Meeting old friends 13 years later

Key Lessons of the time travel.

© Keva Epale

^ What have you been up to?

The whereabouts of what happened in 13 years for sure are the focus of the conversations. From art students to professionals, more mature but still full of “hunger” to create no matter the challenges. Life has imprinted lessons on us that the younger versions of ourselves wouldn’t even understand nor imagine.

° Still in the field

Funnily three of us decided to get out of the 9 to 5 vibe, we understood how powerful it was to be flexible in your time and the people you work with, acknowledging that working for a single company for 5–10 years wasn’t healthy and fulfilling for us.

° Yes, we are new people

Sharing stories, anecdotes and memories kept in boxes, shed light on how we have grown from those days of lightness, not knowing exactly where we were heading to.

° Sisterhood

Sharing the same challenges, concerns and visions could be the right place to build sisterhood.

Photo by Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash

^ The Freelance path is not easy

Photo by Hannah Wei on Unsplash

° We are brands…

While talking, we have understood in 13 years that we are sort of «brands». Back then we were trained to work for companies and brands but not to think as «a brand» in that extent.

Photo by Patrik Michalicka on Unsplash

° The ecosystem!

The ecosystem is made of a whole set of skillsets, not only services but also things we create or teach. I want to express myself in several things: design, illustration, writing, audio (one day who knows). With my personal growth the ecosystem will adjust and talk by itself, it does take time and persistence. You may not always know what you are doing and yes! no matter the knowledge you accumulate, it’s a test-do and re-do.

° Different strategies

Beyond the fact that freelancing is not easy and it takes effort and time, demanding plans and preparations, I just realized while talking with them that we didn’t have the same strategy and it is interesting because it matches so much with who we have become but also who we used to be.

In a nutshell, we know it is not easy but we still sign for it.

^ People who saw the possible future (voice) in us

As a designer, we know that whatever we create is already part of a legacy whatever the size of the project and it is true for anyone who creates content. It is like a baton you pass on no matter what.

Photo by Tra Nguyen on Unsplash

° They spoke over you

As art students, we had a set of teachers, peers who in one moment enlightened a path or a skill to grow. Remember those “minds” who had already spoken future over you, you may have forgotten but there have been key moments of truth in your becoming, which today starts (perhaps) to make some sense.

° A project remembered

Book project entitled “Behind the makeup” © Keva Epale

° Competition in art schools

The first years were for us really experimental (painting, drawing, installations, in situ projects…), I remember my first interaction with graphic design: it was with a duo of teachers who introduced us to graphic design through the art of posters and visual decoding. I thought it was intriguing, the power of an idea into a picture. With years it has proven itself to be powerful from within (values) to outside (sharing, inspiring…).

^ Business not taught in art schools (back then)

One important thing to state is that business or the «art of selling» your skills and vision was not really thought in art schools back then. Today things have changed and key classes such as marketing strategy and tools are introduced early in the studies. They are part of the era we live in, we are lucky to be in such a time, where branding yourself is key in order to reach people, share your work, sell products and services…

° Taught to create

Yes! We have not been taught to do business in art school, we were taught to create, experiment, going beyond the problem and birth “the idea”. Today the tables have turned, it is part of creating, you must be a “couteau suisse” (swiss knife): aside from being a graphic designer, you are a community manager, a copywriter, etc for yourself and your business. At least, it is necessary to have an understanding of these skills and find the right experts in that specialized knowledge elsewhere.

° We are all salespeople in the end

“Business is not something you learn but do”.

Three of us are selling our skills for “time” but also creating businesses. We have learned and learned mainly outside of school. Being a full-time designer to freelancer did trigger our dormant business skills. The only way for us to learn about business is to get into the playground and create our own specific game rules and witness the lessons of «business».

^ Every 13 years: a meeting?

I believe if a bond is genuine, it doesn’t take time to rebuild. You meet without the time gap as if it was yesterday (those are good signs), aware of the closeness but staying true to who you are growing into.

Doctor Who in the Tardis (best doctor ever N°10) © BBC

I like storytelling and capturing stories. I use graphic design, illustration & co in order to do it! www.kevaepale.com

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