A top-rated visual artist, graphic and website designer, video editor, podcast engineer, and a simple young man who wants to explore the world of ideas.
Okay, you might have noticed that I often use my travel photos as my banner on this website, well, those photos are also my office. I work remotely and as long as there is an internet connection, I am free to work.
Finally, I have the freedom I really wanted and these are some points that changed my life:
NO Time In, No Time Out
NO traffic, just in-transit (when I'm traveling)
NO office uniforms, just my OOTD (outfit of the day!)
NO office politics, No dramas
NO climbing of "corporate ladder", just climbing mountains!
Okay, let me tell you my story. Designing is really my thing even in my younger years. I usually won in a poster-making contest or a runner-up. The first big thing that happened to me in my creative life is when my father wants me to stop participating in extracurricular activities, like poster making, so I can focus more on academics. In my senior year in high school, I decided to stop making art and focus on my academic performance. I was glad, really glad that I did make it to the top 10, I’ve got the 5th spot. But during graduation, it affects me a lot when I did not get the medal for the “Artist of the Year”. That is what I really wanted!
My creative self is still hiding even in my few years in college. I don’t know why I ended up studying accounting even if I can choose architecture or fine arts this time. No, even if I can choose it, it will not work. I have to work 8 hours a day as a student assistant in compensation for my tuition fees.
But how did it all happen?
Just to be clear, my parents and I have a fight because they don’t want me to work while studying, and… they don’t want to touch their ego because they are afraid of what other people might have thought. That they can’t afford to send me to school. Yeah, it is straight to the point and now you may think that I have anger with my parents. I was! But you’ll understand later on.
It was the norm of a military man (my father) that they should send their children to school with all the support because many people think that Military people are earning more than a usual employee. But I understand the fact that it is not easy for them because I have two older brothers who are also in college.
Maybe I was the lucky one (sarcasm). One night I heard my parents having a conversation about sending me to college. They decided to wait for one year, just like my oldest brother. They want me to stop for a year so they can prepare for the expenses. It was a struggle for me because I don’t want to spend my whole day inside our home doing nothing. So, I have to find my way.
Together with my high school friends, we tried to apply for a job in a call center agency, I think two of my friends were accepted. Of course, there is no way I can pass the interview, I am not good at speaking English (even in writing), that is my weakness, but I tried to apply anyway. The same week, we applied for a scholarship (Student Trainee Assistant Program) at the university we wanted to study. Four of us were accepted and that is the moment I started to move and do something for my future.
It wasn’t easy at all!
It was my first time to feel really exhausted,
I have to work for 8 hours and attend the evening classes, every single day! That is why there is no way I can have the Architecture course because of the time conflict. For that same reason, Accounting is the most flexible course that has many subjects offered in evening classes, so I took the chance.
The university admin saw potential in me regarding arts and they were looking for someone to help to design the tarpaulins, announcements, and banners. So they assigned me to that task even if I am just a beginner in Photoshop.
The sudden shift.
I have to admit, my 8-hour work as a designer at the university gave me a light, and my creative self just suddenly activated. It all starts from that little potential they saw in me. I have learned a lot and my supervisor expanded my scope to design the university’s yearbook. It was like, I really meant for this. I designed 3 yearbooks and 3 brochures of the university and that is a very big thing for me.
I did not quit accounting, in fact, I finished it as the president of our club. I am that active, yes!
My first job ever is not as an accountant but as a graphic designer, of course, what do you expect! lol. It was clear to me that designing is my life so I have to focus on that area of life rather than gambling my time in an accounting job.
But as the years have passed, I realize that doing what I love is not enough. The salary of a graphic designer in a local city is just not enough to survive in life. I don’t want to compromise my dreams just to fit in reality. I know I can change that reality and I just have to take some big steps.
One big step I did is when I left my hometown, alone, trying to find opportunities in the business capital city of the Philippines. I did not buy a plane ticket, I wasn’t in a rush. I decided to spend 3 days in transit, I bought a one-way Ferry ticket and that is the first big adventure I did.
In less than a month, I was hired as a graphic designer in a well-known company in the Philippines. I also started to work online for part-time projects.
The rise of online jobs
My career online blew my mind and it is really a game-changer. I never expect that to happen. I thought that my online part-time projects will just be my side hustle but later on, I achieved the top-rated distinction and it surpasses my day job’s pay.
I have to do it, I have to resign! Not because I am sick and tired with my day job but because I have to TRY this new life online. It was hard to choose, honestly. The day job is secure and steady, well not all companies are secure and steady, but it is given that I am sure there will be always money coming in my bank every 15th and 30th day. Aside from that, I really love my team and we have this kind of bond that we are so comfortable with each other.
But I have to leave. I just told myself, if freelancing won’t work, then I will apply again for a day job. I am too young and I can definitely compete in applications. I just did. I just left.
The first 3 months of being a full-time freelancer really sucks! I am always bothered and afraid. It was not an easy transition but I have to make it work. I don’t know where to start, how to continue, and just how to make things work! I don’t have the motivation anymore and I am losing clients.
I decided to have some space, some time to be offline. I went for a hike and everything is just starting to shift, finally. That was the missing puzzle in my freelance life. ADVENTURE. TRAVEL. EXPLORE. From that moment, I started to draft plans for my next destination, I have been to so many places and I have new clients coming to my inbox every time I travel. That is just a very good sign!
Where am I now?
I am ready to expand everything and I decided to have at least one assistant. The money flow is just unbelievable, I even reach six digits per month (in pesos). I am ready to explore the world but COVID-19 happened. So I am spending my whole day in our home. Sound familiar? Remember I said, “I don’t want to spend my whole day in our home doing nothing”.
The hike that changed it all.
Now I spend my entire day in our home DOING SO MANY THINGS. And yes, I am back in our home with my parents, I just want to spend some years with them because I know we never really have that connection and I want to make peace with my past.
I am 25 and there are so many hidden doors waiting for me to open. And with this story of mine, I want you to realize that we can create our own reality. We just need to surpass so many trials in life and we should never give up. Never.
Best of luck, mate! Thank you for reading this far.