Anyone working in the creative field must have already heard someone say that we are our own worst clients. When we are our own client, we often lack the distance needed to analyse ourselves as a product. One with a target audience and a given strategy to give rise to a brand which, in this case, consists of a professional persona or “mask” with the qualities and values we choose to display or, if necessary, fake until we make it. The task becomes more complicated the more diverse our interests and skills are. And it becomes almost impossible if we dare to challenge the norms of personal and professional marketing because, frankly, we are human beings and not everything about us needs to be a selling point.
My career as a consultant spans many skills, from writing for advertising to programming. I also happen to write poetry, I develop articles and lectures on telluric spirituality, and act as the editor-in-chief of a magazine on Druidry. I am interested in [some] alternative therapies and forms of divination, and in my free time, I turn into investigating more mundane issues such as linguistics or pop culture. I could have chosen to hide behind a pamphlet with one or two messages as if I were trying to fit in a 30-second ad. But my personal journey, which I intend to share in this space, has guided me towards an ever-increasing authenticity and vulnerability. More importantly, since we are discussing “personal brands” and the values that inform them, many of my current values are at odds with some of the best practices in the industries where I operate.
The communication market rewards those who can better embellish a half-truth to make it more appealing, the techniques capable of arousing in the individual (trapped in his corner and reduced to the role of a mere consumer) a whole series of insecurities and needs that either did not afflict them before or acritically reproduce verbatim the conventions and prejudices of their culture. Each advertising message is aimed at an audience with a rapidly declining attention span, and the abundance of these messages, which nowadays have entirely crossed the barrier of consent, only contributes to this strangling of our attention.
The buzzwords of search engine optimisation favour stability and compartmentalisation, as if being immutable were synonymous with credibility — and lo and behold, where have these standards taken us so far?.. I find myself wondering if there might be some value in creating spaces where we can be ourselves, far beyond our most profitable, and therefore rigid, facet. Spaces of growth and change. Spaces of true creativity, unfolding before our eyes.
In a world where even the digital realm is progressively left stranded in large islands of proprietary experiences, I stand for a more open and independent Web. I stand for a return to personal pages, for the possibility of owning our content, recorded and stored in open, sustainable and portable formats. I appreciate and look forward to being free to interact in the world’s largest knowledge network outside the hyper-surveilled atria of the “walled gardens” of search engines and social networks, which are certainly convenient, yet stifling.
At a time when the information wars lead us to ever greater problems of transparency, despite how we were sold into being permanently, 24 hours a day, under the gaze of the cameras, I long for greater clarity, literacy and capacity for dialogue. Where the creed of productivity relegates all non-normative subjectivity to our intimacy, feeding shame and trauma as the cornerstone of our social institutions, I hope to be able to maintain spaces of openness, frankness and even collective healing.
Even knowing the rules of the speciality manuals and the buzzwords that populate lectures and workshops in the so-called “creativity festivals”, I find myself refusing them when it comes to my own online space, signed with my name on the address bar. I refuse to try to promote a ready-made, packaged and labelled version of who I am. I refuse to believe that my presence in the world should be governed by the dogma of sterile perfectionism and uninterrupted productivity.
In this digital space, I don’t want the code behind each page to be its only open-source component. I also want the development process of my own self and my presence in the world to happen in an open and, I hope, interactive way. A tool of personal construction and deconstruction shared with those who read me.
This implies that I intend to write about a diversity of interests that may or may not be linked to my everyday professional activity, but which all share the core themes of presence, authenticity, and conscious communication. I have often regretted not having a place to react to the various events that influence our collective life, a place where I could perhaps even propose new ways of seeing and intervening in the world. May this no longer be a problem. All of this will be part of this site, just as it is part of me.
It’s also been said it is important to act in the market according to the kind of work we want to attract. If that is true, I hope this page will be a prelude to more sustainable projects, more in line with my perspective on the creative industries and the values I would like to see promoted in the world.
The current version of this site comes after several years of stagnation, briefly interrupted by a single page HTML file with only a resume and contact form. Besides the tasks that involve more directly the imagination, also the technical side took more time than I wanted, mainly due to having made a couple of experiments with the various technologies “of the moment” before deciding for the current stack (I shall write more about it shortly, but it’s simply HTML + CSS custom properties and SCSS generated by Eleventy and hosted on Netlify).
I have already migrated some articles, previously available elsewhere, but there is yet more content to come that still needs a more refined editorial treatment. This site is a work in permanent construction, and I’m glad it is so. Come and join me in this experiment.