Me, The Leap, and Joshua Allen Design
"What am I doing?" Right now, in this very moment of life, what am I actually doing? Am I failing? Am I succeeding? Am I actually working toward my goals or am I merely living day by day telling myself that I am working toward my goals? Or worse yet, am I working my hardest only to fulfill someone else’s goals? This question, or “middle-of-the-night-panic-attack-inducing-dilemma” as I affectionately call it, has reared its ugly head every month or so since I was old enough to be responsible for a goldfish. I find this question to be one of the most forward and intense that anyone can ever ask themselves. “What am I doing?” “What am I doing?” Until recently, the answer has always been “I don’t know."
From a pretty young age, I have always loved being creative. I love art in all forms; fine art, music, architecture. I love the independent creativity that comes with making art. I am, and always have been, a visually driven person and I thoroughly enjoy creating spaces around me that are comfortable and appealing. Since I can remember, I have hoped to someday become a leader in some sort of creative field. I dreamed of being an art teacher, a movie director, a set designer, the list goes on. But I found that the people in my life believed a career in a creative field wasn’t "practical" enough to sustain any sort of lifestyle, so I adopted that belief. In fact, the term “starving artist” became a recurring myth in my mind while growing up. Although I believed in this myth because it’s what I was taught, I always held out a tiny hope that there would come a day where I could make a living for myself as a creative leader.
Armed with the thought in mind that I would surely end up a “starving artist” if I chose a creative career path, I geared my high school and postsecondary education toward the most practical art-related field that I knew at the time: graphic design. Going to trade school for commercial illustration followed by college for graphic design allowed me the ability to maintain a small creative element in my career, but honestly it never felt completely right. Through years of creative retail visual merchandising, commercial design and corporate leadership I hit a complete creative roadblock. Excessive work hours, a nearly nonexistent social life and unrelenting expectations from Corporate America took their toll on my creative processes and practically paralyzed my creative abilities. For a person so in tune to their inner creativity, I found reaching this point to be crippling. I was stuck at a crossroads between living out this mediocre life I built through education and experience, and taking a leap of faith to potentially become the creative leader that I always wanted to be.
Inevitably I knew in my heart that following the mediocre path wasn’t going to bring me happiness or help me realize my interpretation of true success. I had to ask myself that scary question again, “What am I doing?” I began to take on the hard work of reprioritizing my goals and redefining what success meant to me. I knew for certain there was only one true way to reset myself, and that was to turn the page on Corporate America and begin a new chapter, this time taking my creative ambitions back for myself. Maybe I’d become a starving artist in the process? There was only one thing I knew for certain and it was that I needed to do something on my own, control my own time, and be my own leader.
And here we are. Joshua Allen Design.
I took all of the creative experience I collected over the previous 12 years and funneled it into the foundation of a new path; Joshua Allen Design. This decision completely refueled my passion for design and creativity (the same passion I felt when I was younger) only now I knew I could make a living at it. Finally, “What am I doing?” is no longer such a terrifying question. I get to be the creative leader I’ve always wanted to be while building lasting professional relationships in a creative capacity. I am paving the way for my definition of a successful future, both personally and professionally.
My new passion is Joshua Allen Design. Being able to utilize my years of creative experience and unique flair for design to bring a client’s vision to life is what I strive to accomplish every single day. Making this change for myself has allowed me the ability to weed out the irrelevant and redundant parts of the creative process and refocus all of my energy on the fulfilling and aspirational aspects of design. Little did I know that making this leap would not only be creatively fulfilling but also challenging, exciting, scary, and an all around awesome experience that is bound to last.
The idea of building a brand through Joshua Allen Design has been something I have unknowingly had in the back of my mind for years. The company is rapidly growing and evolving into a unique entity that continues to surpass my expectations on a daily basis. Growing a team of like minded professionals who share the same passion for creativity and brand development lends itself to an amazing creative environment -- the most important aspect of any business. Joshua Allen Design has become a multi-faceted design company with extremely passionate people at the helm of it, and I could not be more proud of that.
We love what we do, we stand behind what we do, and we believe in what we do. This is “what we’re doing,” only now I’m not so worried about that question anymore.