So the other night my fiance and I were walking along to see some truly amazing, large-scale artwork being applied to the walls and areas down the back road of a small town in Michigan. We had absolutely no idea that not only would the artist be there actively painting (awesome in and of itself!), but that the building owner happened to be there too. And my fiance happened to know him through a different meeting. And they happened to start chatting...
Okay, seriously, how often do you come across someone who is literally known to have purchased buildings all over the area, restored movie theaters, used others purely as storage for random stuff? You'd think he'd be walking around in an Armani suit, right? Nope. This guy was as down to earth as they come, jeans and a T-shirt, spending time with his kids while he watched magic happening to the back wall of his building.
And I had absolutely no clue who I was talking to the entire time.
Okay, not the entire time. I realized about halfway through. Then I just sort of did what any sane graphic designer would do and asked if he'd take my card if he ever needed a graphic designer. Kind of figuring this down to earth guy probably already had a team of designers who did amazing things for him. Then he took my card.
Now here's the thing, after all of this (along with a wander through his latest project, a new tiny coffee shop which is going to be AMAZING...) I'm still kind of skeptical that he'll even remember he has my card, let alone look at my website. Not because he doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would (he might actually see this post), but because I just don't see myself as having that kind of amazing luck to just bump into someone of his caliber, just happen to have my fiance know him well enough to strike up a conversation, and then just Happen to have him not actually have an entire design firm on standby for him. And then have him... take. my. card.
It's not that I'm not sure of my ability to design anything he wanted. I know I could, and I know I absolutely would do amazing things for him if he decided he needed me as a designer.
It's truly and completely that I find it very difficult to believe that sort of providence exists. That after all of the work that has been put into applying to jobs, going through interviews, building up my network, etc etc etc, that a random meeting in a back alley at sunset while nibbling on ice cream could actually lead anywhere.
If it does... well then... I guess I'll have to start believing that sort of providence exists. If it doesn't... then at least I'll have had the amount of confidence to ask a millionaire if I can give him my card as a graphic designer. And I'll have had him say yes.
That, my friends, is a 30-second experience that I - will - never - forget!