We had the good fortune of connecting with Tyler LaFlamme and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tyler, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
My work life balance has gone through ups and downs over the years. For a long time I worked for companies 40+ hours per week and sometimes nights and weekends. Sure, it got me closer to my goals, put more money in my pocket and perhaps opened up some doors that maybe wouldn’t have. But after grinding at jobs for many years I started longing for a better work life balance because frankly I got sick and tired of the same old 9 to 5 grind. Eventually I realized that I could use my creativity in graphic design and illustration to start my own freelance design business, which is what I did. This made it possible for me to be my own boss, make my own work schedule and pick and choose the projects I work on which gives me much more personal fulfillment and work life balance.

What should our readers know about your business?

I’m one-man creative studio who specializes in branding, design and illustration for small to large businesses. I’ve work with brands in industries ranging from surf, outdoor, craft beer, food and lifestyle apparel. I specialize in t-shirt graphics, apparel design, logos and brand identity, custom lettering, packaging, marketing ads and editorial layout design.

To be successful in the creative industry you have to play the long game. For about 10 years I’ve been building my craft, process and business. It’s taken a lot of hard work, dedication and tenacity to get to where I’m at. I’ve dealt with rejection, insecurity, and low pay but have always stuck to my guns and followed my dreams. At this point, I feel accomplished that things are moving in the right direction and look forward to the future.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My favorite things to do are usually outdoors. I’d go to Leo Carrillo State Beach for a day under the sun while catching some surf. I enjoy hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains where there’s endless trail opportunities. I live in Ventura County so downtown Ventura is always a good place to eat, drink and see a show. Fluid State on Main St. is a locals favorite and has the excellent pizza, salad and craft beer.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Many people have helped and guided me along the way in my career in the creative industry especially colleagues, mentors, friends and my amazing wife. About 5 years ago I picked up a book written by Jennifer and Amy Hood, of Hoodzpah Design, called Freelance and Business and Stuff: A Guide for Creatives. This book outlined how to start your own freelance creative studio in a fun and easy to digest way. Definitely worth a read if you’re thinking about starting your own creative business.

Website: https://www.wildwooddesign.co/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wildwood_design_co/

Image Credits
Profile Photo by: Tommy Tatham

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