been my dream to spend my days working with letterforms in any way possible and I’m finally taking a step towards making that a reality. Of course, I’m a little bit terrified, but I think that’s normal with any new venture, and that if it doesn’t scare you a little, it’s probably not a big enough dream. In Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert says “create whatever causes a revolution in your heart. The rest of it will take care of itself” and that’s what I’m holding on to. I don’t see how doing what I love could be detrimental to me, even if I might be broke for a while, so I’m just going to do it!
So, I’ll be running DesignGel full time, while establishing Black & White Studios along the way. I’ve got big goals and dreams and I’m not afraid to chase them. Since Liz Gilbert is such a genius, I’m going to follow her lead and start “living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.” I could’ve easily run away scared and left my dream behind, but where’s the fun in that?
You can follow my journey with Black & White Studios on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram at @blckwhtstudios, and sign up to the newsletter to stay up to date and receive some free digital desktop downloads!
Thanks so much for reading this far, for joining me on the journey, and for motivating me to follow my dreams. I hope to see you in this new chapter!