An introduction to end all introductions
I’m an optimistic, comedic Chinese guy living in Canada; specifically Thompson, MB. I moved to Winnipeg in June 2009 to pursue a career in web design, but ended up moving back to Thompson due to the lack of full-time employment to keep myself alive. Before web design, I was involved in the IT industry for seven years. I actually have 22+ years of technical experience with computers (diagnosis/troubleshooting, support, and programming), 11 years of which were from freelancing. So, why would I leave that career path? I’ve always been interested in web design, but never thought of it as a career path until I read a book called The Principles Of Successful Freelancing. Chris Pearson also wrote an inspiring article that reinforced my decision.
Computer repair is an old friend of mine.
My family thought that it was a foolhardy decision. After all, who wouldn’t? Investing all that time and money on something only to give it all up does seem rather rash, but it’s been a long time coming and it wasn’t something I just thought of on the fly. To make it easy to understand, let me talk about how I got into computer repair in the first place: I originally started learning how to use computers when my father brought home a brand new Commodore 64 when I was 10 years old. Unfortunately, the C64 was not a computer in the sense that you can point and click at everything to get things done; you had to learn a computer programming language in order to make any use of it! So, in order to encourage my hobby at the time (creative writing), I learned how to program in BASIC, and found that I had a knack for it. This continued on until high school, when my father upgraded me to a Packard Bell 486SX PC. I learned how to use DOS, Windows, BBSes, and how to dismantle the computer. After high school, I was a young adolescent who didn’t know what I wanted to do in life, so I got a temporary job in computers to hold me over. I’ll skip over all the little details, but it led me into IT, all the while not knowing what I wanted to do. It’s not like I’m actually going to stop doing computer repair; I’m still doing it on the side as a way to help people and to earn some supplemental income.
The tangled web that design weaves.
Flashback to 1995, while I was in high school. The advent of the Internet arrived in my town, and that changed things for me, because I discovered HTML. That led me into website development, which was a side hobby of mine that I would do on and off. However, frustrations due to lack of proper resources, education, and design knowledge forced me to withdraw from that. What I didn’t know was that subconsciously, I had an eye for good design, which was odd for a person with no creative arts experience (other than drawing independent comic books when I was younger). Recently, however, I realized this and after reading some blogs of other designers, I felt compelled to see where this path would lead me. Several books later, I find myself now at the horizon of web design. I’ve already decided after much research that I want to forge my path by freelancing, since I had been doing it with computer repair. Why give up my professional social skills? Staring into the sun of my newfound career, the world has suddenly become an exciting and unpredictable place for me. Where will I go? What will become of me? Only time will tell.
The path of a freelancer is fraught with peril.
I accumulated a lot of debts when I was a foolhardy lad (and the new car didn’t alleviate the situation), so it’s going to take me some time to pay them off while simultaneously harvesting my design skill set and saving money to prepare for the oncoming storm ahead. At this point in time, I’m well versed in modifying other people’s work, but when it comes to building templates from scratch, I’m less experienced. Darn you, CSS, and your wily ways!
Did you know?
I’m currently addicted to filmmaking and language hacking. I still do some creative writing from time to time.