theComplex Holiday 2011

Dear Readers: Thank You & Happy Holidays

theComplex Holiday 2011

How This All Began

Although our blog archives date back to April 2007, this site was only officially launched in September 2010.

It was a solo project inspired mostly by my fatigue and depression (#dontjudgeme). I had lost all desire to design anymore and began to loathe working as a designer.

I was scared to death because I went to college for design… and JUST design.

After four years as a professional in the field, I had a solid portfolio of work and a great list of clients… but I wanted out.

When I expressed my big little problem to my colleague Brenda, the CEO of Mireku Studios, her words stood out over all the others who urged me to just be grateful for my career.

I’ll have to paraphrase because I don’t remember her exact words:

“you don’t hate design… but if it’s a client or job that’s making you feel this way, you may need to end that situation.”

I took her advice to heart and was forced to make a decision that I would ultimately be proud of, then regret, then be proud of again.

“What the fuck else am I going to do? I don’t even have a passion for anything else,” I would argue with myself.

I spent the majority of 2010 feeling this way until I decided to officially launch this blog.

A Turning Point

I moved posts from other parts of my design site as well as from other blogs which included a section called Creative Features.

Created in 2008, these features were the main skeleton of this site. I just wanted to showcase other creatives who, whether formerly trained or self-taught, had inspired me.

As I began to migrate all of these features, my rants, and my little album reviews, I was suddenly passionate about something again.

In the Summer of 2010, I was invited to cover a new initiative by mini-moguls Antonio and Aaron Alexander Reid and Vanessa and Angela Simmons — called New Voices. This ignited a serious fire under my ass.

I began to study all of the amazing sites that I’d been tweeting and sharing with others like crazy that year and years prior.

I was completely enamored with sites such as MasalaCISM, TechCrunch, Young Kings Daily, Mashable, Okayplayer, Speckboy and The Hood Nerd — to name a few.

I shared their content religiously but often wanted to share my own thoughts in my own way. I had no damn idea what I was doing but the numbness was fading and the only thing I wanted to do was get this blog site up and running.

This feeling, coupled with a viral video someone posted on Facebook of Eric Thomas‘ riveting speech called “Secret To Success,” turned me into a monster.

“Want success more than you want to breathe.”

These were the words that led my path, and while I didn’t hold my breath, I often didn’t bother to eat, didn’t answer calls from even my own mother and had no desire to go out. In the end, Brenda was right, I did not really “hate design.”

The Launch

When I launched, there was a sense of pride and excitement, but also uncertainty.

Was this a design blog? Well, not exactly. Was I going to write more about music? No, I don’t really want to be a music blogger (that shit looked intense).

Wait… events, technology and fashion posts? Lanaé, what the hell are you doing? I don’t know!

I eventually settled into accepting that I wanted this site to be about everything that interests me and the people I know.

I’m a designer but I’m not one dimensional, nor are the readers I seek to reach. Despite reading blog marketing advice to find one niche topic, people started to visit and kept visiting.

Many of those people were my friends and family who I tried my best not to spam, lol. To my surprise, sponsors started rolling in and the site started to excel beyond its intended purpose.

I started getting asked for interviews by other sites such as the Dogg Design Blog and started appearing on radio shows such as Haterazzi — whose host helped shape my alter ego “Lanaé Mc’Levans.”

From “Me” to “We”

In 2011 — two extremely supportive friends, Julianna and Di, decided to join me as a part of both my design team and my blog management team. Soon, many guest bloggers also started contributing content.

I was no longer alone in my wolf pack (corny Hangover reference). Without these people I don’t know that I would have been able to sustain the stress or the poor nutritional habits.

We’ve started attracting new clients, new readers, and new friends (some enemies too – hehe). Our team is expanding, our site is evolving and gaining respect and I thank them and I thank you.

Our objective for 2012 will continue to be: Design, Share and Grow.

For the new year we’ll be pushing our initiative to launch our magazine, giving away more cool stuff and will add many improvements to the site. We want to meet more of you and collaborate with you as well.

Thank you. No really, thank you… for reading, for your submissions, for emailing us, for debating with us and sometimes defending us. Enjoy your families as we’ll be enjoying ours this Holiday.

Sincerely,

Lanaé

Watch Eric Thomas’ Secret To Success Speech