Name: Harley Fitzsimons
Birthday: July 19 1994
Education: Brock University Bachelor of Fine Arts
Occupation: Digital Media Strategist for the Fallsview Group
Freelance Creative Director (Encompassing Design, merch, visuals, film, etc)
Where did your passion for media arts stem from?
It’s hard to explain but it’s a consuming discipline for me.
I can’t really see it ever disappearing. When you think about media, we interact with it, basically minute by minute. It just seems undeniably important. It’s an area where I feel I can make an impact.
Often I will have someone who resonates with a piece I’ve created in a much stronger way than any written interpretation of it. I feel like that creates a feeling or an understanding that cannot be verbally communicated. It’s like fashion, and how you make a statement without saying anything.
What kind of productivity tools do you use?
Other than Google, Siri, & notes on my computer not much.
If I have a complex list of tasks at hand I might write down key steps or create a chart but more or less I assess my list of projects and work on what is coming to me the easiest at the time being.
Learning from past experiences is the best productivity tool in my opinion.
Do you find study drugs to be of value for productivity?
Besides caffeine, no.
What’s the biggest sacrifice you’ve made to get to where you are now?
I mean nothing major.
In any decision you’ll be sacrificing something, I feel like when you take a chance on something, you will always be sacrificing something else, but that’s a good problem to have. When I decided to freelance for a long time I knew not every paycheck was secure, but I don’t aim to live a safe cookie cutter life. There is no excitement in that.
What’s the next big step for you?
I’m fairly content with the way everything is going right now.
I want to continue building my portfolio and learning more from the people around me. I’m working on several large-scale events that, if (when) executed correctly will change the trajectory of my career. I’m not closing any doors on myself but I think I will need to wait to see what the next year holds before I can give an accurate answer to that question.
What’s the best strategy for getting your work noticed?
No matter what you’re doing, at the end of the day, a lot of things have to come together.
The presentation, the work, the consistency, the networking, persistence & (in my case) an eye for quality are the main things. Keeping an eye on detail and making sure every last step is executed to the highest degree possible is paramount. It’s also really important to realize that if you’re trying to get to point Z from point A, you might find what you want at Point E.
Some of the coolest stuff I have worked on has been with people I’ve never expected to work with. You may have more creative input from an artist or brand that is in a startup phase than someone who will get you the exposure you need to boost yourself to a larger audience which in turn will push you further than a name on a portfolio. It’s simply a balancing act, but you have to think of yourself first in any situation.
What is the fundamental difference between the Harley from 5 years ago to the Harley today?
Trusting myself & my choices.
More or less just optimization, I still have a long way to go, but just working on everything that needs to be worked on.
What’s a “productivity hack” that’s unique to you?
I just like to bury my head in whatever I’m doing for a while, then sit on whatever idea task is at hand, then execute. I find that creates the most targeted end result.