Episode 434 is LIVE on March 1, 2023 at 11:30am PT / 2:30pm ET / 7:30pm GMT / 9:30am in Hawaii
After 10 years of the podcast I have interviewed many people. There are a few people I want to interview again, some people’s lives have changed a lot.
I hope you will join me this week as I interview my friend, Bob Ewing and we talk about him going from a full time for someone else and freelancing to now full time for himself.
This year I am working on growing my YouTube channel and starting this month I am going to be releasing content just on there. Make sure you are subscribed to my YouTube channel @creativesignite to get this extra content. Tell me what you think in the comments.
Join us live each week and become part of the Creatives Ignite Family, subscribe and get the link to come to the live recording. https://creativesignite.com/signup
Connect with Bob
- Bob, can you tell everybody a little background about you, who you are, where you are, and what you do?
- You were on the show back in 2015. How has life and business changed since last time we talked?
- What has been the biggest hurdle you had to get over in regards to your business?
- What is the biggest creative challenge you have overcome?
- Do you struggle with time management? Marketing yourself?
- How do you get your name out there? Agent? Groups? Conferences?
- How do you go about learning new skills? When is it important to sharpen skills you have already and what have you done to do that?
- Do you have any systems or processes that has helped you develop new skills? What types of business skills and creative skills have you had to learn?
- Looking back, have you found or realized a new superpower you weren’t aware of before?
- Do you ever deal with being overwhelmed? If so how have you dealt with that?
- How do you come up with new ideas?
- Do you have any creative outlets or non creative outlets that you do regularly to keep you balanced?
- Have you avoided burning out?
- Do you collaborate with others? What elements make up a perfect collaborative project for you?
- What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself in the last year, that has been most impactful to your life or freelance business?
- What’s one piece of advice you would tell your past self 8 years ago?
- What is next?
[00:00:00] diane: Hey everybody, welcome to another episode of Creative Ignite. And my mom would say, Hey, like, didn’t come on. You know the Zoom lady. We can now turn her off like you are now recording, right? I don’t have to stop. It’s so great. Hey, Faye is joining us from the UK Hipps. See Faye, um, and we got lots of other people.
[00:00:23] Thank you guys for all coming. Chris Daniels and Cape Cod. Brian Bundy. It’s great to have everybody, but we [00:00:30] are here to see where, what you’ve been doing, Bob, and where you are now. So I, um, interviewed Bob early. So Bob and I have known each other since we were in a workshop together at Creative South in 2014.
[00:00:49] This is a long, a long time that we’ve known. We were,
[00:00:53] Bob Ewing: we were one of the few people that didn’t like stab ourselves with, um, the car. What was the, um, it was, [00:01:00]
[00:01:00] diane: it was, um, castle. Castle. Castle. Dare castle. Yeah. Yeah. Um, yeah, Jason Carne took a big chunk outta his. I luckily had some band-aids, so we were able to patch everybody up.
[00:01:12] Um, just to remind everybody, if, uh, you can always come live, all you do is have to sign up. You can go to creatives ignite.com/signup and then you can, um, get the link and you can come here live every week. But it’s, if you’re in the chat, um, hit to everyone instead of two hosts and panelists, unless you just [00:01:30] wanna talk to me and Bob.
[00:01:30] But today I am joined with my friend Bob Ewing, and he is an Indianapolis or outside of Indian.
[00:01:38] Bob Ewing: just outside. Technically our address is Indianapolis,
[00:01:40] diane: so Okay. He’s still got that zip code people. Okay. Yep. . So we are gonna be talking about, um, during the 10 year anniversary, we kind of had two anniversary episodes and I think Doc Reed was the one who said, Hey, it would be great to have some people who you’ve had on and see where they [00:02:00] are now.
[00:02:00] So I looked at some of the ones that, uh, some of my favorite people and I decided, okay, um, I haven’t had you on in a while, and I do, it looks like I’m about to flash you, but I’m not. I have my inch by inch shirt on. Right. But it’s too cold in my office. It’s hot outside, cold in my office. But, um, Bob and Drew came on and they, that was the last time, I think it was 2015 maybe when we talked.
[00:02:29] That’s alright. [00:02:30] About inch by inch. Yeah. Then in 2000, um, I don’t know. It was 2014, 2015 I had you on and you were, it was, you had huge amount of growth. You were doing drawings and working on lettering every day for, it was like a 365, but it wasn’t a 365. Mm-hmm. , you’re like, I’m just going to get better at this.
[00:02:54] And then there was a day, it was in the 500 s I believe that you were like, I’m going to stop doing this
[00:02:59] Bob Ewing: [00:03:00] every day. Right? Yeah. Yep. Uh, 5 32 maybe. I think that’s funny. I can’t, uh, that number used to be pretty ingrained in my head, but I don’t, yeah. Somewhere around there, I think. But a
[00:03:11] diane: lot has changed, so I just want Oh yeah.
[00:03:13] In case somebody doesn’t know, take them, um, a little bit into your history and tell ’em what you were doing maybe back in 2015, and then take us to where you are today.
[00:03:28] Bob Ewing: Yeah. Uh, [00:03:30] so like I am, yeah. , thank you for having me on. I appreciate it. I actually went back and looked, and this is, I was on a couple times and then, yeah, drew and I were on for Inch Ranch, but I think it was all 2014, 2015.
[00:03:44] Um, and around that time I was like 2014. I think I was like 200 days into the like, daily lettering thing. But, um, I started out in like, I knew I was gonna be an architect, like a hundred percent high school, like worked for my uncle’s architectural firm [00:04:00] and had no idea, no doubt what I was gonna like be.
[00:04:03] Um, and so I went to college for architecture. Spent three and a half years there before I decided, uh, that that’s not what I wanted to be. Um, and instead of like doing it the right way and like maybe changing majors and um, finishing school, I just decided to leave. and, which was nice cuz the school asked me to leave too.
[00:04:22] And I was like, that’s, I’m, that’s too bad. I’m already leaving so you can’t tell me to leave . Um, so I kind of wandered for a [00:04:30] few years doing like random stuff. Um, not random, but like stuff I had grown up doing, uh, electrical work and trim carpentry and, uh, short stint living in Florida. Um, before I finally came back to Indianapolis, um, to be with my now wife.
[00:04:45] Um, she’s the reason why I came back here and like all of our friends and family are here. And at some point I figured out what design was. Um, I wasn’t, I didn’t know what design was like. Um, when I was in high school we didn’t have, um, any design classes at all. So [00:05:00] I always kind of felt like I was behind.
[00:05:02] Um, I had a lot of issues early on with just like comparison syndrome, which I know which doesn’t ever go away, honestly. It’s still there. You just, you’re just better at dealing with it. , um, it’s a daily like thing, um, but you just, you know, as you get older, you’re, you kind of, you move past it. But, um, I always felt like I was behind, um, and I was kind of like, didn’t really know where I fit in.
[00:05:23] Mm-hmm. and I kind of started at the bottom, um, working at a print shop. Um, finally got my first agency job as a [00:05:30] production artist, you know, so I started, um, kind of at the lowest rung of the design world in the, as far as the agencies go, and kind of worked my way up to art direction. Um, and at the time I wasn’t really sure, I wasn’t really happy with what I was creating.
[00:05:45] Um, lots of like digital ads and stuff like this, and these, these were like web ads, so, you know, like, um, not necessarily like Instagram or social media, none of that. Um, so I started lettering one day, um, just, [00:06:00] and I made it, you know, basically made a decision to do it every day. Um, and that took me, you know, through a couple different agencies, um, 500 and some days before I finally realized that I’m, you know, putting way too much in that I was getting out.
[00:06:13] Um, but uh, this a lot of growth. This was
[00:06:15] diane: also lettering by hand. So this, not that you don’t put it in the computer, you absolutely do that. But this was a lot of, um, just to kind of encourage people. I remember showing some, and you actually had some [00:06:30] stuff still on your Instagram recent where you’re still using a red pen and you’re marking things
[00:06:35] Bob Ewing: up.
[00:06:35] Yeah. Like right still? Yes. Yeah. Like I still do like use trash paper. I still do everything by hand. Um, I have an iPad that, that Steph bought me, my wife bought me. Um, and like my son is kind of taking it over just cuz I like will occasionally get it out because it’s good for the, like whatever process I’m working on.
[00:06:52] And I know it’ll be faster, but like, I just can’t get used to drawing. I just enjoy pencils on paper. Um, so that’s, I [00:07:00] mean, and like if we can’t enjoy what we’re doing then you know, what’s the point? So, .
[00:07:03] diane: Absolutely. And, but there is something about your eye. Your eye ends up getting better. And so in this, we’re sitting at this table and it was you and, and Drew and um, um, Ginny, uh, who works at, uh, Dave Lee.
[00:07:19] Bob Ewing: Yep. Jenny Lee. Keith Tatum, yep.
[00:07:22] diane: I think, and Jason Kan was here. Yeah. And so we were, and maybe a couple other people. There were two other girls. Um,
[00:07:29] Bob Ewing: [00:07:30] yeah. Uh, one had dark hair. Uh, Lorraine, uh, yeah.
[00:07:33] diane: Um, oh, hey, Lorraine. Hey Lorraine. Yeah. But, but her name’s not that
[00:07:37] Bob Ewing: love her. Yeah, I know illustration. I know
[00:07:40] diane: her stuff is awesome, but, and Janna, Janna Barrett, she was the other one at our table.
[00:07:45] Okay. So a lot of people were clearly letterers. Bob actually can draw, I mean, not just letters. He can draw. Draw. And then, so I got stuck illustrating. and I am not like, if they had said, [00:08:00] oh no, she can do the letters right, because that’s the only thing we’ll know what it is. But anyway, so it was just, it was like te plain telephone.
[00:08:08] Um, if you ever played that as a kid, you whisper something to someone else and then you had to draw it one person
[00:08:14] Bob Ewing: or you had Yeah. One person to illustrate it and the other person,
[00:08:17] diane: yeah. I can’t remember that. Bob, Bob should’ve illustrated it. I don’t know. But I was sitting next to Bob and I was like, I screwed this whole thing up.
[00:08:23] It was
[00:08:23] Bob Ewing: no, it was so much fun. It was fun. It was fun. Uh, but part of that was like, I grew up drawing, [00:08:30] um, everywhere. Like even when I was a kid, I’d convinced my parents to put like white, um, Wallpaper on my walls in my bedroom and my, they, like, I let me draw with like color pencil on my walls. Um, which looking back was, yeah, which was a, you know, blessing.
[00:08:46] Um, but also like, I don’t know how I convinced them to do that. Uh, but I, at this time, I had gotten away from drawing, you know, I was jumping straight into the computer, um, and didn’t really feel confident in my drawing ability at all. And that was the one thing, [00:09:00] like actually doing it pencil and paper, I feel like, not that like there’s anything wrong with the iPad.
[00:09:04] Um, I mean, there’s so many talented people that are doing amazing things on the iPad. It’s just not for me. Um, I was learning to draw again, like I was teaching myself like hand to eye coordination. Um, and then later through that, in talking to like people like Ryan Hamrick or Ken Barber, um, then that’s when I started to learn about like the actual letters, like what makes a good letter and like the things and the little nuances to actually look [00:09:30] for, to make.
[00:09:31] it, be consistent or, you know, make it look like I want it to look. Um, you know, it’s the whole Ira glass thing where, you know, our taste is, you know, better than our, you know, skill. Um, so it took me a long time to get to that. Uh, but I think while those years were, um, stressful in the sense that I was, I had to do this lettering, like I became, it became like an addiction.
[00:09:53] Like I had to do it every day. Um, and I would waste time on it sometimes even like worrying about [00:10:00] what I was saying, um, based on, and that some of that was because of like, the growth socially, like, um, and, and then getting away from, like, the whole reason why I was doing it was just to like learn to draw letters, um, growth, enjoy.
[00:10:14] diane: Growth socially? Like in social media or like
[00:10:16] Bob Ewing: Yeah. Yeah. Some of it was like pressure that I was feeling from like social media and like the growth that I had had and like the audience that like, it kind of like curated or created, um, or gathered, you know, on as, as you do in social [00:10:30] media. Um, sometimes I was much more worried about the content I was saying.
[00:10:33] And so finally got to the point where I was just like, this is, I’m putting in way more than I’m getting out S Steph. And I had had many conversations about how much time I’d spend on it. Like I’d work, I’d do freelance, and then I had to do this. And at the time, um, my daughter was a couple years old, we had just had our son right around the same time.
[00:10:50] And, and I was like, okay, this is like, it has to be done. And it took me a couple days to come to it, like, come, I did like three posts in a row, um, as kind of a way to like come to [00:11:00] terms with it. And I remember that like 534th day or fifth whatever it was like this like huge sense of relief that like I didn’t have mm, didn’t have to do it.
[00:11:08] And at that point I was like, okay, like there’s no doubt that I’d made. The right, you know, decision. So, but all that, I felt like since I was late to design world, I felt like it was a way for me, not only like finding something that I really enjoyed doing, um, but, and it was kind of this like, crossover from like, my past to like design.
[00:11:27] I was bridging that together. [00:11:30] Um, and it, I felt like I kept, I caught up, you know? Um, it was intensive and I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, but like, it, it worked. I don’t know if it wor, I mean it worked, but I don’t know if it was the most successful or the best way to do it. Like, I can’t, I don’t have any regrets about it.
[00:11:45] Um, but it’s like, you know, but you maybe fool you
[00:11:49] diane: were able to hone in, and this is what I think of when we really focus on something. Um, you might get bored in the first 60 days, a hundred days or whatever, [00:12:00] but if you keep studying and if you, this is the stuff that if you zoom in to, uh, what. Bob is seeing what he circled and he’s like, I gotta fix the R here.
[00:12:10] Whatever. I’m like, I don’t even see that. Right. So it, it shows how your eye, because you’re really studying it and because you’re continually improving, you’re able to see it because you did that commitment. Now you’re still able to see it because you had learned that it wasn’t like you took, did [00:12:30] 532 or 34 days, and then you were like, I’m never touching a pencil and paper again.
[00:12:34] You were still doing it, it was still part of your job. It was still part of freelance. You just didn’t need that, um, every day activity because your eye was honed in your hand was hoed. Yeah. Yeah. Okay, so take us at, at this point in 2015, um, were you at Element three
[00:12:55] Bob Ewing: at this point? Yeah. Yeah, and actually like, I don’t, I wouldn’t have gotten that job.
[00:12:59] [00:13:00] Hey, if it wasn’t partly for Drew. Drew who Drew Hill, who’s the other. Like we, we met in art class in high school. Like we kind of grew up together. Um, he was a year older than me, but, um, like I rode the bus with his wife Whitney, like when we were kids. Like it’s, you know, that’s kind of how we grew up. Um, so he got me my first job and the agency and then, yeah, he was getting hired by ALMA three and he was like, they were looking for a lower level designer, but I was like, I’ll just go interview.
[00:13:28] Just, just, just to meet [00:13:30] him and like, you know, maybe something will come at it. And literally the next day we both got offers, um, which was awesome, but I don’t think I would’ve got that job, um, if it wouldn’t have been for the le like for the lettering like that really. Um, it really kind of like, Boosted my like career, like my career without a doubt.
[00:13:49] Like it finally, I felt like I was finally like finding myself as like a creative, um, so yeah. So Element three. Oh yeah, go
[00:13:58] diane: ahead. You had, you had a [00:14:00] skill that maybe other people at Element three didn’t have, so Sure. It’s, it’s be, it becomes this, um, talent or this asset that now you can fill a void or they now can offer something that they couldn’t offer
[00:14:16] Bob Ewing: before.
[00:14:17] Yeah. Yeah. And I got to do like a lot of awesome lettering while I was there for a lot of cool clients. Um, stuff I probably wouldn’t have maybe done on my own, um, just because of the size of the, like the companies we were working with, um, [00:14:30] and the sophistication that they’re, you know, looking for. Um, but at the same time, I am a, like classically trained, like classically trained graphic designer.
[00:14:38] Like I’m not a letterer. Per se, it’s a part of what I do and it’s come, it’s come along like full circle for me that like to know, like, that’s why I consider, like I do brand, like mostly brand work now because it’s, that’s graphic design. Like it can be anything, like I can do illustration, I can do lettering, um, badges.
[00:14:57] Like it can just be branding can is all of those [00:15:00] things. Um, which was awesome. But even through element three, I mean, we started inch by inch at that point, um, which was just an opportunity for Drew and I to work together on something because,
[00:15:10] diane: so my mom might not know what Inch By
[00:15:12] Bob Ewing: is, so tell, tell her. So in 2015, drew and I were trying to figure out a way that we could work together on something because we had our own clients and, um, we didn’t really get to work together on a lot of stuff.
[00:15:22] Um, later in our, like, career Alma three we did, but uh, so we started, it was a one inch, like we grew up in, you know, [00:15:30] the eighties and nineties, like with those like, you know, bands would always do like the one inch buttons. And we both like, were fond of those. So we just decided. This is a great thing. Like no one’s doing a button, like a one inch button club.
[00:15:40] So we came up with this idea and then we were like, well, we don’t wanna make a bunch, we don’t wanna make all these buttons. Like, and people would get ti like, people don’t wanna buy a bunch of buttons from Bob and Drew. Um, so like, how, how can we get other creatives involved? And that’s where the nonprofit side came out of it because it’s like, we weren’t doing it to make money and we didn’t even realize like, the amount of money that it was gonna [00:16:00] make.
[00:16:00] Like we thought like our moms and like aunts, you know, would like, and grandmas would like sign up, um, and a few friends here and there. Um, and like we knew that like that’s something that Avery the fact that like youth are education is getting like, stripped outta schools or like they don’t have supplies that they need, um, is a big deal because there’s all, there’s, I mean there’s so many staff around kids that have art in school and that’s all the way from grade, like early on all the way up to high school than how they’re better like students.
[00:16:25] Um, so it’s important and obviously it’s dear to us. So that’s [00:16:30] kind of where it started. Um, and then, We became a nonprofit and Yeah. I mean now, and you would,
[00:16:35] diane: we would get buttons in the mail every month. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And they were in French paper and then Beaver
[00:16:40] Bob Ewing: Buttons. Yeah. Busy Beaver buttons at Chicago.
[00:16:43] Um, yeah. Great stuff. And then the
[00:16:45] diane: money went
[00:16:46] Bob Ewing: to, yeah, two charities. One in Indianapolis and one in Chicago. Both serving like inner city and underserved Char kids with like, after school and summer school programs. Um, so we just knew that those, we knew by donating the money to other, like, nonprofits that [00:17:00] already established that we could affect more change.
[00:17:02] And we knew that like local was better because the amount of money we were donating. Um, While in total it was, it’s somewhere around $40,000 over seven years. Um, that’s, which is, I know to look back it seems crazy for like some one inch buttons. Um, but we knew like we could affect change in like a smaller level.
[00:17:19] Um, instead of like a national, um, level, we’d have a bigger impact. So we started with letter press too, right? Let’s not, yeah, yeah, yeah. Mama sauce. Mama sauce would leather. Yes. Yeah, it
[00:17:29] diane: was awesome.
[00:17:29] Bob Ewing: [00:17:30] Yeah. Yeah, it was fun. And Drew and I got to create all that branded stuff, and that’s really the outlet we were looking for.
[00:17:35] Um, so yeah, it’s, it’s been great. Like, uh, I mean, we can, like, we’re gonna, I think we already talked about we’re gonna, we’re shutting it down this year, um, which is a little bittersweet, but it’s time. Um, so we’ll be a CRA south and that’ll kind of be our last rah and we’ll leave the store open with a few.
[00:17:51] We have a few things planned, um, throughout the year after CRA South to kind of, Send off. Um, but then we’ll shut the store down by the end of the year. Just Drew [00:18:00] lives in Tennessee now and like, it’s just not, it’s not feasible. You know, we, we have my daughter’s 11, my son’s eight. Um, they’re playing sports.
[00:18:07] Drews twins are 12. So it’s like, it’s just not, it’s uh, it’s addition by subtraction. Um, so it’s a, it’s a head. It’s, it doesn’t get the time and that it deserves. Um Mm. And we, and we, it hasn’t for a few years now. Um, so it just needs, yeah, it’s, yeah, it is what it
[00:18:24] diane: is. So, so Amy says, better pick up that, uh, inch by inch mark.
[00:18:28] It’s creative
[00:18:29] Bob Ewing: stuff. [00:18:30] That’s absolutely. So we’re gonna have lots of stuff on clearance cuz we need to get it outta my basement. Um, okay. But yeah, so even while I was at element three, sorry, I think this is like a long-winded answer to number one. It’s ok. But, uh, while I was at Element three, I was still trying, somewhat, trying to figure out what.
[00:18:45] What I was doing or who I was creatively cuz I went like I was an art director and then I was, I was like, I don’t wanna, like, I wanna be, I started to see what Drew was doing and what our creative director was doing and like not designing as much and I was like, I don’t want to go the art director, [00:19:00] creative director or a c d route cuz I just wanna make like I am not fulfilled if I’m not making mm mm-hmm
[00:19:06] Um, so that’s where I ended up. I was a senior D designer, um, and I had lots of conversation, like my boss at the time, Darren, uh, awesome guy, super smart guy. And um, he helped me a lot cuz we had to have conversations about like, where I fit in and like what made the most sense for me. Like, is it time, you know, do I, do, I just, is it time to leave?
[00:19:27] And stuff like that. And finally they just kind of found [00:19:30] for a, for like a year, they just found a role where I just basically got to pick and choose whatever I wanted just to sit like it was wild and I, I appreciated it very much cuz it allowed, it allowed us to do some cool stuff and I just got to like, Pop into teams and do you know, a little bit here and there.
[00:19:45] And then, um, but the, ultimately in 2000 into 2018, beginning of 2019, I kind of felt this like urge. It was like I was Element three and myself were growing in two different directions. And I, similar to the lettering thing, I felt like [00:20:00] not necessarily I was putting more in than I was getting out, but like, I wasn’t being, I wasn’t as fulfilled and I wasn’t like enjoying the work as much.
[00:20:07] So it took me a few months. It wasn’t until I went to Raleigh, um, for Thrive, uh, and I was down there, I think like Kenne, mark Esso and the hoods were there in Draplin. Those were like some of the first, first people I told that I was like, other than Steph, that I was like thinking that, that I was leaving all three, that it was gonna be, and I like, so Steph and I kind of worked it out and [00:20:30] were like, okay, October 1st, like, um, I’m leav.
[00:20:33] I told, you know, I told I gave Ellen three plenty of time. Oh, 2018 or 2019? No, 19. Okay. So October 1st was my last day. And um, yeah. And then Steph went full-time right when I went, which was nice. So like, she had been working for an awesome company, um, and they wanted, they wanted her to change roles. So now, now, like I keep joking that I’m becoming a really good stay-at-home dad.
[00:20:58] Um, which is [00:21:00] honestly what I was looking for. Like, I, um, I get to pick the kids up from school, like I’m garbage in the, like this time of day anyway. Like, that’s why I do this. I need at time of day, I need a break. Like, I’m not, I’m not efficient. Like I don’t need to work. Like I can’t get worked out at this time.
[00:21:13] So, um, yeah. So now, um, 2000, October, 2019, I started working for myself. Um, I didn’t know what to call it, so it’s just my name basically. And because I didn’t wanna like spend the time to like even think about it or I didn’t have like, middle capacity to even think about at that [00:21:30] time. Um, and I’ve been like really fortunate to.
[00:21:33] To be busy and do a lot of work. And, and the goal was like, not only to be home and around more, but to like work with startups in small and medium sized companies where I’m actually like talking to the decision maker. That was a big thing for me cuz I enjoy the relationship side of what we do. Mm. And I wanna be able to like, work with the person that is making the decisions.
[00:21:51] Whereas like in the agency world, you kind of get in this, like there’s an account executive account coordinators and like, there’s this game of telephone like [00:22:00] we talked and it’s like I just, um, I just didn’t want that. Um, and I didn’t, there wasn’t a lot of FaceTime with the clients. Right. So, and I know it’s, we can’t do what we do without the clients.
[00:22:09] Like, um, someone has to pi someone has to hire you to do the work. So that’s, it’s important to have that like FaceTime and like have a conversation with someone. So, yeah. And honestly like that was six months before Covid. If I was still working, I wouldn’t have survived working at Element three. Through Covid, like with the meetings and stuff like that.
[00:22:28] Like I couldn’t, I [00:22:30] wouldn’t have been able to like handle I . I feel like I barely survived, you know? Anyway, like I was the busiest I’d ever been, right when Covid started and like next thing you know, the kids are home, Steph’s home and we’re all like, busy. And it was like, you know, and it was good. Like it’s a blessing that we were that busy, but it was sur like it was survival.
[00:22:46] Um, for sure. So, but, so yeah, that’s where I think that pretty much, I mean, that kind of brings us up to current. So I consider myself like an independent brand designer and that’s strictly because like I work by myself mostly. Um, if I need, [00:23:00] if there’s something I don’t do, like copywriting or web design, then I, you know, I’ve, over the years I’ve met so many good, awesome people that do that stuff.
[00:23:07] So it’s like that’s to partner with to do that stuff. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Just hire people that are good at that. Cuz I know at this point, like it’s the stuff I don’t wanna do. So,
[00:23:16] diane: so can I tell him what I asked you to do? Yeah. Yeah, sure. Okay. So I, I’m gonna pay him and it’s not like I’ve just asked, um, but he is going to design the new creatives.
[00:23:29] I [00:23:30] had done the creatives with a font and I didn’t never really like it. So he’s gonna make new creatives Ignite type to go with Sparky. Still loves Sparky Sparky’s still in love Sparky. Um, but he is gonna make new type for me, so I’m really excited. Yeah. Yeah. It’s gonna be awesome. I had messaged, um, Bob on his website and I just know now that I should text Bob.
[00:23:55] Yeah. I was like, I wanna go through the proper
[00:23:57] Bob Ewing: channel . You did. I know, and I appreciate it. [00:24:00] But yeah, man, email is so, Um, why is it 87,
[00:24:05] diane: 80, 80 7,000 unread emails right now? So shouldn’t be that hard. Yeah. But, uh, it’s okay. I, he’s like, are you still looking for this? And I was like, yes. I’m waiting on you, Bob.
[00:24:15] It’s totally fine. I have a long time table whenever you’re ready. So at some point in this year, I hope that we have a bob viewing, um, creatives Ignite.
[00:24:25] Bob Ewing: We will. It’s gonna be awesome. So now, and that’s always like, I mean, honestly, that’s like one of the [00:24:30] best feelings ever when like someone, like a friend of yours, someone like hires you to do work like that’s, or like gives you a review, like, and, you know, gives your name to someone else.
[00:24:39] Like, that’s the best feeling ever. So that’s why like, so I, you. It’s what matters. So it,
[00:24:45] diane: it is, and that’s why I think us together, when we get to know each other, everybody here in the chat that comes live when we get to start talking and then, um, , um, sharing things, [00:25:00] it is I think really important because then we can, cuz there’s definitely, I wouldn’t be able to do what you do.
[00:25:06] And I think that there’s lots of other people who are able to do different things that I’m not able to do and we do need to share. Yeah.
[00:25:15] Bob Ewing: Um, well, and that’s a part of like, just, it’s, it is wisdom in a way. Like, and that’s, I feel like that’s where I’ve kind of, that’s a place I’ve gotten to over the last few years is that like I, um, I’m okay with like, not [00:25:30] knowing that I’m not the best at this, you know what I mean?
[00:25:32] Like, I, the other people are better than this, than me or that like, that’s what they do and that’s, that’s okay. Like that doesn’t, um, that doesn’t really affect me, um, anymore. So, Yeah.
[00:25:45] diane: Okay. So, um, we have a little bit of colorful stuff going in on Chat. My mom will be like, wow, okay, we’re not gonna talk about that.
[00:25:53] It’s fine. Yeah. Um, I’ve been trying to delete, but it’s okay. Yeah, we’re just gonna let it go. Okay. So I, this [00:26:00] series is, this is cracking me up, , I think. Thankfully nobody else sees that. I mean, y’all see it, but anyway, we are all just laughing. Um, so what is, these questions are all, I think everybody in this, uh, series.
[00:26:17] I’m asking some of these same questions. And the reason is because some of the stuff is, is specific to Bob maybe, but some people might not also, um, [00:26:30] understand, uh, they might not have dealt with this. So some of these, um, are a little bit different. So what has been the biggest, um, hurdle that you’ve had to get over in regards to your business?
[00:26:41] Bob Ewing: Uh, Um, yeah, I mean, the biggest thing is like that I have to do everything now, you know what I mean? That I don’t have, um, anything, you know, it’s just me. So I have, you know, I have to do the bookkeeping, um, I have to do all the like, um, planning, the [00:27:00] scheduling, like all of that. Um, and it definitely, I wouldn’t say like I’m necessarily great at all that stuff yet.
[00:27:06] Um, but it’s, I’ve definitely gotten better, like since I started, um, I’m still not great. Like, one of the things I struggle with and I think as a creative is like, we always wanna over-deliver, like, over promise. So like we, um, like I always, and you get cited about a project, so you always wanna start it earlier.
[00:27:22] So like some, I’m getting, like, this year I’m trying to give myself more like, lead time in between stuff. Just knowing, like, especially at this point, like working with clients, [00:27:30] I know, like over the last couple years, like I, I kind of know how long something is gonna take based on, you know, like feedback and if it takes shorter time, Then a maybe that gives me time to do, like, work on something like this mural that’s supposed to be right here.
[00:27:44] Um, since 2019. That’s not done yet. I
[00:27:47] diane: love it. It’s in
[00:27:48] Bob Ewing: white. On white. Yeah. Yeah, it’s great. Um, it’s just gonna, I think it’s gonna be a big arrow, so it’s hire me, I think. Um, no I don’t. So yeah, I let to figure that out. But yeah, um, [00:28:00] that’s been the big, and then this really, the other challenge is like, I’m an extrovert and I thrive off being around other people.
[00:28:06] Um, so it’s just me and the dog most days. Um, cuz Steph’s in the office like three days a week. Um, so it’s just me. Um, and I don’t have someone like I, it’s, I kind of, you kind of. Didn’t realize how big of a benefit was to be able to turn around and ask Drew or someone else a question or like, Hey, can you look at this?
[00:28:25] Um, so now I just have to be more intentional about that and more intentional about like, getting [00:28:30] FaceTime with people. Um, abso so,
[00:28:33] diane: So I think that is one of the biggest challenges all so entrepreneurs and a lot of the people that are in the chat, we are working alone. Some of us are introverts, some of us are extroverts.
[00:28:43] Um, me and you are in the extrovert category, but I don’t have somebody sometimes to look at stuff and I’m like, I’m too close to it. And I’m like, does this look cool? Cause I think this looks cool, but I’m not sure anymore. Right? Yeah. Yeah. And there is, that’s a huge change from agency [00:29:00] or a smaller design firm.
[00:29:01] So it’s like, how can we, um, How can we bridge that? And I think that there are, there’s communities, there’s having something, somebody you can text and get some feedback on or say, Hey, can I send you this? And you, Marco polo me back with what you think. I just think having some trusted people that you can do that with is, is really big.
[00:29:24] So what about creatively? Cuz this is one of the things as a solopreneur myself, I also find has been, [00:29:30] um, when you’re just grinding and you’re working it, uh, being creative and continuing to just nurture that creativity. What, what’s been a big creative challenge? Was it a particular project or is it just the consistency?
[00:29:47] Bob Ewing: Um, no, sometimes it’s just that, I’m trying to think what the words. Um, sometimes it’s like paralysis by analysis. Like where, or like I have, I feel there’s like [00:30:00] a, you know, these like, I make a list like every other day or every week or something like that, or the projects I need to do. And sometimes, like, just looking at it like I don’t, like, it’s like, okay, I just have to start and I just have to do something.
[00:30:11] And a lot of times I’ll pick like the easiest thing, um, especially if I’m not like, I, like we’re creatives, like we’re human beings. Like not every time we sit down at the computer are we feeling like our best self or our most creative self. Yes. Um, which is another thing, and I’ll get to that in a second, but like in this [00:30:30] instance, like if I ha like, it’s like I have to get some stuff done, I will just pick the easiest thing, um, or the thing that requires the least amount of like Headspace.
[00:30:38] And I’ll do it even if it’s not due for like a week or two. Like I’ll just get it and start. And then it’s like that momentum is huge. Mm-hmm. And I think as creatives, anytime we feel that momentum, momentum, like to lean into it as much as possible because there’s other times where we don’t feel. Like that at all.
[00:30:54] And in those instances, that’s when, like, I’m fortunate, like I’ll go play, like I’ll go play [00:31:00] golf. Like I play a lot of golf by myself and I’m still wor like, it’s funny, like all of our work isn’t done behind the computer. Um, I oh, most of like, sure. Our, our most valuable work is like in our head and like the, the concepts and like the stuff we’re bringing to the table.
[00:31:15] It’s not necessarily the act of working, um, on the computer. So like I’ll go do that, I’ll go for a walk, um, just get outside, get away from my computer. Um, a change of scenery. Um, that’s huge and that’s been good for me. But there’s times where I’ve definitely gone [00:31:30] through, I would say at some point each year.
[00:31:32] And then I don’t even think it’s the same time. Or I’ll go through a spell where like, I’m just not like feeling it and I don’t, it doesn’t really feel like create a block. It just feels like a lack of, um, motivation almost. Mm-hmm. . And like, the problem is like, I only work for myself, so there’s no one else to moti.
[00:31:48] Like when you work for someone else, you’re getting external motivations, whether it’s good or bad, um, based on the people that you work with. And like, the only external motivation I have is like a client, basically a client. Um, [00:32:00] so that can be, that was different. And that I, like, I recognize those times. Um, and you just deal with them.
[00:32:08] Um, you just gotta kind of push through and just, you have to get the work done. Like that’s the, that’s the problem. Okay.
[00:32:14] diane: So this wasn’t on the sheet, but this is kind of going into maybe the next question, but what about, um, So if you’re pretty responsible already, do you ever, like, I think I’m a pretty responsible person, but I need [00:32:30] accountability.
[00:32:30] I need people to hold my feet to the fire. Yeah. Do you, have you had to, um, enlist people for that specifically? Since you’ve gotten out of an agency and you’re working for yourself in a different way, you’ve had to um, yeah. Had acc more
[00:32:46] Bob Ewing: accountability that No, I mean, that’s, that’s the problem. It’s like all on me.
[00:32:50] Um, so I haven’t really had that or found that. No, but
[00:32:56] diane: just saying like my friend Faye, who’s here in the uk, we, I mean, she’s, [00:33:00] she’s not here. She’s in the uk, but she Right. Um, will hold me accountable. Um, he’s like, those are my kids, both of ’em . Um, so she’ll hold me accountable for something. Right. I knew you’re here, but I meant here in Alabama anyway, I was fucking funny.
[00:33:17] Um, but like she, so I’ve had to enlist her to hold me accountable for something and she asked me and text me if I’ve done this thing. Yeah. And I think that, um, so have you had to do [00:33:30] that
[00:33:31] Bob Ewing: or no? No, I’m good. I, I, well, I don’t know if I’m good at it or not. Like I think I struggle with it just as much as, you know, if not more than the next person.
[00:33:40] Um, it’s just, yeah, I don’t know. So like, it is just me. So you gotta figure kind of, you just kind of figure it out cuz no one else is gonna figure it out for you. Like, I can appreciate what you’re saying and someone like that would be, Beneficial. But then, um, like I know like Steph is very busy, she’s very organized, and, um, she’s a planner [00:34:00] and that’s not like, that’s not who I am.
[00:34:02] Um, and my, I don’t think like that. Um, but she is like, she can’t be that person to me because she wor like she works full-time. So when she comes home and she’s your wife, she doesn’t
[00:34:13] diane: need
[00:34:13] Bob Ewing: to be that there’s some, yeah. So she’s already doing that look with life in general on everything that’s not designed.
[00:34:19] So she doesn’t need to be doing that for work too. So, no, it’s just me. And like, I’ll be like, um, sometimes deadlines come and go. Um, and that’s on me. Like, you know, like I, that’s the one [00:34:30] thing I’d like trying to be better about is like, if like delivering, you know, o under promise, over deliver. Like, and sometimes, um, and it sounds, it’s not bad.
[00:34:39] Like it’s just like you gotta, you have to give yourself the time. Um, because that’s all, that’s all we have. Like we need time to work. Just go, yes. Like, that’s what they’ll do. They’ll just stand there and stare at you. And I’m like, do
[00:34:54] diane: you wanna ride your bike in the street on the busiest road? Go
[00:34:57] Bob Ewing: ahead
[00:34:58] Go, go play with the flame [00:35:00] thrower. Like,
[00:35:01] diane: okay. So, so in this, let’s talk about time management, cuz this tends to be a struggle for a lot of people like me who have a, or just, um, people who are interested and we have lots of interest or were social or, so how, um, do you at all struggle with time
[00:35:18] Bob Ewing: management?
[00:35:20] Oh yeah, yeah. Like I said, that’s not my strong suit, um, at all. But, but
[00:35:25] diane: somehow you keep a reasonable, your list is only on a note [00:35:30] card. It’s not three, it’s not a toilet
[00:35:32] Bob Ewing: paper roll. Well, I mean, there’s only so many lines , so you can’t, but like, these are the lists, like, you know, like that’s not, these are, those are old lists, but like, That’s the good thing about these cards is there’s only this many lines.
[00:35:45] So my list can’t be longer than that. Okay. So if they’s, so,
[00:35:49] diane: so that’s the tip is to have a short lined pad
[00:35:52] Bob Ewing: of paper, maybe? Yeah. Yeah. So like, well, I mean, that’s why I like the, like these like field notes because they’re small and you can fill ’em up quickly. Yeah. But you [00:36:00] write tiny sometimes. Yeah, yeah, sometimes.
[00:36:02] And I draw tiny too, but that’s it, that’s the point. It’s just quick, like get, get it out quick. Mm-hmm. . Um, it’s not about what it looks like or how, um, it doesn’t need to be neat. Like, it’s just about get the ideas out in that sense. Um,
[00:36:14] diane: do you take your field notes with you when you go to a soccer game or when you
[00:36:19] Bob Ewing: are out for a walk?
[00:36:20] I, I used to take them everywhere. Um, I don’t. As much, but my brother has really been hounding me about writing, like, um, [00:36:30] more so it’s been weighing on me and I’m gonna, like, I started taking him like, yeah, I’ve started carrying him more just so I can write things down and not like, and not use my phone.
[00:36:41] Like I’m on my phone enough. Like I don’t, and like I said, I really, I like, I enjoy pencil and paper or pen and paper. Um, so yeah, I don’t, like I said, I don’t, um, I think going back to like, and this kind of parlays into the lettering thing, when I did that, I had set some goals for myself, but they were, if you’re [00:37:00] gonna do a project like that, they have to be easily at attainable.
[00:37:03] So like, my goal, my only goal was to draw letters every day and then post it the Instagram. And that was only because of like an accountability thing. Mm-hmm. , I knew that would hold me accountable. Um, at the time there was no. All like motive besides just doing that. Like a whole thing grew out of that, which is community and friends that I never saw, like I like never saw coming.
[00:37:27] Um, and that’s Beau, that’s a beautiful thing about [00:37:30] like what we do. Um, in fact, like, what is it Kyle? Kyle Webster? No, Kyle attend Lain, Tinder. Um, he was in Chicago, now he’s in Portland. He’s an amazing illustrator and, um, letterer, um, incredible guy. Uh, but he had posted this last year and it said maybe the real graphic design was the friends we made along the way.
[00:37:52] Mm. And I was like, it was like one of those, like, I saw it and read it and it was like shot like right to the, you know, right to the heart. Um, [00:38:00] and I’m like, that’s what, you know, that’s, that’s the beauty of what we do. That was the beauty of it came out of like the lettering thing other than like getting better at drawing.
[00:38:09] Um, I met so many people, um, So, yeah, so the, the moral of that was like, you have to set attainable goals. Um, and that doesn’t mean you can’t have a lofty goal. Like I, we need those, you need something to strive for, but if you’re gonna do something to get better, and it, it requires some, like every day, like you need to make it easy [00:38:30] to accomplish because if it’s hard, you’re gonna give up.
[00:38:34] Like, you’re gonna make it a week and you’re gonna give up on it. So yeah, there’s lots of days where I didn’t want to do it and uh, like I did a terrible job, but I still did it. And that was, that was all that mattered. Like at that point it was like, okay, this day I got it done. Similar to my like, list of work, it’s like, This is, you know, not to say I’m doing a terrible job for my clients, but it was like, okay, what’s the smallest thing that I can do?
[00:38:56] And I need to get that off my plate. Just like the lettering, okay, I did this today, [00:39:00] it’s done. It’s not the best, but tomorrow I’ll make sure it’s better or the next day. You know what I mean?
[00:39:05] diane: So, but it also gives us who are watching, Hey, he’s human. Everything might not be perfect, but, um, I think that you and Scott Biersack have your feed still goes back.
[00:39:17] You can still scroll back and see Oh,
[00:39:20] Bob Ewing: yeah, yeah. It’s all, it’s also there. In fact, I think really the only reason I use like Instagram to like, follow along people, but all like, I post like the memories like every day. Um, part of, most [00:39:30] of that’s just for me, like as I think it’s cool, but also like as a way to like share that like, you know, that seven years ago, like this was it.
[00:39:39] Like it wasn’t good. Like, and that’s okay because you need to see the progress, like everything, you know, and that was, that was part of the reason I was on the show the last time was because we were talking about sharing the process and like mm-hmm. , we don’t just have to share the end thing. Thus beautiful thing.
[00:39:56] Like no one sees all the work that went into it, that’s ugly [00:40:00] and mm-hmm. . Um, but that’s the story. Like that’s, you can’t get to the end without all of that. So it’s
[00:40:05] diane: important. And, and that’s why I think it’s, it’s, it’s really nice when we don’t curate our feeds so much because I want people who want to work with a real designer who’s Yeah.
[00:40:16] Has good days and bad days and, um, I am gonna keep working to try and please my client instead of, um, instead of just, um, [00:40:30] I don’t know. There are lots of bad relationships with clients and I don’t want those, I want them to know who, who they’re getting Right. Yeah.
[00:40:37] Bob Ewing: From, yeah. Yeah. From that. Yeah, because, and that’s part of the reason, like why we have conversation with the clients, like a kickoff meeting or like an introduction meeting.
[00:40:44] It’s like if we don’t, if we don’t jive, or like, I don’t like, hon, if I don’t, like, if I get like a bad, like a bad feeling, like you see the red flags, like red flags are not, and sometimes we ignore ’em and that’s our own decision. We can make that decision. But, um, like I, like I won’t work. Like I, that’s [00:41:00] the, that’s the beauty of it.
[00:41:00] Like, I don’t have to work with those people. Like, yeah, I can just say this isn’t gonna be a good fit. Um, I hope, you know, I wish you all the best. And there’s no hard feelings like it doesn. It doesn’t matter.
[00:41:10] diane: So I know that I haven’t had a client that, um, I cussed at one time, which I know . No, I did. I said the S word and I was like, Hey buddy.
[00:41:20] Uh, and I just knew, I was like, I can’t work for you anymore. You made me cuss out loud, . So I was like, okay. And I worked for this guy for five years anyway. Okay. [00:41:30] So how about marketing yourself? Yeah. Oh, doc asked a question. Are you still posting, posting daily? Are you still tell, are you telling the story in other places?
[00:41:37] Bob Ewing: Yeah, like, uh, no, like I’ll post, like I try and share the workout because. It’s, that’s a, that’s what allowed me to do the work that I wanna do. Like, if you don’t share the work, you’re not gonna get hired at that work. Like that’s just, that’s how it works. The people looking for that work aren’t gonna hire you if they don’t know you do that.
[00:41:53] Um, that’s why I do like a lot of golf stuff and some bar like barbecue stuff now because of the work that I’ve done in the past. And it’s like, that’s awesome. Cuz those are two [00:42:00] industries I love working in. And those have led to other, you know, industries that are like adjacent, um, or something new. Um, like I’m work doing work for like a pickleball, like a startup right now, which is really fun and like, it’s gonna be awesome.
[00:42:12] Uh, and you know, whenever that comes out, like I’ll be excited to share that. But Instagram is, it is what it is. Like you can’t, you can’t make it what it used to be. It’s never gonna be that. Um, it’s evolved into what they want it to be and it’s hard to share constantly, um, when you know that people aren’t seeing it.
[00:42:29] [00:42:30] Um, yeah. Yeah. So that’s why I do share on the stories, like every day, like the memories. Um, but that’s really all. Um, and then, uh, for me it’s a. It’s a consumption thing, like I’m using it to consume what other people are doing, you know? Mm-hmm. , I’m not like very active on it, so, but that’s fine.
[00:42:46] diane: So, so in, so in this, um, this was this, this doing, this daily drawing was, you didn’t know it in the beginning, but it was, um, a marketing tool for you Yeah.
[00:42:56] In the past. What, um, and I, my question was do [00:43:00] you struggle with marketing yourself? Uh, are there any stories around that? Or is, is there a strategy that you have now? And again, I know strategies change, like Yeah, you’re like, well, I tried this, it didn’t work. I tried this again. You know, is
[00:43:13] Bob Ewing: there anything?
[00:43:14] Yeah. Um, no, like, I, like I get this question some, and I don’t know, like if I’m naive, um, or, um, but I, like, I just keep getting. . And I think, I think that, and part of it is like, it’s some [00:43:30] referral, but some of it naturally just comes in. But that’s because of the effort that I have put into sharing my work over the last 10 or 12 years.
[00:43:40] Like, all that hasn’t gone to waste because a, it’s out there and it’s available for people that are searching for specific stuff. And like, so I mean, I think like it’s, um, it’s obviously like, it’s obviously like a prayer topic, like that it keeps coming in like that. I keep getting work. Um, but like, I, I don’t know, like I don’t have, I don’t [00:44:00] understand it.
[00:44:00] Um, I just feel like very blessed that like I continue to get work and that like, uh, um, people continue to refer me, which is the best. Like I said earlier, that’s the best, that’s the like the best feeling ever when someone refers you. Um, that’s, that’s
[00:44:14] diane: power of community, right? Yeah, exactly. So of saying in touch, it doesn’t matter.
[00:44:18] You don’t have to be on Instagram every day. Yeah. But what it matters is that if you are looking for stuff that you talk to people. Yeah. I think that a lot of us tend to think that we don’t wanna [00:44:30] tell anybody that we’re struggling or, or maybe we don’t wanna tell people that what we’re looking for, Hey, you know, I would really like, I, I, um, I know that Doc would love to work for a Red Bull, I think.
[00:44:41] Right? Doc? Uh, or an energy, like something like that. He’s like said that and I’m like, we should have these. Like, but if you never say this, I, my friend Debbie Clapper would love to draw on a pool, not like, Hoop pool, but like a pool you swim in. Yeah. You know, like, you have to explain that and you have to like, [00:45:00] um, I want to do this thing.
[00:45:03] And I think you have to say it out loud because then people start connecting you to that thing and they’re like, oh, my friend has a pool. They want a mural in there. I’m gonna call Debbie
[00:45:11] Bob Ewing: Clapper. Yeah, no, for sure. And that’s, I mean, that’s just the power of Yeah. Like you said, community for sure. Um, and friends, uh, and, and like building, I think that’s the other thing.
[00:45:22] Like I, through the course of this, I wa I didn’t never set out to like build a network. Um, it just naturally happened. [00:45:30] The communities side just naturally happened. There was no, the only intention I ever had was like meeting other like creatives and like, that’s why Yeah. Conferences are so important. Um, cuz you have to get away from just your little bubble and you have to experience that and you have to meet other people.
[00:45:44] There’s an energy that comes from that and it’s unexplainable. If you’ve never been to a conference, um, Yeah. And then like, like I said, like I want to do a Target gift card. Like, I don’t know why I just want to do one. Um, so I’ve like been putting it out there and like, I’m actually like, I’ll, as soon as I find some time I have [00:46:00] like a little project like that I’m gonna do.
[00:46:02] And it’s like just for myself. And it’s like, who knows? Maybe something, maybe something will come out of it at some point, but it’s like, yeah, like right now. Or like I, if there’s something you want to do, like, hey, well I didn’t like the whole leaving Element three wasn’t real until I started to verbalize it.
[00:46:17] Um, for sure. Um, so yes, in a sense it doesn’t really become real until, yeah, you tell something else. Like, it’s like the whole a bear, you know, craps in the woods, like, and no one’s there to see it. Like, yeah, I, [00:46:30] you know, like if you don’t let someone know and that goes same. Like if you’re struggling with something too, like it’s the same thing.
[00:46:37] Like you have to, you have to talk with people. You made, you made some point, you said earlier about having a d h adhd and I’m like, I know I have some sense of that. Like, uh, growing up especially, but it wasn’t like a thing that people, like, it wasn’t a thing like it is today. Um, but I know that like I have attention issues and I can get like distracted easily, but I’ll just allow, like I just, unless I have [00:47:00] to focus, which there’s times like I just kind of allow myself to be distracted and then I’ll get back to it.
[00:47:05] diane: but Okay. So this is a selfish question then that I’m gonna ask about. So, um, I see somebody doing something, not, it’s usually like a tool or it’s, um, ooh, I wanna try that, or it’s a skill share. I wanna, it’s appropriate something I don’t really, I’m more like you have more tools. Um, and my friend Mario, he’s like, you got FOMO more than anybody else.
[00:47:28] I know Diane. [00:47:30] And my husband would be like, oh, guess what? Some art supplies came again today. Diane. Like, he thinks I have like a connect. Uh, I’m having a love affair with Dick Blick. I think, you know, . So, um, so what, is there anything that you are like, no, that’s outside of the realm I it’s easy to say no to?
[00:47:49] Or are, are there things that you’re like,
[00:47:52] Bob Ewing: Ooh, ooh. Yeah. Um, I mean there’s, there’s definitely things that I know I don’t wanna do, like, or that I’m not, like, I don’t [00:48:00] enjoy doing. Um, I was kind of raised where if we didn’t like to like, solve problems, um, which has benefiting me really well, but like, that’s how my dad taught us.
[00:48:09] Like we worked on our own stuff. Like he was, drove a SEMA mixer, he was a farmer. We, if we didn’t have it, we made it. Um, and man, while, like, while I despised or didn’t enjoy that when I was a kid, um, man, it paid like it’s paid dividends and I appreciate it so much that my dad, you know, either made me be a part of that or like took the time to teach me.
[00:48:29] Something. [00:48:30] Um, so part of me is like, I’ve always had this mentality of like, I can, I feel like I can do anything. Um, now granted, there’s some stuff that like, I, like I’m obviously can’t do as well. Like I can’t draw like doc, like, um, and, but I don’t, I don’t, I, I couldn’t anyway, like his experiences lead to his, like how he draws mm-hmm.
[00:48:49] um, and his like, that’s how it is. Like I could never draw like that Anyway. And that’s, that’s a realization that came, you know, in the last, just the last like four or five years. Where it’s like, well, I [00:49:00] couldn’t do that anyway. Like a, I wasn’t in the situation to get that. I could, I wasn’t even, you know, there’s always FOMO where it’s like, oh, I wish I could have done that job, or like, I could do that better.
[00:49:11] Um, but it’s like, you did like a, you didn’t, and you can’t because you weren’t in this situation to get that client. Right. Um, unless you just, unless you bid it and didn’t get it. And that’s, which happens too. Like, I, you know, there’s a FOMO that happens with that. Uh, but just realizing that like, it’s okay, like I can’t, I can only do what I do and that’s why people come to [00:49:30] me and hire me.
[00:49:30] Mm-hmm. is to do what I do for them. Right. Um, that’s it. And I like, that’s a, that’s a great feel. There’s no better feeling than that. Right.
[00:49:38] diane: So, okay. So then we’re gonna go really fast on these. Okay. How do you go about learning new skills?
[00:49:45] Bob Ewing: I don’t . Okay. No, it usually, it usually has to do if I, like, if I need to try a new style or like I, um, need to figure out how to do something that I haven’t done before, then I’ll, like, then I’ll go down the path of like, okay, how do I, how do I do this?[00:50:00]
[00:50:00] Um, I don’t often have time or I don’t set aside time to like learn new things. Um, it’s usually applicable on what I’m working on, so. Okay.
[00:50:07] diane: Okay. That’s good. So, um, when is it important to sharpen the skills that you’ve already acquired and what have you done to do that?
[00:50:16] Bob Ewing: Yeah, every day. Okay. Like, I mean, every day, like I feel like we’re doing the same.
[00:50:21] I don’t necessarily do the same thing every day, but like we’re doing, it’s repetitively, like if you can’t do it every day, like you have to do it often. That’s how you sharp. A [00:50:30] blade. And if it’s not, if you feel like you’re, it’s getting dulled, then you need to spend some time on it. Like, it’s, it’s time.
[00:50:36] diane: Okay. Good. All right. So do you have any systems or processes that have helped you besides maybe the note cards? The note cards seem really good, um, that have helped you develop, um, just the skills that you have. And how about business skills, um, or creative skills? Staying creative. Maybe it’s just
[00:50:56] Bob Ewing: like I have a CPA and like I use [00:51:00] QuickBooks.
[00:51:00] Like things that, you know, like there’s so many tools out there. And like the one thing I need to do that I haven’t and I need to invest in time in, is figuring out like a, um, time a management tool, um, for like planning projects so that I can not, like, I love these, but like, I know I need so. That I can like, visualize and edit on screen.
[00:51:20] Like I think there’s like notion or like some of the, like one of those tools. Yeah. Um, so that’s, that’s like on the list. But yeah, other than that, I don’t, I don’t really use a lot of stuff . [00:51:30] I’m pretty lean.
[00:51:31] diane: Yeah. That’s, that’s okay. That’s good. All right. So looking back, have you found or realized a superpower that you weren’t aware of?
[00:51:39] Maybe back in 2015?
[00:51:42] Bob Ewing: Um, man, that’s a good one.
[00:51:45] diane: Like I think I’m pretty good at reading people’s faces and I didn’t realize I was good at that until really Covid.
[00:51:52] Bob Ewing: Gotcha. Um, nothing is, is standing out, but I, I would say the biggest thing is like, it’s okay to like not be in [00:52:00] front of your computer. Um, you know, like we live in a world now, unfortunately to a pandemic that, like we’re, we have a lot of freedom now.
[00:52:09] Um, obviously I have a lot of freedom cuz no one, you know, I only have to answer to myself and obviously, My, like, I’m responsible for kids and wife and stuff like that, but, um, we don’t have to be in front of our computer all the time. Mm-hmm. That’s like, that’s been the biggest realization for me is that like, I can, I can live, so like the first year of business, I made more money than I made at Almond three.
[00:52:29] [00:52:30] Um, the last two years I’ve made about what I’ve made, what I was making in oh three, um, more still, but not as much as that first year. But I was like really grinding and I took on a lot of work that first year. Um, but I’m happier and I have more free time to do other things and I don’t need, and that’s way more valuable than whatever that chunk of money is that I don’t, that I, that I can live without.
[00:52:55] So, yeah. And my wife works full-time, so I don’t , so [00:53:00] it’s, it works out good. Um, and I’m, I’m more available like I. Grocery shopping, I cook a lot more, which I enjoy. And I’m like, like I said, I can go on field trips with the kids, I can pick them up from school. Like those are, these are all decisions. It’s why I work for myself.
[00:53:13] So, yeah. That’s cool. Not everything has to be done behind the computer. That’s, that’s the answer. And I like the
[00:53:19] diane: problem solving. We’re not always problem solving behind the computer. It’s, yeah, really good to get out and do that. So, um, do you ever deal with being overwhelmed? And if so, have you, how have you dealt
[00:53:29] Bob Ewing: with [00:53:30] that?
[00:53:30] Yeah. Uh, all the time. Like, if I don’t sleep well, um, it’s because I have like, work dreams or like, I feel like I have too much going on, you know, where you like, it’s like I just did all this work in my dreams. I didn’t get any sleep and then I did also didn’t get any work done. Uh, those are the worst for me.
[00:53:45] Um, so yeah, I mean, I c you know, I constantly feel overwhelmed. Like we, our whole like kitchen and house is tore up right now cuz they’re like, we’re remodeling it, which is awesome. And we know it’s a short thing and the end is gonna be great. Uh, but it’s overwhelming. Like I, yeah. [00:54:00] Like, you know, it’s hard when you’re like, I work for, I work from here.
[00:54:03] So that’s, that’s going on and everything’s dusty. But, uh, you just gotta push through. Like, it’s not, this is my worst day doing this is far better than my best day at some of my other jobs. And I like have to remind myself that sometime that, like guess, like guess what, what we get to do, we are pretty cued job.
[00:54:19] Like yeah, there’s like, it’s beautiful out today, but like, there’s lots of days where it’s not nice out and I, I don’t have to work outside. Like I used to have to do that, like work in the cold and I don’t have to do that anymore. So it’s [00:54:30] perspective, um, yeah, try to, try to remind myself of. Of that. Um, I don’t always do the best job of it, but I try to.
[00:54:37] diane: I, I think perspective also helps with this next question as well, of not just sitting behind the computer doing other things, being involved with community or other people or your kids. Um, so how do you come up with new ideas? So say you had a barbecue restaurant or the, or the pickleball. Did you go watch pickleball?
[00:54:55] Did you, um, play or did you, like,
[00:54:57] Bob Ewing: how would you come up with, with an idea? I mean, I [00:55:00] mean, I have played, um, pickleball, but no, that was someone just coming to me like seeing something else, um, that I’d done. And it’s applicable and for what they want to do. But, um, I don’t, I don’t feel like I, I don’t feel like as creative as we have a, a problem with coming up with new ideas.
[00:55:16] Mm-hmm. , um, the, the key is to write them down to like, in a place that you can remember them. Um, the problem is having the time to execute on them or knowing when the right time to execute on them is, um, [00:55:30] I feel like there’s no lack of ideas. Um, but I don’t know. That’s a good one. Maybe it’s just, yeah, maybe that’s just me.
[00:55:37] diane: I’m with you. I, there’s just lack of time to
[00:55:39] Bob Ewing: do all this. There’s, yeah, there’s not enough time to do everything, so that’s prioritize
[00:55:44] diane: all. All right. So this may be answered with golf, but, um, do you have any creative outlets or non-creative outlets that you do regularly to help keep you balanced?
[00:55:55] Bob Ewing: Yeah, I mean, it’s just li like, anything that doesn’t revolve around sitting behind this desk, [00:56:00] um, getting out, doing like, doing stuff with friends, going like, I love music, you know, going to concerts, uh, golf, like I said, over the last few years, like golf has been big for me.
[00:56:09] Um, I play a lot by myself. Um, but like, I’ll go out and I’ll walk, you know, I’ll walk nine or 18 and it’s nice out and, um, golf courses are like nice to look at and it’s peaceful. So that’s been, that’s been like a big creative outlet. And, um, it’s somewhat of a running joke, like between like Steph and like.
[00:56:27] Our friends like, but it’s like, that’s why, [00:56:30] that’s, that’s what we do. Like, that’s why we made, you know, that’s why I made this decision was allow, you know, to allow me to, to do that. And, and if I, like, if I go play golf, then I will work late. You know, I’ll make the decision that it’s like, okay, after the kids go to bed, I’ll work tonight.
[00:56:43] It’s not like, I’m not not putting in the hours. Right. So, yeah, just get up, just get away from the computer. That’s, that’s the biggest thing. We spend so much time behind screens and we’re all guilty of it, but you gotta get, you gotta put it away.
[00:56:56] diane: So, so I, I think the next one, uh, is probably the same answer is [00:57:00] just get out from behind the screen, but I’m gonna give you a chance.
[00:57:02] Mm-hmm. , just in case. Um, how, how have you avoided burning now?
[00:57:08] Bob Ewing: Yeah, it is. I mean, we all get burnt. Like I said, we talked about this. There’s, you can’t avoid it. It’s inevitable. Um, we, we have. Creativity is not, I don’t know. I, I, I kind of believe two different ways. This creativity is not an infinite resource.
[00:57:25] Mm-hmm. Um, in the sense that like, you can empty your tank, um, but you have to do things that [00:57:30] fulfill it up to fill it back up. And those things don’t have to be working creative. Mm-hmm. , right. You can be creative in another sense. Um, so yeah, it is the same answer basically, but yeah, like, that’s why I said like, it’s important when you’re feeling really creative or motivated to like ride that and, and milk it for like, everything that you can.
[00:57:49] Um, because there’s times where you’re the opposite. Um, and you still have to like, but the thing is, it’s like we’re adults. We have work to do. So you still have to, you have to push through you, you have to do it, but it’s [00:58:00] not unavoidable. It happens to all of. .
[00:58:03] diane: That’s true. So, absolutely. Okay. So then you have collaborated with Drew on inch by inch.
[00:58:09] What, um, do you collaborate with other people or do you feel like when you’re, when you have a client, that’s the
[00:58:14] Bob Ewing: collaboration? Hmm. Yeah. I mean definitely. I mean, client relationship is the collaboration. Uh, I really like working with other creatives. Um, and I do like a fair share of that. Um, like one thing I really like to do is the, like, [00:58:30] is like fine tuning lettering.
[00:58:31] Like I had a chance to work with, um, Ashley, um, man, why is her name escaping me? She’s from New Orleans. Uh, small chalk is her, um, okay handle. Anyway, she was working on Commander’s pa like a rebrand for Commander’s Palace, which is like a really famous restaurant in New Orleans, like from the 1800, like late 18 hundreds.
[00:58:51] So she had basically said, Hey, I did this, um, In on pro, in procreate, but I need you to like literally like fine tune it and like make it bulletproof [00:59:00] and like make it consistent and like those are some of my favorite projects because I can like get in the weeds and like really nerd out on the details.
[00:59:08] And I enjoy that. Like I enjoy that just as much as like creating the brand myself. And I think that’s like an offering that like a lot of people don’t know that I do. Like it’s a consult essentially. It’s like consulting for specifically for like lettering or word marks. Um, and so it’s like, it’s just one another reason why I need to do like finish or like actually create a website so I can, you [00:59:30] know, like publicize I do that cuz people aren’t gonna hire you to do that, um, unless they just think of you, which happens in this case.
[00:59:36] Um, but yeah, you’ve gotta put it out there. So I
[00:59:40] diane: love that. It’s great. It’s, that’s great to know. So what makes, what’s the element of a perfect collaboration collaborative project for you?
[00:59:49] Bob Ewing: Oh, it’s, uh, I don’t know, communication. I mean, for me it’s just working with getting, like I said, working with friends.
[00:59:55] Mm-hmm. . Um, but communication is the key to [01:00:00] collaborating and then being open. Um, it’s not just your ideas. Like there’s a, like there’s a something magic that happened, like you and I would create something completely different than something I would create on my own. Like, it’s just, that’s just how, that’s how collaboration works.
[01:00:15] Um, so yeah. Hopefully , right?
[01:00:17] diane: Yeah. Yeah. It’s some people can be maybe too, uh, tight on
[01:00:21] Bob Ewing: certain pieces. Yeah. But you can’t be, that’s the thing about colle, like you have to be open, you have to compromise, but that’s where, that’s how ideas come together, so, right. But the [01:00:30] same goes for our clients. Like they’re not, you know, there’s just like, Um, persona that like, clients are bad, um mm-hmm.
[01:00:37] but it’s like, like, we can’t do this without the clients. Like, you just have to, like, they’re, it’s for them. I always tell my clients like, the goal for this is for you to be happy in the investment that you made in me, on your like brand or whatever you’re doing. Like, you have to be satisfied and happy when this is done.
[01:00:50] Um, I don’t have to be, you know what I mean? It’s not for me. Like they care about their brand more than anyone else will, so. Right. Okay.
[01:00:59] diane: Three more [01:01:00] questions. These are fast. Yeah. So this is in the last year, so not since we talked last, but in, what’s one thing that you’ve learned about yourself in the last year that’s been most impactful for you as, um, uh, uh, to your life or your business,
[01:01:17] Bob Ewing: or both?
[01:01:17] Mm-hmm. . I thought about this. I, I obviously read through these and, um, I don’t know. I think the biggest thing is that like, I’m not, like, we’re all like, we’re human and like it’s hard, um, to show up. Every [01:01:30] day and be creative, especially like, cuz it doesn’t, you can’t shut it off. Um, you know, we, there’s always a joke that like, I don’t, there’s no switch on this.
[01:01:36] Like you can’t turn it off, which is a gift and a curse. Um, but like you have to allow yourself that space to, to get away from it. You have to do something that can take your mind off of it. Um, for me, that’s the kids. Or it’s like, you know, sports. Like, I love watching the kids play, compete and play sports or it’s golf.
[01:01:54] Like you have to have some sort of outlet away from this. And I think that’s one thing that I definitely like [01:02:00] embraced over the last two, you know, over the last couple years. Um, that I probably didn’t earlier because you couldn’t, it’s like I have to be there, it’s nine to five, I have to be working mm-hmm.
[01:02:07] and that’s, it’s not true. We can do work wherever and whenever we want. Um, you know, it doesn’t matter. So as long as it gets done. So what’s
[01:02:17] diane: one piece of advice you would give yourself since we talked eight years ago? What would be something you would give yourself eight years ago? You would be telling Younger Bob.
[01:02:26] Bob Ewing: Yeah. Um. Just to stick it out like that. [01:02:30] It’s all like, it’s gonna be all right. Like no matter what. Like, it’s all right. Um, I would tell, like the one thing I would tell myself is like, this isn’t the, this you are not defined by, I’m not defined by this, this job and the things I create. Um, that’s one thing that I’ve come to terms, sorry.
[01:02:47] Um, with pretty, like, that was, that kind of hit me hard and that was leaving Element three. Cuz I was, I was like, am I defined by Element three? Like can I, like, I had a lot of doubt, like, can’t I do this? Yeah. Um, [01:03:00] but like, I’m not here, I’m not here for this. Like the, so there’s much bigger thing going on here and you know, that, um, so yeah, I’m not defined by this.
[01:03:09] I’m defined by the person I am and the people that I meet and the things I share with those people. Like that’s, you know, building relationships and memories. Like that’s how, that’s what I’m defined by so and so. Those, that’s the. Those are the people that I’m gonna take note of when they say something to me, good or bad.
[01:03:28] Like I’ll take that to heart. [01:03:30] So,
[01:03:30] diane: yeah. Yeah. I love that. Okay. Then last question is, what’s next for
[01:03:34] Bob Ewing: you? Yeah, I mean, maybe I should do like a website for myself. Um, I have a couple. You need help, buddy?
[01:03:40] diane: I’m, I’m pretty Okay. Yeah.
[01:03:41] Bob Ewing: Um, yeah, so I just need to do that. Um, I have a couple fonts that I really wanna do.
[01:03:46] Like how can I, like, not only because I just want to do them, uh, like I have, like, I feel like an urge to do it. Um, but also like the residual, like the income, you know, like the, what’s the word I’m looking [01:04:00] for? Passive. Passive, yeah. Yeah. Thanks Dustin. Um, the passive income would be great, you know,
[01:04:05] diane: spreading it out so it’s not just in one bucket.
[01:04:08] Right. So that you have some other I’ve, I That would be awesome. Yeah.
[01:04:12] Bob Ewing: Invest some time in something and then let it out there, and then let, let it do all the work. So, you know, that’s, yeah. That’s really. Really the biggest thing. And then, yeah, shutting inch by inch down, which will be a big part of this year.
[01:04:24] Like I said, we have a couple things planned, which will be fun, um, that we want to do. And then we’ll [01:04:30] make our last, you know, we’ll make our last donation. Um, and that’ll be, that’ll be like eight years. Um, so we’ll see where we end up. It was good run, but, uh, I’m excited cuz I know after leaving Elma three and like just doing my own thing, um, like I, I, I realize like addition by subtraction is a real thing and like the headspace that it opens up and how important that is.
[01:04:50] So, Bob, thank
[01:04:51] diane: you so much. I want everybody if, uh, so that you know how to follow Bob. If you are watching on YouTube, it will be at the very top. If you’re listening [01:05:00] on podcast, it’s at the top. Um, but for everybody else who’s just listening, it is Bob. I don’t know another way to spell Bob. It’s just b o b hyphen e w i n g.com.
[01:05:12] And then on Instagram and Twitter, um, it is bob e Wing underscore. That’s it. Right. So yeah. Bob, thank you so much for
[01:05:22] Bob Ewing: being first on this. No, thank you for having me. Like it’s, it’s an honor obviously anytime, like, it’s great to hang out with you, but like it’s [01:05:30] anytime you get to, you know, do something like this, it’s, it’s an honor and I like thanks for everyone for coming out.
[01:05:35] Looking forward to seeing you at Creative South. Um, for sure. It’ll be, it’ll be awesome.
[01:05:40] diane: So you, you gotta go get a kid. And guys next week, um, I have Amarillo Henderson, if you’re not familiar with her, she has tons of skill shares. She is doing different things than when we talked last time. Again, it’s the where are they now.
[01:05:54] But Bob, thank you so much for kicking it off and the love on designers, people, things [01:06:00] are going out and it’ll be in your email next week to see so that you guys know who won. Um, awesome. And Bob, thank you. Thank you so much and I will see thank you guys next
[01:06:08] Bob Ewing: week. Appreciate you. Thank you,
[01:06:10] diane: Bob.