Digital artist Blake Beus recently took a pause from selling his digital designs to selling digital strategy. An operative in the online realm for many years — ranging from SEO expert and digital marketer to web developer, then engineering lead and director of technology — Beus felt increasingly lost.
“With every rung I climbed up the corporate ladder, I felt more disconnected. It was strange and difficult for me to pinpoint. In the back of my mind, I knew that there was more for me out there than just climbing a ladder. I wanted to make a difference, but didn’t really know how to take the first step,” Beus said. He felt that he was losing perspective of the customer.
So, he set out to start his own business … a customer-centric one. Now, Beus offers his customers a road map to the journey he’s already been on.
“I’ve made every mistake in the book,” he said. “I show people how to avoid them. But one thing I’ve learned is that failure isn’t bad; it’s just the way we learn. Failure isn’t permanent. Fear of failure is the single biggest reason why more people don’t own each day of their lives. I know this was true for me. But no more. So I drew a line in the sand. Pushing self-doubt to the side, I focused on the things I know extremely well.”
Starting his own business hasn’t been smooth sailing, though it was worth it. Beus says he averages about 17 “WTFs” a day, and with a wife in school and four adorable littles, it hasn’t always been easy. He worried about being able to support them, and going from a successful high-paying job at an amazing company to starting from scratch was scary. That’s part of what Beus offers to his clients, a step-by-step how-to.
Beus offers webinars about social media management, among other things. “One of the things artists struggle with is getting their message out there. They have this emotionally connective art, but people can’t connect with it because people don’t know it exists yet. I don’t feel like I’m actually teaching; I feel like I’m just opening doorways that are already there,”he Beus.
That doesn’t mean he’s quit designing altogether, though. In his SM3 membership (blakebeus.com/sm3), Beus offers 30 handcrafted — by him, of course — social media designs. He is inspired by the backdrop of Ogden and often uses the colors and photos of Ogden in his designs.
Beus said, “I started learning Photoshop in the ’90s because I took a class about it in high school. It was a class that I thought would be fun, and I’ve been using it pretty much ever since.”
In the past, his creative outlets have included photography, videography, drums, guitar and graphic design. “I still do those things to an extent, but they’re not my main focus right now.” Beus says he’s not currently displaying any of his artwork in his shop, though that’s going to change in the future.
“Creating art full time is a difficult proposition. In many ways, our economy isn’t set up to allow the greatest among us to explore their creative side. For many, art will always be a side hustle. And that’s where I’m at. I use my creative skills to come up with clever advertising campaigns, create web designs for clients and teach others how to see growth online so that they can get more out of their business.”
Being in The Monarch also inspires him, he says. “I’m being immersed in constant creativity! In all honesty, I’m probably the least artistic person at The Monarch. I’m a bit of an anomaly there, but love the creative culture and atmosphere, and wouldn’t have it any other way.”