I loved my day job but there were stretches of time where I found it a bit boring. Those were always the times when nothing new was happening and I wasn’t learning much. I can honestly say that boredom has not been an issue in the past three years since I have had my own business. The reality is that there isn’t enough time in a day to learn everything I need or want to learn but overall there is always forward momentum.
Since the temporary position that I had at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) came to its expected end, I have managed to keep busy with work from established clients, which is amazing and for which I’m incredibly grateful. In this age of precarious work, I wasn’t entirely sure if I was going to be able to fill the void once again. Happily, Oncore Seniors Society remains my biggest and most steady client as I regularly work on The Connector newspaper, producing and designing ads and paginating the paper each month.
Some exciting news is that in a couple of months I will also take over the editor’s role at The Connector as our current editor goes on maternity leave for the next year. I am looking forward to the opportunity to expand my role, but there is no question that I will miss working with Becky and will look forward to her return. We are a small team of three as it is, so losing one of us for a year will be tough. There is no question that I will be a busy bee in the coming months and I consider that a good thing.
While I will be busy, I am definitely looking forward to the opportunity to work as an editor. Most of my career has been spent as a graphic designer and yet I can’t count how many times I have been told that I have a way with words. (I hope this still holds true!) I also recognize that having a way with words doesn’t guarantee that I will be a great editor, however, I believe I have the wherewithal and the background to be a good one. There is a lot more to being an editor than being able to write.
Besides the newspaper, I seem to have found a niche as a subcontractor which seems to work well and offers steady work. This is in addition to accepting jobs directly from smaller, more temporary, clients as well.
I am curious to see what happens in the next couple of years as the world copes with the repercussions of a Trump government that has promised to be more protectionist. The field of graphic design has been affected enormously by the trend towards globalization and the outsourcing of work. Will the United States close their borders and the rest of the world continue as they have? How will Trump’s policies affect work being done online across international borders? Considering I have personally witnessed a broad range of relatively rapid changes in the printing and newspaper industries since the early-80s, in this era of fake news and cheaply sourced graphics, I expect things will continue to be interesting and hopefully I will find a way to adapt.
In mid-January I attended the third annual reunion of former Kamloops Daily News employees and the fact that I was one of very few people still actively working for a newspaper was not lost on me. Most of my colleagues have been forced to re-train and work in completely different fields or have been fortunate to transfer their skills elsewhere. While a change is almost always as good as a rest, I’m certain that our widespread and ongoing loss of newspapers has not been a good thing for our society. While The Connector is a unique publication and focused on a certain demographic’s interests, I hope my forthcoming contribution will be a worthwhile one.