The Second Act of Lawton Outlaw
Let’s start at the end, shall we? Sometime in the not-so-distant future, I’ll be the Captain of a new ship on a new journey – helping small to medium-sized businesses and start-ups navigate their way in today’s market. Picture if you will a strapping
young lad behind a Mac wearing wayfarers and a wry grin, smug in his understanding of market segmentation, message serialization, and identifying verticals. Yes, you read that right – the king of cool with a portfolio full of iconographic images – has visions of greatness in the world of marketing…
I was born to be an artist. From a very young age, I was drawing what I saw on TV. From middle school on, I won all the city and regional art contests. A scholarship to a local art school preceded a scholarship to the nation’s 5th ranked art school in the country. My second ever job was in Hollywood creating movie posters for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. From there, I soon had every major record label as a client – creating websites for recording artists like Chris Cornell, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Iggy Pop. After moving back to Houston I re-purposed my talent for multi-national corporations like Cameron instead of record labels like Universal Music Group. And like before, the awards started flowing in year after year, one after the other.
It is sad in a way – I do miss being the rock-star graphic designer that I used to be. It was true when Bob Dylan sang it, and it’s true now – the times they are a-changin’.
But that’s the what was in this story. I know, I see you sitting there thinking, “why is it the ‘what was’ and not the ‘what is?”“. Great question. I mean, who wouldn’t want to just carry on like that? —Because there’s a problem.
WHAT IS (THE PROBLEM?)
The problem is that the professional landscape has changed. What was important before is no longer relevant – what people value, what companies value – has changed. The once vast stage I could perform my graphic design on has shrunk to the size of an album cover .jpg you see on Spotify. No, the world just cares about content creation and distribution. It’s all about inbound marketing strategy and tactics now. It is sad in a way – I do miss being the rock-star graphic designer that I used to be. It was true when Bob Dylan sang it, and it’s true now – the times they are a-changin’.
WHAT WILL BE
Now, a person like me could look at his/her situation in one of two ways. A less courageous person may view this challenge as an affront to what they stand for. They might get angry and bitterly start telling stories of the “good ol’ days.” Forever recounting the glory of past achievements, they would let the future sail on by. And who could blame them? I mean, who has the energy in their late 40s to become a completely different kind of Captain navigating a foreign sea? The second, more courageous way one could view this situation, is as a massive challenge to conquer. To boldly go out and buy the most stylish Captain’s hat and pea coat – and wear them like a champ into the seas of the great unknown. And that’s exactly what I’m doing.
In fact, I’m literally going to school. I’m currently taking a college course named the Social Media Magnet out of Belmont University, where I’m learning all about branding and inbound marketing. This blog you’re reading is actually a class assignment. (what grade would YOU give me?)
BRINGING IT HOME
What’s more is that as part of my course, I have created a real marketing company named nhouse.design. I look forward to the day I can bring everything I’ve learned to my clients once I have received my certification.
So this is it. The titular …and what will be part of the story. This second act of Lawton Outlaw is already in full swing. Oh, and I will bring the cool to marketing – some things will never change.