Saturday, 2 November 2013

The Next Step

Behold the splendour of Calabogie Peaks!
This is not only the general location of where I'll be working,
but the very building where I'll be plugging away. 
I am The Warden!!

Anyone who's been a regular reader or occasional peaker may know it's been a while since my life was normal. A good career with a stable income and the ability to life a healthy life were both out of my reach for a time. It's been an uphill struggle, but it all comes to an end today. 

This morning, I was offered the Graphic Designer/Social Media Specialist position for the Calabogie Peaks Resort and Conference Centre, a year-round outdoor heaven for skiiiers, golfers, hikers, and more. It isn't something I've mentioned on this blog before because I intentionally kept it to myself. When I discovered the want ad for this baby, I knew it had to be mine. Not only would I be able to use my newly enhanced graphic design skills before graduating, I'd get to tweet/post/blog for a living. Gee, doesn't that suck? <end sarcasm>

There's still paperwork to review and I'm not scheduled to start until the 14th (the previous two days will find me in Hamilton for some unwanted, yet required, follow-up tests), but this job is in the bag. And the best part? The true reason why I got this job? 

Killshot

In my interview last week, I featured Killshot as the main focus of my portfolio, including logo designs and hard copies of the hardcover and softcover editions, to demonstrate two things: unity under a single product line and my ability to use social media. When I explained Kickstarter and how social media allowed me the opportunity to raise the funds to produce this game, it struck a chord with my new employers. Not only could I use social media, I could make money from it. That's a skill they want. Social media is a valuable tool for seasonal resorts for the simple reason that weather is their biggest friend and enemy. A warm day in winter can be bad for business and a warm trend can kill. Social media allows them to send out messages and offers to increase business at the drop of a hat without going through the arduous and lengthy process of a print campaign, but the trick is getting the people's attention. By demonstrating how I was able to use social media as a tool to enhance the finished product of my game, I revealed an understanding of this new media's potential. 

However, there was a huge risk featuring Killshot as heavily as I did and it was brought up in the interview. "Your work is very dark compared to what we do here. This is a family-oriented resort." And I acknowledged that, explaining exactly what I wrote above. The result was a rush job emailed to me last Friday evening for a Family Day weekend promotional banner: design whatever I wanted to demonstrate what I could do with their product. Oh, and it was due in less than 48 hours. 

It was handed in Saturday afternoon, 25 hours before the deadline. Here's what I submitted. 


After that, it was a tumultuous and anxious week until this morning's call. Honestly, I woke up this morning and figured the job wasn't going to happen. Time to move on and let go of this one, I said. That's exactly when the phone rang. 

This is going to be an unbelievable experience. Not only because it's a chance to finally move forward, but the events of the past three years have made it possible. In a strange way, the accident allowed me the opportunity to take a chance on Killshot and just when I thought that project yielded all its surprises, the call comes in. It's hard to express the dumbfounded luck of this whole thing. All the struggles and suffering - and the long road of coping and acceptance yet to come - have produced something tangible. Does that make it all OK? No, not by a mile. (Or a kilometer-and-a-half, since we're a metric country.) All this has proven is my ability to overcome adversity and persevere against the odds. While this may sound egotistical, it is the truth and maybe it's about time I get to pat myself on the back. This happened because of me and all those who supported and encouraged me. Including my social media friends whom I've never met or spoken to for as long as I've known them. You're all the definition of awesome. 

Let's turn the page, shall we?