A Campfire Chat

I’m not one to remember why I do things all the time, but in this particular case I remember everything. That event is the day I named my business and picked the imagery to represent my venture. In the following pieces of text I’ll share some personal insight into the birth of Gray Ghost Visuals and where it’s going.

The Rise

It was a sunny day on the Russian River, AK. around June 2008 and I was fishing for salmon; specifically Sockeye. I knew I desired a fish to represent my business because I’m a pisces and love fly fishing so I figured it was a good match (not that being a pisces defines who I am).

As I stood in the icy cold river a fellow fisherman approached and commented “Do you see those gray ghosts?” As soon as the words left his mouth roughly 25 Sockeye appeared out of nowhere. In that moment I decided to file my LLC under the name Gray Ghost Visuals and use a salmon as the fish to represent me. Gray Ghost was also an alliteration making it easy to remember. Visuals was something I just added at the end because I didn’t want to use the term “Design.” I felt the term “Design was overused in our industry. Quite honestly I wish I could go back and rename myself, but I’ve grown to be one with my name and accept things for what they are.

Contemporary Me

The summer of 2014 was a bit blurry in my mind. I lost sight of things, stockpiled some cash from my agency life, threw up a hammock, watched Netflix and played golf. I was in a position to rethink where I wanted to go. Fast forward 6 months and I found myself traveling down the road of interviewing over and over and over again, but that road was a continuation of uphill battles for me. I had to come to grips with the fact that I will never mesh with authority and I needed to be my own voice.

When I decided to be involved with Design and the Web as a career I told myself I would start a business, but along that chosen path a bit of straying took place. Now that I’ve found my bearings once again it’s a huge reason why I’ve posted, worked on & published so many things between the summer of 2014 and now. I also found another fantastic outlet thanks to the help of Hugo Giraudel. Through Hugo’s help I was able to discover paying outlets for my writing which was something I was already doing on my own blog since I started all this. It was an easy decision to make for me as a business owner that also desired a funnel for consistent income generation. Basically I get paid to write about what I love, act as an investigator of the Web, experiment and share my findings with the community!

My mission is very clear these days. Do good work that I enjoy doing, do it for myself and sustain my own abundance. With that in mind I began the descent into my own choices and hired Larkef to design a new logo for my business. I wanted a fresh face so I could re-examine myself through an outside entity. I asked him to keep the fish and general shape I originally had, but breathe life back into my public identity. Not only did he do a great job, but he helped reaffirm things and made the process somewhat therapeutic in my eyes.

Future Self

Since I’m not clairvoyant I have no clue what the future holds. Will I still be working on my own? Will I be on the Web? All I can say is that I hope so, but you never know what the universe is gonna deal you. Maybe I’m just like Don Draper “riding the rails” from experience to experience. As I write this entry SVG Animations have been something I really enjoy especially because it works with vectors (my favorite). I’ve also really enjoyed working on product based web projects that concentrate on interface audits ultimately helping to build an atomic guide. This approach helps to build a more modular and reusable codebase on the front-end.

CodePen_Chicago_DG_07

Presenting at the CodePen Chicago Meetup. Thanks to our host that night Matt Soria for the image.

Speaking has also been something I’ve been doing since I started on the Web so I decided to take things to the next stage and try out a higher level of presenting at the CodePen Chicago Meetup. I think it was a success from the responses I had, but hey you never know what someone is always thinking…and that’s ok. Moving forward I’d like to do more presenting for a larger audience where ticket prices are not absurd and people attend because they want to be there. We shall see as they say.

If you’ve lost your way and found yourself once again let me know in the comments or any other place you can find me lurking about. Cheers to those that follow their visions.

Dennis Gaebel

Design Technologist passionate for Open Source, SVG, Typography, Web Animation, Interaction Development & Pattern Based Design. http://droidpinkman.io.

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  1. John Doe shouted this comment preview:
    2015/05/05