Tamara J Lawson [stuffofdreamscreative]
What is your profession? What is your title printed on your business card?
I am a Production Specialist, including graphic design, Word integration, editing, and interfacing with commercial printers.
What did you study and why did you choose to study that field?
My degree is in Creative Writing, with strong journalism support. I have a flair for writing and production, so focusing on that course of study seemed natural. Augmenting the creative aspect of my degree were courses in Newspaper Feature Writing, and stricter News writing. I feel my studies have enabled me to tackle ever-widening oppportunities to write, edit, and create a variety of documents and publications.
What is expected of you in your job, and how do you accomplish it?
My job is to create graphics as envisioned by the authors, integrate those graphics into Word, and produce a final document which is compliant with the Request for Proposal. I use several software applications in concert with one another to produce the graphics. Cover design for each response is both tailored to the focus of the project and a creative opportunity to showcase the client. To accomplish my goal of a consistant, compliant document, I adhere to the requirements of the RFP, apply myself to ensuring consistency of design, style, and format, and work with thoroughness, determination, and dedication to quality. I am also clever and relentless when faced with a technical issue or creative challenge in that I work to find an answer, resolve the issue, and employ a dogged resourcefulness to achieve the client's objective. Flexibility and reliability are two of my strongest traits, which have served my clients well over the year.
What links do you have on the Internet: website, blog, social networks?
I have a website for our family business, a guest and working cattle ranch in southeastern Arizona, that I write the copy and take the photos. There is a blog there, The Hideout Nugget. I also have a Facebook page for myself and the ranch, as well as a Twitter account for each. We have a ranch YouTube channel fow which I am both posting videos taken of the animals and creating "movies" to showcase the ranch.
www.hideoutranch.com and www.hideoutranch.com/blog
Are you satisfied with the education that you received?
For the most part, yes. I always want to learn, strive to better myself. And I have found that life and personal application to a goal are the best teachers. There is a lesson in everything, and not all knowledge comes from Academia.
In which areas have you thought of building upon your education?
Software applications, to include the Adobe Creative Suite.
In which tasks are you good at, and in which could you better yourself?
I feel I am good at most every task involved in my job. Time management is a challenge for everyone, and I am no different. Also, I work very hard on prioritisation so be responsive to the client and responsible to my work. I do work on every aspect of my career with every assignment - both personally and professionally. Life is a classroom, and I am constantly learning something.
Do you usually attended seminars or coursework to advance your professional work or would you consider yourself a more self-taught person?
Very much a self-taught person. I consult friends with similar or greater experience in the area in which I am struggling, or ferret out the information online. Experience, I have found, means more than a certificate.
When did you realise that your work was being considered important and that it could possibly take you places?
When I started working...
Who have been the most influential people in your career?
People who have challenged me to create, stretch my imagination, and reach an objective have been some of my greatest influences. Of course, family and friends who believe in my creativity have been sources of stalwart support.
With which types of persons do you feel you work well with as a team?
Team work is vital to the industry in which I am currently working. People with whom I work best are open, confident, professional, and encouraging. I work best with people who know what their job is and, as a result, allow me to do mine. Those I work with typically do whatever it takes to get the job done, pitching in during "end game". Nothing is too "menial" for anyone of any title, proving it is "All for one, and one for all".
Which goals have you focused on in your professional career?
Increasing accuracy, creativity, and opportunities for creative outlets.
Which publications associated with your field do you regularly read?
None, actually. I prefer to act.
Which languages do you speak, and how have you learned them?
English is my native language, though I had school exposure to Spanish and French. I would love to have fluency in another language.
Do you have a website or blog? How was the process in making it? Does it accomplish the purpose for which it was created?
I have the ranch website, www.hideoutranch.com. It was created by a webdesign firm in Seattle, Washington, to promote Hideout Ranch to potential guests. We are working to increase it's exposure to the world, optimising its SEO quality. The focus of even my personal Facebook page, as well as the ranch's page, is promotion of the ranch.
How do you feel about speaking in front of an audience? What experience have you had in this arena?
Public speaking is something I've not had much experience at nor opportunity to do. It's not really a requirement of my work. But I did make people cry at a speech about Gettysburg in high school, and my co-workers laugh at a presentation in training/orientation.
Do you attend cocktail parties, presentations, fairs or conventions related to your profession?
Have you explored the social networks for professionals online? Are you member of any of them?
Yes. I have a profile on Linked In and Plaxo, but admit to not spending a great deal of time on either. I should update those more frequently.
How are you different from others in your professional sector?
I bring a bit more creativity, imagination, and cleverness to the Production aspect of my industry. As I have a specific goal, I tend to approach it from a different perspective than other colleagues.
How is the Interent changing the way you work?
It is widening the opportunity for telecommuting. Also, it enables me to be ever more resourceful in resolving issues and meeting my client's objectives.
Do you do telecommuting?
Do you feel your hobbies serve to elevate your career?
The gist of my "career" goal is to write words and ride horses. Hideout Ranch enables me to do both. Writing about the ranch, its residents and activities, and reaching those who long for that adventure is what I do best.
Do your hobbies aide in professional networking?
In some way, I''m sure they do.
Would you relenquish some of your income in exchange for more free time?
The intent of my current income source is to grow the ranch and enable it to become self-sustaining. I want to spend all my time at the ranch, writing and riding. However the income flows in to make that happen is how it happens.
What are the things you least like about your job?
Being away from home.
Besides your current profession, what other things would you have liked to have been?
I have a number of books in various stages of development. I would love to join forces with a publishing firm to bring them to completion and publication. Based upon reaction to my blog postings and the verbal stories I tell, my books would find a large audience and sell well.
Radio is another field of interest for me.
What is the most important thing you have learned from experience?
I am responsible for all I do, and I can influence and impact the events of my life. Self-reliance, self-confidence, and moreover, self-interests are not "selfish". They are vital to success. Being aware and making solid, well-informed choices makes a huge difference in how my life proceeds.
When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to write words and ride horses. That's really all I've ever wanted to do.
Save some excpetions, do you believe professional and personal relationships should not be mixed?
Yes. There needs to be a delineation and a definition to each.
List any credits, publications, competitions, etc.
Tough to supply these.
How do you handle customer complaints?
I take each "complaint" as constructive criticism and apply the lesson to the next endeavour. I try to be understanding and professional, and I do not take anything personally.
Someone wants to ask for a pay rise and they ask you for advice in how to approach the matter with their boss. What do you tell them?
Be professional, objective, and non-emotional. Lay out your request in a rational, factual manner, and remain detached from the outcome.
What do you do to manage stress?
Write words and ride horses.
What are the most common mistakes clients make when they judge your work?
They think I'm not working, when I'm actually quick.
Which websites do you frequently visit?
www.hideoutranch.com, www.drudgereport.com, www.foxnews.com, www.townhall.com, www.facebook.com, www.postsecret.com - among many.
Do you work with other architects? How is the team set up?
I work with my animals. Sometimes they cooperate. Sometimes, I get lucky,
Do you have an online gallery where one can view your photos?
What is your team of habitual collaborators like?
My photography is strictly for the ranch.
With which other photographers do you normally team up with or do sessions with?
I take photos for the ranch.
Which websites for photographers do you frequently visit?
I don't frequent anyone in particular. I am fascinated with photography, but am strictly an amateur.
Do you have a website or blog where we can see something of your work?
What is the most characteristic work you've done in your career?
Branding Hideout Ranch, no pun intended, is an ongoing endeavour. I have created logos for other efforts and agencies during employment with corporations. As much of my work with those corporations dealt with the US Military and Defense, I utilised a strong patriotic theme when creating presentations and documentation materials. In testament to my effectiveness, I continue to have people with whom I've worked in the past contact me for creative work in the same vein.
Have you got a blog or web page?
Please list web addresses where one can see something about you.
Please list web addresses where one can see something about you.
Are there any blogs you follow daily or regularly?
I read a variety of blogs, but none specifically or regularly.
A YouTube video about something that was significant to your life.
Hideout Ranch and our animals are the most significant things in my life. Here are some of those videos showcasing them.
What brands do you think are up and coming?
I don't really spend much time speculating about these things. I am focused on my work and my ranch, though I do engage in political discussions.
What brands do you think are on the way out?
Please see my answer to the previous question.
Do you blog or twitter?
What professional organizations or online communities are you involved in?
Most of the online communities with which I'm involved are of a social and political nature.
Tamara J Lawson
Portal, Arizona, USA