Digital Media Editor and Producer at Matador Network and Manager of the Matador Creators Community.
WHAT LED YOU TO START WORKING IN DIGITAL/MEDIA PUBLISHING?
I was living in Melbourne, Australia at the time (2008) after about 8 months traveling around Europe, across Russia on the trans-Siberian, and around China and Vietnam. I somehow stumbled upon Matador Network and enjoyed their travel articles and thought, “I could do that.” I’ve always enjoyed writing and emails and blogs home always got very positive reactions. I wrote my first article and pitched it to Matador, then didn’t hear back. After a month I decided to follow up and it was a case of it getting buried in someone’s Inbox. The article got published, and a handful more followed. It was serendipitous timing because they were expanding their editorial team and decided to bring me on as an editor (this was 2009). Everything I’ve learned about the digital publishing industry I learned in-house and through work experience. When I was brought onto the team I was working full time in computer support in the corporate world…after a couple years of building myself up, I started earning enough to fully support myself with it. My role has changed a lot over the years and today I work mainly as a video editor.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
I slowly rise from my beach hut and scan the horizon taking in the sunrise, sipping on the juice from a freshly split coconut, then get my morning surf in and…just kidding. It’s not as glamorous as most people think. It’s probably like a lot of people who work all day in front of a computer. I check my emails, act on anything pressing, then hit up my to do list, trying to stay organized and prioritize my tasks. These days I work a lot with video, so I spend a lot of time finding footage and assembling original videos that we publish on our social channels. I also manage the Matador Creators Community, where a lot of digital media folk hang out, talk with each other, and find jobs and gigs and press trips and the like. Unglamorous as it may be, I love my work and it rarely feels like work. I feel very fortunate to do what I do for a living.
WHAT’S YOUR WORK SETUP LOOK LIKE?
I have a mid-2014 15” MacBook Pro that I connect to a 21” monitor when in my home office. I work mainly in the Adobe Creative Suite, mostly in Premiere, to do my video editing (Lightroom for photo editing). Outside of that, it’s the usual internet tools: Gmail, Skype, Facebook, etc. I will eventually upgrade my laptop as I get more and more into filmmaking and editing (and now I’m starting to compose my own music as well) – these apps take a lot of resources.
WHAT DO YOU DO OR GO TO GET INSPIRED?
Unplug. I’m fortunate to live in, what I think, is the most beautiful place on the planet: Nelson, British Columbia. I pretty much live in nature, I don’t have to get very far out of town to completely lose cell phone signal. With my partner, I do a lot of hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, and road tripping.
I’m also a musician so playing music and singing is very important to me.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF WRITING OR QUOTE?
In terms of travel, I think Pico Iyer’s “Why We Travel” really stands out. I haven’t read it in a few years but it resonates strongly with me.
WHAT IS THE PASSIONATE PROBLEM YOU ARE TACKLING AT THE MOMENT?
I don’t know that I’d consider them problems, but each video project I start working on I guess is something that requires the skills of problem-solving. I love the whole creative process around video editing, from concept to selecting clips, to audio-editing to the collaboration aspect of a team providing constructive feedback. Manipulating moving images and sounds to craft the experience and feeling is very satisfying to me.
IS THERE A PRODUCT, SOLUTION OR TOOL THAT MAKES YOU THINK IT IS A GOOD DESIGN FOR YOUR DIGITAL PUBLISHING EFFORTS?
As I work so much in video these days I’d have to say Adobe Premiere. I’ve really only edited in Adobe Premiere but it does everything I want and need. I have my eye on Logic Pro for composing and editing music to video.
ANY ADVICE FOR AMBITIOUS DIGITAL PUBLISHING AND MEDIA PROFESSIONALS JUST STARTING OUT?
I’d say to temper expectations and to pay close attention to trends. I’m grateful that I got into this in a very organic way, and didn’t really have any expectations. I just did what I enjoyed and kept pushing the envelope further and further, but never with a thought that I needed to get to some specific place. I’ve seen and worked with hundreds of young people, brand new to the industry, who I think have unrealistic expectations, like if they did this and that they’d be “successful.” But it’s a very fluid thing. I realize that this is not great advice and is very vague, but I don’t want to just peddle the standard things like “work hard!” etc. I’m not huge on “advice” because of how individual we are; what works for one might not work for another. And who am I to give advice? I like to share my own experiences and if people can resonate with it, if they can glean anything from it, then that’s great. Similarly, I don’t really want to hear advice from other people, but I love to hear people’s stories and see what wisdom I can gain from them.
But to satisfy your question I’ll give it a go: Simplify. Learn to be content. I think too many people get caught up in the “American dream” culture, that more is better, that you have to have this and that. Take stock of what really makes you happy, of what you really enjoy, and go from there. Figure out what you have to do to cultivate that kind of a lifestyle. Don’t be pressured by what anyone else (or what you think anyone else) is doing. Live your own life.