Seeing as my darling graphic designer slash artist Beth is off in London, and my other amazeballs designer friend Lisa is about to pop out a baby boy, I’m on the lookout for a new graphic designery type I can make my friend and make beautiful things with.
Jeremy popped out of the woodwork at PlanBig with his plan to make a success of his business Pink Cocoa, and I loved the fact that he’s been building his biz while finishing off high school (motivated, much?). Back when I was focussed on my music and slurpees and McChickens and Latin and lip-gloss and Hamlet (not in that order, mind) Jeremy’s been building his graphic design business in his hood and doing a damn fine job.
So, as a way of getting to know this up-and-comer a little better, say g’day to Jeremy.
Describe yourself in three words.
Discerning, Passionate, Methodical.
What are you passionate about?
Making the world more beautiful, beginning with the communications industry.
Do or don’t you do the social media thing?
As they say, social media is where it’s at, and therefore, so am I. But there’s something magical in social media, the power is has and its potential as a device for social change.
How did you find yourself in the land of Twitter?
I like new things. I love to discover new tools, and all those years ago, Twitter was an exciting discovery. But it went untouched for many months… I had no interest; until I started seeing it pop up everywhere else, and at that point, I knew I needed to jump on the Twitter bandwagon – and boy has it exploded since.
Do you have any other social media involvement?
As I said, I’ve had a go at most of the social media tools available right now, and am always looking for ways to integrate them into my projects and my client’s marketing strategies. There’s certainly a lot of untapped resources out there, with potential for brands to harness. I’m really active on Facebook (for my personal network), Twitter (for the global news network), LinkedIn (for my professional network); plus I’ve been dabbling in Instagram and Tumblr, mainly as mediums for sharing my work. I’ve also been playing with location-based services such as Gowalla and Foursquare, investigating the branding and communication possibilities present on such a platform.
I think Klout‘s a really fascinating concept. I love the idea that we can measure an individual’s influence on others; not simply as an act of vanity, but as a tool for identifying those with high impact on audiences as potential ambassadors for our brands. I’m really interested in the online equivalents of real-world phenomenons, such as the celebrity culture that exists and how such public figures are created.
How did you get where you are today?
It’s really just been a case of determining priorities, and making the sometimes difficult decision to focus on my business instead of high school or my social life. Growing the Pink Cocoa brand has been a matter of strategically identifying goals that would allow for significant growth in a short period of time, so as to allow a balance with school and the other important commitments that have been present in my life over the past few years. Really, though, it’s about the love of the game, and making sure everything I do is because I love it, and not because it’s expected of me.
What are you doing at the moment that excites you?
As a business, I’m at a real point of transition, a process that is taking place as I finish high school and make a geographical move from my current home town. More than anything, the prospect of growing Pink Cocoa to become a full-time venture is the most exciting aspect of my life. I really look forward to taking the business on the road, and developing projects for clients throughout the world that hold a similar brand ethos to my own, and are focussed in the creative space.
What is your secret to getting big things done?
Outsource the little stuff, always keep the big picture in mind and ensure that each little bit is crafted to perfection. How to do it? Make a list, and check it twice [a day].
Name any dream brands, companies, personalities you would love to collaborate with.
I really want to take my work into the fashion industry, mainly for my love of the commercial art, and its ability to integrate both an aesthetically-based medium for communication with a commercial operation. No other industry is taking as many risks with abstracting the consumer experience as the fashion business, and I’m really passionate about the direction of this. I really see this as a positive strategy that other creative sectors could learn from.
I have two:
“When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution isn’t beautiful, I know it is wrong.” — Richard Buckminster Fuller
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” — Apple Inc.
Here’s how to find Jeremy and Pink Cocoa online:
Pink Cocoa’s website is www.pinkcocoa.com.au
My personal website is www.jeremysmart.net.