Big Kids.

I’ve been building up to this for some time now. American culture encourages diligent school-attending from age 5, building up the skills needed for that fated day when one begins his or her real life, nine to five, daily grind Big Kid Job. I learned the basics in elementary school, starting with the names of colors, staying within the lines, etc. My parents can attest that in Middle school, I learned how to stay out of the lines. High school, under the thoughtful guidance of my art teacher/friend/mentor (whilst she acted under her own, more “natural” influence), I was able to define and refine my personal tastes. College taught me the most—I honed my doodling skills in the jejune lecture halls of Art History 1 and 2, learned how to bullshit any object imaginable into a “noteworthy” and “exceptional” A+ artistic expression, and above all else I learned how to shamelessly self-promote.

My dad always told me to figure out what I love, and find a way to make a living doing it—this advice has come a long way… 5,620 miles if you want to be specific. After the 18 years of hastily waking up, audaciously sucking up, and excitedly shaking things up at school, I finally packed up my things and headed into the Real World. Now you might argue that living in Fiji is in no way the “real world,” but like I said in my earlier entry, I assure you it is. My short stay in Suva has taught me a lot about the similarities between here and there (and quite possibly, anywhere). I spent the day exercising my graphic-designing abilities in Flash, Photoshop, and Illustrator like many of you have seen me do for a number of years, but today was different: I got paid for it. I know, I know… to all you that have already been down this beaten path, I acknowledge that it’s only my second week at work, and I’m surrrreeeee a lot of things lose their spice after a while… but I will assert that I honestly love this environment, the ability to create, inspire, be inspired, and produce things that are stimulating and ‘cool.’ I’ve found something I love to do, and have found a way to make a living doing it. [virtual pat on the back to Denny McNally]

Unfortunately Fiji is on the conservative side of the ‘imagination line.’ When my boss, Jon, first explained that Fiji is more interested in a cheap product than a quality one, I was discouraged. How could I explore my creative direction while working in the confines of a blind community? After a few days of consideration, thought, and personal pep-talks, I realized that maybe my presence can help push design in Fiji closer to the edge. Even if it’s just the tiniest bit, it will be an accomplishment to blog about.

Last week I worked on some mock-up Flash banners for a local cell-phone company, and have helped make some classy ice cream ads. I’ve also started laying out a few websites, which I’ll be sure to include here as they evolve. I had a glamour-shot photo shoot with some coffee beans, which are here for you to feast your eyes upon! This week will be spent finalizing a few designs. Along with my Big Kid Job here, I’ve been doing some Big Kid work back home. I’m working with the guys from Galvanic, putting together the 2009 Campus Rail Jam Tour. I’m finalizing our first print ad tonight, which will hit newsstands in one of the biggest snowboarding magazines in America! I’m excited to get my work in such a noteworthy location… keep an eye out next month. Galvanic’s reign has already started this year with a homecoming Rail Jam at CSU last week, lead by Tour Manager and one of my best friends, Taylor. Check out the story, written by my Big Kid friend Jess (now working for Freeskier Magazine). Another awesome position is held by mr. Sam Campbell, who flew to Argentina on a whim and has landed a job as a Party Photographer for music/art website What's Up Buenos Aires. Big props to them and their Big Kid Jobness as well! As much as we complain, I’ll admit we all have kick-ass jobs.

[Here's Sam with his first published photo in Wipe magazine!]

Next Monday, my long-time friend Adam is coming out here from Oregon. With two weeks off and my first paycheck in the bank, I’m looking forward to some outer-island adventuring with the best partner in crime I can imagine. There are many things that make me homesick, and sometimes I feel really alone. But I’m learning to use this time of detachment to do the things I run out of time for at home. Some items from the list are: learn to draw people, make a radical blog, learn a hundred vocab words that make me sound more eloquent, and get really tan. I also want to learn how to play squash, cook, and teach Fiji how to dance. My performance at the clubs this weekend allows me to check off the dance one…


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