seems like half a lifetime…
It seems like its been half a lifetime that I’ve been doing what I do, because it has… this month marks 28 years of creativity for me. Now, I don’t make a point of marking each and every year, the last time I did was when I celebrated my 25th anniversary of being in business. This year is significant because I have now spent more than half my life doing what I love to do and I think that’s pretty cool! There’s a quote I was always fond of, “It is difficult to lay aside a confirmed passion” – Caius Valerius Catullus. I have to agree, if I had to stop what I do, I don’t know what I would do instead, it would certainly have to be something creative and would probably be closely connected to, or a part of, what I already do.
I started shooting photographs as a kid with a Brownie Box Camera, bought my first SLR in the late 70s and had my first photograph published in 1979. I began working in the graphics industry in Vancouver in 1985 under the names Aries Publishing and Dedicated Desktop. It was the early days of computer graphics and I not only grasped the technology very quickly but I started to teach it as well. I learned, and grew a lot in those first 7 years and when I left Vancouver I was comfortable and confident in the career I had chosen as a Graphic Designer. I moved to Ottawa, Ontario in late 1992 and changed my company name to Dedicated Desktop Creative Services. The 28 years have had their ups and downs, I worked in Stratford, Ontario for about 6 months in 2001 when business slowed down for me in Ottawa, and in 2004 I took on a contract out in B.C. on Salt Spring Island for almost a year as I was unable to find enough work in Ottawa. I’ve come back to Ottawa each time, and as much as I liked Stratford and Salt Spring, Ottawa has become my home. There’s an old adage that fits, “It’s not about where you are, but who you’re with”. I wanted the business to work in Ottawa, so in 2006 I reinvented myself as Luckham Creative, the idea being to go back to why I became a designer in the first place, I had a passion for creativity, so I stopped teaching and I stopped doing any work that I didn’t consider to be creative and focused on ideas, design, photography and… a passion for creativity.
The past 7 years have outdone the first 21 in “job satisfaction” and in keeping me busy, but the thing about having a passion for your work, especially creative work, is that it doesn’t matter how busy you are, you still love the work and continue to do it, and I’m sure I’ll continue to do what I do for as long as I’m able… I look forward to the next 28 years, especially when I think about the computer I’ll be working on 28 years from now. 🙂
What a difference, it’s hard to believe I could actually get anything done on that old Mac Plus. When I first upgraded my computer back then, the MacPlus and a Laser Printer was donated to an anti-apartheid group in South Africa to enable them to publish a newsletter, rather appropriate given all the work I do now for different organizations in Africa, as well as India and South America.
It’s been a long road and there have been a lot of people who have worked with me over the past 28 years, far too many to list, but they know who they are and if you’re reading this, you know how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to work with you. I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention the names of those that have encouraged me, supported me, and helped me make it through a good part of the 28 years if not all of them, so…
Thanks to my Dad Peter for encouraging me to do what makes me happy, and for grabbing the wheel when I needed him to, I miss you. Thanks to Rob Bishop and Paul Levine, two friends that have passed on that inspired me as mentor and student, I miss you my friends. Thanks to Sue and Caitlin for always being there, even when I wasn’t. Thanks to Kevin, who was there from the very beginning, I wish you weren’t so far away. Thanks to Donn, who first introduced me to the Apple Macintosh. Thank you to Steve, a client, supplier, coach and most importantly… friend, who reminds me about focus and balance. And a big thank you to ‘Team Canada’ for being the reason behind that feeling of “job satisfaction” I mentioned earlier.
The photo at the top of this post is a photograph I took in Glastonbury, Somerset, England in 2010. Glastonbury is a place of magic, real magic not magic tricks. Glastonbury is where I first came across the Vesica Piscis, the symbol I use to represent my work and coincidentally where I found my wing.