Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A day at the Lion's Den

Freelancing is quite an occupation. I wouldn't consider myself a freelancer, but every once in a blue moon I'll do a side project for a lil' extra cash. Usually these side projects are for a friend or a friend's friend and there isn't much cash involved, and that's OK with me. Surprisingly, helping people means a little more to me than making money, so I would rather use the little skills God gave me to help someone finish/create/write/paint/etc. something for cheap, than make that kind of work my actual job (but don't be crazy... it IS all about the Benjamins...)

Well, a "blue moon" occurred a couple of weeks ago - Asha was able to get my name out there at "The Lion's Den" aka Food Lion to help them with a project for their other grocery store chain, Bloom. Needless to say, this was the biggest freelancing job I've ever had. So I wanted to impress. I was needed to help draw some things for their upcoming company pep rally... thing. Anyway, I was told that I would draw some life-sized Bloom products, etc. and there would be another artist with me. So I'm like, "you wanna pay me to draw some stuff? Yup, that's cool with me."

So... I get there and things quickly start to go downhill. I won't bore you with too many specifics, but no one seemed to know anything. The first security guard had no clue why I was there or what I was supposed to be working on. The next security guard supposedly knew what was going on, but definitely sent me to the wrong place. I get to the wrong place and the receptionist and ANOTHER security guard are clueless! (side note: why in the world does Food Lion headquarters have SO MUCH security? You should see all of the check-throughs you have to go to for this place. I actually walked around to see if there was ANYTHING I'd want to swipe... nothin'. What are they protecting?! There must be a vault with tons of money... or they actually have real lions in there somewhere they don't want any outsiders to know about)

So the other artist (who was cool, I liked working with him) and I finally get in contact with someone who actually knew what was going on. He was part of the HR department for Bloom. He drives from Chapel Hill to Salisbury roughly 3 times a week (and I thought Asha had it bad... which she does, haha). We discover that we're actually creating the "costumes" and set for some skit they're performing at the rally. It would've been nice to know that simply so I could've prepared myself better. There's a big difference between drawing on an 8 1/2" x 11" and a poster board. Also, it would've been nice to know we would be working in a warehouse... without tables... on dirty floors. So I messed up my nice khaki pants and, most importantly, my SHOES! 
Dirty Shoes

Not gonna lie, I was a bit peeved about that one. LUCKY FOR THEM I was able to clean my kicks. I takes my Nikes seriously. So anyway, I'm ruining clothes while drawing on the stupid dirty warehouse floor and then I meet a couple of the Bloom employees. They were all pretty nice. One in particular (her name is Kate) made me laugh. You know how you hear about someone, but have never met them, then one day you finally meet that person and know so much about them, but they know nothing about you... haha.  Kate "knew" me... I had no idea who she was. What made me chuckle was how she basically introduced herself "Kate who reads the blog and knows all about the wedding". I felt bad because I wasn't exactly sure how to respond (I'm not the most talkative person) so I hit her with my go-to response, "...cool." I said some other things, but yeah, that's that.

Sorry, most of you probably didn't care much bout the previous paragraph. That's my bad. Ok, so here's the list of things we needed to draw:
  1. a fish
  2. a Seafood stand
  3. a store shelf with "Gluten-free products"
  4. a big Gluten-free cookie
  5. the product locator map (these are located on Bloom's shopping carts)
  6. the touch screen kiosk that gives you coupons tailored to your shopping habits (kinda cool)
I think that was it. We were given pretty much any materials we needed (kinda funny, the one thing I really wanted was a pencil sharpener... which we didn't have). The entire process wasn't too bad. Once we were left alone on day 2, we were able to finish up pretty quickly. Overall, it was a nice experience. I was able to see some of Asha's co-workers again, at least to cool ones - shout out to G-Money (that's Greg), Big Mike (that's Mike) and Eazy-E (that's Elyse). I also got to see where the Lion's Den employees like to eat lunch (it's at a restaurant called Palms Cafe). So yeah, now I can picture the places and desks and security whenever Asha talks about work.

So that was my latest freelancing experience. It's always nice doing a lil' somethin' not in my regular routine. It may have sounded like I complained throughout this blog (and I did), but I would totally do it again if they asked. I DID have fun, met some new people, and did a little networking. Also, if you need a good artist, check out Bryan Fowler. This is the guy I worked with, cool guy, great artist. So if you ever find yourself saying, "man I've got this art/video/whatever kind of work I'd really like to get done, but I'm definitely on a budget. It'd be great to just hire a cool, handsome, totally awesome freelancer for this..." call me up!

Some of the pics:




Seafood Stand

P.S. - Bloom has yet to pay me... umm... yeah, let's get on that, guys.


  1. Thanks for the shout out ;) I'm glad you had a good time!

  2. Make that $$....until I read the last line:(