I’m embarrassed at how horribly I’ve treated you; I don’t even think that saying sorry suffices at this point but it’s a start, right? Either way, I’m not doing this to apologize profusely of absolutely everything that’s gone wrong this year (and the year before, and the one before that…), instead, I want to do something different and that’s to remind you of the good things that have happened to us this year and my promise to you for this next year because well, it’s going to be 2020 and spiritually it falls under the numerological number 4 which is our number.
If we told a younger version of ourselves that they’d be front row photographing the Melvins, she would never believe it but that was our first gig of the year! You’ve always been obsessed with rock music and even now, 90’s rock is still your favorite – no doubt that the kings of Sludge Rock were an achievement on a whole other level… but you did it, and you managed to photograph one of your favorite artists this year as well. Remember, quality over quantity! So what if you didn’t have a gig each week as you’d have liked? Not many photographers get invited to be the official photographers for one of the coolest award shows in the history of music either – and you totally accomplished that too.
Work, Work, Work!
You went through so much to get to where you are right now–without a college degree. Look at you now, you have a great corporate job that’s 100% remote, allows you to travel, and is 100% empowering and supporting your decisions and creative endeavors. Like seriously, you literally got your manager to trust you with creating this new year’s official corporate banner and company shirts without even grilling you about a portfolio. Your design is propped up in six different offices, acknowledged worldwide (keep in mind that Europe and India are participating in the event), and your design also happens to be on 130+ shirts that people in the company ordered. You’re making double what you’ve ever been compensated AND you’re finally stress-free. Remember those 13+ hours each day working your life away? Never again. This time, you have your own set schedule, no judgment on the days you do take off, and you’re on call when you choose to be.
First Steps to Becoming an Entrepreneur
We’ve seen that it’s nowhere near as easy as we thought it’d be to create your own business and get clients, but you still took the first steps and secured an amazing team to work with. Savage Sirens is well on its way and you just need to remember that everything good is worth waiting for. You have a plan for next year–at least a form of a plan even if it’s not exactly complete. There’s still time, a lot more growth to come, and many more decisions before you can make this a reality… but we’ve got this!
Falling Back into Gyaru
We simply can’t escape this one no matter what we try, can we? Might as well accept it and keep going with the Gyaru style and subculture overseas (and maybe think about dipping our toes in the actual Japanese scene?). You took a majorly big step this year by coming back and posting about it again, even somewhat dressing up in the style AND also ordering your first round of Gyaru brand in approximately 5-6 years. For better or for worse, Gyaru is a part of you as is your love for Japanese (pop) culture. It’s probably time to stop avoiding it and just embrace it. Fall back in love with it the same way you did back in 2007.
Let’s look into the new year and what my promise to you is:
I’ll begin by saying that I’m still not sure what order any of these items will be completed in, but it’s the thought that counts. I can at least promise that we’ll get started in all of these areas and see how things go from there.
Going back to School
We’ll probably start with studies in Mexico, then language school in Japan, and eventually a good university in Japan. Japan has to be fully funded, so the business needs to be fully sustainable because there’s no literal way in hell that you’re taking a job in a factory, retail, or food to keep up with expenses over there. The undergraduate degree in Mexico should be a good trial run into how to figure out managing school and work, especially with how crappy our personal and social life has been.
Time to Network
I know how much you hate networking but this one can be your ticket into where you really want to be. Network and don’t be afraid to ask! The worst anyone can say is no or potentially refer you to someone better equipped to answer you. You’ve gotten so far with concert photography out of just asking people and trial & error, think of this as the same process.
Come Back (for Good) with a BANG!
Soon, it’ll be time to blow everyone out of the water again. All good things begin to mobilize around January for us, so you better get to planning and seeing how things will unfold. What you created was respected (and still is) for a reason.
Trip to Japan
Whether this happens in the next few months or later this next year… As much as you didn’t want it to be your first actual international trip, you need to go and check out Japan. See it for everything it is, everything you can do, and continue planning so that schooling in Japan becomes a reality.
SS Next Steps
You already took the first steps for your own business, and now that you have a pretty decent job, it’s probably a good idea to start thinking about how to re-invest your money into the business and begin making that money back with your team.
More Solo Traveling
Our first solo travel this coming year is going to be Chicago and St. Louis thanks to work – but you also need to look into design conferences within the US and save up for LA in February and NYC in the Spring. We’re testing out the whole travel blogger/content creator thing, so more travel is a must!
More Music Gigs
If and when we move, we’re going to miss being able to do this so might as well take advantage.