We all struggle with it – deciding which of our visions (if any) to go after can be a going concern for motivated Young Professionals. Meet Bryan Jackson, a YP that isn’t putting his vision(s) on hold, but instead going after them, simultaneously! Bryan has created a positive name for himself across multiple industries and may quite possibly be the only Creative Director in Canada that can also bake a waffle to perfection. Get to know Bryan Jackson, our featured young professional on Notable.
Notable: What is your Name and age?
Bryan: Bryan Jackson 31
Notable: What is the name of your business and what industry is it in?
Bryan: Starving Artist – Restaurant & Bar www.starvingartistbar.com
Bryan Jackson Design www.flickr.com/photos/bryanjacksondesign/; www.bryanjacksondesign.com
Creative Activists www.creative-activists.com
Notable: Elevator Pitch (we just met on an elevator, we have 30 seconds together in the elevator, please describe your business):
First of all I’m going to have to push the emergency stop button to get at lease a minute because I have that much to tell you J. I’m a creative director that specializes in event production, decor and brand activation, as well as a designer of night club and creative spaces who also owns Starving Artist, an everything on waffles brunch restaurant/ art gallery/ bar; who in my free time (lol) paints artwork for film and custom installations.
Notable: Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
For my Creative business, I kind of fell into it after wondering for years what I was going to do. Being a jack of all trades but not having the attention span to master just one craft because I get bored really easily. I went to school for advertising and marketing but had a talent doing graphic design and window displays for retail. I worked my way up in the business through freelance and contract opportunities, eventually doing a several year stint at Holt Renfrew working in visual display and then as a Special Events Manager. I came out with a very strong skill set but with a real hunger to step back into the freelance world. Fast track a few more years and here I am, where every day is a different adventure.
Starving Artist was initially supposed to be an office for my creative business that was taking off. I wanted to have an espresso maker and dessert waffle maker at the front as something cool and different for locals and my clients to drop in and enjoy. I thought it would be a great way to meet the people in my neighborhood and to entertain my clients with intimate events. I had always wanted my own space – whether that was a creative space or a bar – and I had eaten terrible waffles at a restaurant weeks before I found our location at 584 Lansdowne that made me think that offering delicious waffles would be a neat addition to my space. About 1 week in I realized that this was a much bigger venture than anticipated and when we opened the doors 3 weeks later – the place took off as a full on resto-bar – Bloor West style.
Notable: What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis?
Being able to create! I love being able to make my imagination reality!
Notable: What is the most challenging part of your business?
Working with people who don’t understand the creative process.
Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
Ask me in 5 years where it hasn’t been.
Notable: Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Work harder than the next guy! Get ahead while others are asleep!
Notable: What is your greatest asset as it relates to business?
The understanding that it’s not what you do but how you do it.
Notable: What does success look like to you?
I love what I do. That’s my true measure of success. I believe that success is different for every person. For me, it’s about my work being an artistic reflection and knowing that I walked my own path to my own beat, and eventually, that I’ve impacted my community (professional, artistic and geographical) in a positive and visible way. My goal is to seize each moment and to get as far as I can before I have the time to look back.
Notable: What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Not having to work for someone else anymore.
Notable: Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I support my community by hiring young people and by providing them with an artistic and creative method of employment as well as a chance to learn hands on.
Notable: What is Notable to you?
Having the true understanding that all work is notable! I respect the ability to work hard at any job no matter what the pay or position because each role contributes to the final outcome.