SLINKOV.Capital blog

How I [decide to] become a designer at 50

“It’s never too late to start something new, to do all those things that you’ve been longing to do.” Dallas Clayton.
My story begins with my mother standing on catwalks. Her tiny figure crawling the scaffolding working as… painter. Every day I’ve been watching her making huge (3-floor house hight) letters with government party slogans: “Glory to the Communist Party!”, “Glory to the Soviet people”, and so on.
I went from school passing her creations hanging on practically every building of our town. Yes, that was brain-washing propaganda. And yes, it fed us well enough.
But there was not only me who liked to watch her painting infinitely. One of the mom’s colleagues frequently came and throw back his head staring at her work. Wait… for work solely?! Eventually, as I grow up, I’ve started to realize that this man is rather a fan of mom’s short smock than mom’s long paintbrush.
I needed to stop it. And I invited my dad to visit mom in her duties. He came and froze at the same pose delighted by his wife’s smooth, elegant, beautiful work on the wall. He was Greco Roman wrestler. “Man-mounting” was his alias amongst young convicts. One of his jobs was teaching under-aged prisoned offenders Greco Roman wrestling.
That man-colleague just stepped in, witnessed dad’s neck, and disappeared forever.
After half an hour of watching, dad said: “I’ve never thought it is so difficult and… exciting”. Many years later I’ve realized: at that very moment, he desperately wanted her. ;)
So…
Of course, I’ve been drawing too. Winning local contests and local girl’s harts picturing them more colorable, then they actually were are. Mom helped me a lot. She wanted to grow in me what she always has been dreaming about but didn’t fight to reach — the art. Nevertheless, at some point, she started to over-care. Once upon a time, she woke up in the night and “finish” my painting which I’ve prepared for the contest!
After a few such cases, I quit.
Yes, I stopped drawing, painting, scratching. I left home. Flew to the capital. And started a career in software development and management consulting.

Fast forward 30 years. And now I see my life’s score table: a couple of businesses created and successfully sold. All my money are gone to unrealistic ventures. In other words, I have zero bank account (actually negative, but who cares). No job, no business. For some reason, my ex-business partners have excluded me from their agenda at all. The only figure which is not zero now is my age — 50 f..g years! And I got full-house of kids, wives, spouses et cetera.
So… where shall I begin?
Crazy or not, I decided to become a graphic designer. I want it to be my life-long profession. And, there are a few more items in the checklist:
  1. I will be a freelancer solo. No company. Only short-term helpers.
  2. I will go directly to the world market. No intentional sales to Russian customers.
  3. English. Reading. Learning. Listening. Speaking. Thinking?
  4. Earn hundreds (2+) of thousands USD yearly.
The most important: I definitely will have fun and joy. Not right now, while I am frantically eager for knowledge, mastery, and orders, but someday later.
I know that the whole world is against such an idea. It sends me COVID-19, digital youngsters with their LOLs, and even the whole nations fanatically hating Russians.
However…
this…
is what I’ve always been dreaming about… and now fight to reach.
Wrestling skills from dad. Workaholism aptitude from mam. I think that’s enough for such a start, don’t you?

PS
Since writing in a non-mother tongue gives me an illusion of invisibility, I promise to show you all my steps. Including insulting failures and stupid deeds. Tools, courses, interesting ideas, and articles — all stuff like “aged graphic designer help aid” will be shown here. Ok?!
My portfolio is here: https://soloten.com/en/portfolio
Photos are thanks to Slinkachu
Web design