Many of you already know Sophia Hitchcock, who celebrates her one-year anniversary as the chapter’s Director of Storytelling this summer. In this role, she has created clear and welcoming messaging for AIGA Raleigh and attracted new members. She has been involved as a volunteer and member since her college days at Meredith and also hosts the AIGA Video & Animation Meetup on a monthly basis.
As the founder and owner of SO|MO Studios Sophia has produced numerous animations and videos for her clients for over 3 years and continues to be inspired by her career path. Here, she shares what she is looking forward to in the next year for the chapter and her perspective on finding her niche and success as a creative sole-proprietor.
What are you most proud of in your role as Director of Storytelling as you reach your one-year anniversary?
I can’t believe it’s already been a year! I’m so happy in my role as Director of Storytelling and am proud of many things but most of all I’m proud of the supportive community around me and the amazing board I serve with. This role wouldn’t be possible without the openness and acceptance of our chapter. It’s been amazing to see our chapter grow and become more dynamic because of it.
Was there a particular moment or reason you began to consider opening your own video and animation business?
I’ve always known I wanted to be an entrepreneur. The key was finding that one thing that I absolutely loved doing and that I was good at. My interest in animation started in college and several years later I finally had the opportunity to explore it further in my career and that opportunity “sealed the deal” for me, so to speak. The rest was just preparation and finding the courage to step away from job security, and let me tell you, the whole process has been exhilarating and completely worth it.
It’s a thrill to be owner, art director, producer and be able to say, hey, the sky is the limit. Let’s innovate!
Although my background is in design, the thing that really hooked me with animation and video was that it was essentially design put into motion. It becomes so much more dynamic and complex when you have to think beyond one frame. The thing that really gets me excited about working in this medium is that the possibilities are endless. I love the clients who come to me wanting to do something different from the current trends. It’s a thrill to be owner, art director, producer and be able to say, hey, the sky is the limit. Let’s innovate!
What is your advice to people who may want to follow a similar path?
Do your research, be open to collaboration, adapt as your business grows, ask for help, create a support group, prepare and set yourself up for success by creating “safety nets” before making that jump into self-employment, and finally, be prepared to work harder than you ever have before.
What do you feel has led to SO|MO Studios’ success?
As content delivery methods are rapidly changing along with technology, video has become essential to any business’s marketing strategy. We fill a niche in the Triangle Area and we also pride ourselves on quality, commitment and client satisfaction. The key to our growth has been establishing a solid network here in the Triangle. Word of mouth is everything!
Are there any projects or goals coming up that you are excited about and can share with us?
Some of the coolest projects I’ve worked on have been AIGA related. (Back to how supportive and open our chapter is!) I never stop wearing my SO|MO Studios hat so when I step into a project or endeavor that is AIGA related I try to bring the same level of professionalism and quality that I would if it were my business. I’m currently working with my team to create a few videos that capture AIGA Raleigh’s spirit and passion through story. Both will be released in August 2017 and are a great opportunity for us to share our story on a wider circuit and attract like minded individuals to our chapter.
Links to the SO|MO Studios website, portfolio, and social media channels:
Social Channels: Twitter, Facebook, Youbtube, Linkedin
About the Author: Nancy C. Sampson is the creative entrepreneur behind The Nancydraws Shop, on Etsy.com, which offers art and greeting cards featuring quirky characters inspired by the cities of New York and Paris. Stay tuned, as a new resident of North Carolina, you never know when locally-based inspiration will strike!
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