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Claud's story on... giving 'fun' more credit

“I wasn't good at school at all, in fact I hated school. I was pushed to be a so-called ‘normal’ kid, not being able to explore my real talent.  I was not an academic, but I did discover my hidden talents: art and sport.”  

This non conventional scholar’s talents proved to be his saving grace a little later in life.  After an unfortunate accident leaving him bedridden for six months, Claud had the time to really think deeply about what he wanted to do in life.  With a computer by his side, Claud trained himself on 3D animation and by the time he could walk again, he was hooked.  He went on to win an animation contest which opened a lot of doors into this newfound world.

Claud is one of those Creative Entrepreneurs who believes great work lies in fun work.  When we really enjoy the work we are doing, it is often when we function at our best, and the outcomes reflect that.  Dabbling in music videos with his creative capabilities in animation, Claud received some unexpected attention which gave him the ability to go forth and start his very own business which produced work for a Super Bowl Advertisement in the states, Coca Cola’s World Cup animation, and the impressive list goes on.  Claud had found his area of expertise and began dominating. 

Claud decided yet again to work on something fun in his spare time, a 3D animated cyclist character which he posted on Facebook.  Within a day it had received over a million likes and received endless calls from companies wanting to sponsor this character including the likes of EuroSport (which went on to take Claud and his character to the Tour de France).  Claud has this ability to draw in some kind of magic, somehow the impossible becomes possible right before his eyes and it is clear that people are magnetically drawn to him and his undeniable talent.

During this experience, Claud learnt an invaluable lesson for any Creative Entrepreneur: how to monetize creative work delivered to the world.  He mastered the ability to attach real value to work that he had previously only viewed as fun.  He believes it is also wise to not put all eggs in one basket and to diversify.  From selling work online, to running his own business to freelance work, Claud has built up various revenue streams.  A challenge many creatives deal with is pricing and he believes this area of business deserves much more attention. 

“Being a creative I am often too passionate about the work and I often underquote (a lot!) and only realise at the end.  It's because I get excited about things. I am still learning and improving on how to bill better.”  

One of Claud’s biggest challenges on his entrepreneurial journey has been creative freedom with more traditional clients.  With creative services often being the last in the chain of events, the reality is that a lot of problems trickle down the line and are inherited by the final creative piece of work.  Being last also means the budget has likely shrunk by the time it gets to creative which presents a further challenge.  His advice: “Pick the clients you want to work with.  Build a good relationship with them so that you are not just seen as a service provider or machine but as a human. We need to also remember we are not being paid to create art, but to give a service which means we need to detach our ego from our delivery and give them what they want.”  

How does he remain so inspired?  By aligning with clients and work that continues to excite him.  Being a true talent in character creation, you will always find this element in his work, which then goes on to further attract clients looking for him to do the very thing he enjoys doing.  A reminder that we are the work we produce, and this becomes the indicator of the type of work we will attract in future.  It seems we are in more control that we as entrepreneurs sometimes realise.  Certainly what we put out there has some sort of boomerang effect. He reminds us of how fun work and hard work go hand in hand.

“I am definitely not the most talented, but I probably work more than most people do.  This is just part of my personality, I battle with balance, if I am interested in something I cannot stop.  I want to keep learning and keep close to what I do.  Work isn't really work when you enjoy it so much. Twenty five years later and I still love what I do and get completely lost in it.”

Claud’s story inspires us to keep dreaming, he proves that sometimes it may unfold in a way we never could have imagined. What’s the harm in chasing fun?

“Solving niche challenges Founders face”.

Illustrator: Lisa Williams (Instagram: @artist_llw)


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