Erik Stonikas is the original awesomepreneur. I wrote about him in August–right before the RKA ink redesign and the launch of Awesomepreneur–and realized, then and there, that I had to create a space to spotlight people like him. Awesomepreneur was born shortly thereafter and I’ve been anxiously awaiting Erik’s interview ever since.
Erik’s work speaks for itself. And it has a lot to say. When he’s not working his 9-5 with the folks at Groupon, he’s creating digital character as a freelance web designer and video editor, running an online media magazine, weaving digital folklore with his well-Tumbld blogs, and fathering it up on Dad As I Wanna Be. Sometimes he accompanies himself (or his wife) on guitar.
In short, Erik is awesome. Read for yourself:
1. Who are you?
Give us a quick heartography of yourself in 50 words or less.
I am a poet experimenting with other mediums. What I know I learned from poetry; a few key artifacts, or heartifacts, passionately arranged from the illusive edges of experience, with a spirit of surrender, can clarify the subtle truths within our despair and our joy.
2. What do you do?
Describe your heartwork.
At the risk of sounding corny, I’m after the truth. I’m curious about people, including myself. I explore poetry, music, stageplays, screenplays, teleplays, narrative, blogging, mise en scene, HTML, CSS, statuses, tweets, whatever, to see what new resonate truth can be discovered. To me, creativity is a super power that we are all miraculously endowed with. I guess you could say I’m on a mission to inspire the full embrace of humans’ playful nature, ushering forth an era of perfect harmony, creativity, and ART… or at least to do my part.
3. How did you get started as an awesomepreneur?
Baby, I was born this way.
4. Do you have a day job?
How do you fund your heartwork?
I have a day job and fortunately for me, any poor sucker can be a writer.
All the music, video, and design I do is done on computers which have been funded through the generousity of family and recently, from my employer (with the same tools I use to build their castle fortress, I attempt to sculpt my masterpiece).
5. What is your biggest work challenge?
When does your heartwork feel like hard work?
My biggest work challenge is remembering, as my wife puts it, “It’s not our real life.” The other challenge is not being too open about my anarchical proclivities.
It’s hard to say whether my heartwork is hard work. In a sense, it’s the easiest thing in the world to sit down with a pen or keyboard and see what’s treading around in the shallow edges of my mind, the deep stillness of my heart. On the other hand, I have to focus intensely on finishing the work that I start. That is maybe the hardest thing I do.
6. What is the best thing about being an awesomepreneur?
Why do you love what you do?
Somehow, it feels like what I do might matter, because others’ art has mattered so much to me.
7. What is your #1 tip for working with heart?
What do you want to share with other awesomepreneurs?
Do what you’re good at, finish what you start, tell everyone about it, repeat.
If you haven’t already paged through the Fall Back issue of Erik’s online media magazine, Clothesline Productions–click, bookmark, and browse away. (Don’t forget to take a look at my humble contribution, Stories of the Apocalypse: Fall Back, Move Forward: a fresh look at the end of the world.)
And, if you, like me, can’t get enough Erik the original awesomepreneur, rock on with a few more samples of his best work below. (You can hire him, too! The party never ends.)
We love Erik Stonikas!
Erik’s video reel: