We had the good fortune of connecting with Yeen Weaver and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yeen, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Having such an unusual lifestyle, I am no stranger to risks. I left a secure but humdrum job and a safe but stationary home on land to pursue fulfilling, location independent, freelancing work and life on a boat, traveling to new places and seeing new faces in the company of my husband and kids. Society is so risk averse and regards making mistakes as a bad thing, to the point that people have lost their sense of self advocacy and self determination. Of course, it is scary to step out of the box that society has outlined for us. But life is short, and at the end of the day, we all have to ask ourselves if following the script has led us to feel fulfilled and proud about our lives, if we felt free to express our dreams and true selves, or if all we have done is pretend to be what others want us to be and always left questioning what could have been. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that taking risks can indeed lead you to unexpected fortune in life. Nowadays, I get to enjoy ample time with my family, work a flexible schedule that allows me to travel more freely, and have more creative control over the jobs that I receive compared to working for a large company.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My switch from being a 9 to 5, brick and mortar 3D modeler to working as a location independent freelance illustrator was a deliberate one in order to achieve more flexibility in terms of time and location to pursue a travel lifestyle. I knew that it was going to be hard establishing a clientele in such a competitive and over saturated market, but it does get easier over time. It is a question of figuring out what you are passionate about, and how that can be aligned with what is in demand in the industry. How can something you enjoy doing also be made practical for clients who have budgetary considerations and results to deliver? It requires a confidence in your own capabilities and faith that your clients have chosen you because they believe in your potential and want to see you succeed.
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.
Being a visually minded person, the most outstanding thing about LA to me is its unusual density of beautiful and unique architecture. I would start off the day with a trip to the Bradbury Building to take in the morning sunlight streaming in thru the ceiling and casting a glow on turn of the century features, followed by breakfast across the street at the fun and casual Grand Central Market. Next, a tour of the Getty Center, as much to enjoy the gardens and water features surrounding the buildings as to see the large collection of art housed within it. In the evening, a visit to Frank Gehry’s iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall with a guided tour to appreciate its architecture, and a rousing performance by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra to round off the day. 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?
My greatest supporter in work as well as life has been my husband Travis, who has no patience for self doubt. In times when I have felt the weight of self judgement, or unfairly harsh criticism from others, he reminds me to look back on the successes that I have made for myself and to have confidence in my abilities and in the validity of my dreams.