Hey there! Welcome to my new website and blog. I look forward to getting to know you well as sharing new content every week. I’m confident that you will find some serious value in what I post here.
My name is Jake Rainis and I’m 29 at the time of this writing. I grew up an hour north of Boston, MA and have been living in Boston for the past 10 years. It is hard to sum up a personality in a few short sentences, but if I had to tell you the primary qualities of what made me the person I am today, they would be that:
- I am creative.
- I am technologically savvy.
- I am good at communicating.
- I am hungry for knowledge…
- …But I hate institutional learning.
I spent middle school and high school getting decent grades because I got my work done, but I was too busy drawing in my notebook to pay attention in class. I didn’t have many friends in high school. But I wasn’t lonely — I just felt out of place… until I took my first art class. My instructor was the one who really encouraged me to pursue art and design. She told me I had a knack for it. In order to graduate high school, I had to complete a senior project. I decided to learn how to code websites and use Flash to develop an interactive portfolio website for my work. That was the greatest memory of high school — realizing I could build something from nothing to promote myself.
I went to Northeastern University and majored in Graphic Design. The only thing I learned in college was that I was ready for the “real-world” years before I was able to graduate. I took a full-time job at a small design studio before I had even completed my degree. I learned to build professional websites during the day while finishing my remaining coursework at night.
2 years later, I left the studio I was working at to pursue a web-developer position at a much larger digital agency. I’ve been there for about 5 years now and every step of the way, I feel like I’ve learned important things about life that school could never teach me. I push myself to grow with the resources and support at my disposal and I could not be happier.
The Importance of Never Plateauing
There’s nothing really unique about the story I just told you. I grew up and got a job. Most people can probably relate, but I’m building up to something bigger here.
Yes, I love my job and I don’t plan to leave, but if you’re not careful, adult life can morph into one of routine monotony. While our job is what we do, the time we’re not working is when we are able to define something far more important: who we are.
Who are you? If you had asked me that question this time last year, I would have said “I’m Jake Rainis, a web-developer working for—”. Stop. That’s not a good answer. I love programming, but it does not make me who I am. There are greater things in life that I want to partake in and I want to pave my own road to get there.
When I realized that my life was on auto-pilot, I knew it was time to make some changes.
Years back, I started hand-lettering. For me, it was the ultimate creative outlet. It was fun, challenging, and most importantly, it was incredibly rewarding to see myself progress from month after month. But it was nothing more than a side-hobby until I read a quote that changed my life.
The work you do while you’re procrastinating is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.
That sentence resonated with me in so many ways. I thought back to all of the hours in class I spent drawing in my notebooks. All of the useless meetings I’ve attended at work where I lettered song lyrics on the back of a printout. All of the weekends I spent at my desk practicing new scripts. It occurred to me just how passionate I truly am about lettering.
There is No Time Better Than Now
Pursuing a passion isn’t a walk in the park, but the hardest part is starting. It was always something I was planning to do… but when?
A lot of people scoff at New Years resolutions. They say “If I want to make a change in my life, then I just do it”. But how often do people sit back and reflect on where they are at in life? Most people don’t because **they are constantly stuck in their comfort zones doing the same thing day after day expecting different results**. For me, I never realized that 2015 was a pretty un-accomplishing year until January 1st, 2016 when I was reflecting back on what I had done. I was so disappointed.
2016 is going to be different. I spent hours outlining the things I want to accomplish to make this year the most productive one yet. Design and launch a website, have an online store, write a weekly blog post, curate my best work to-date, build an audience… the list goes on.
And so far, I’ve been working day and night planning, wire-framing, designing, coding, and writing to achieve the first win of this year; publishing this — the very first blog post on my brand new website. And it is the result of taking action.
I’m proud of myself for getting to this point, but this is only the beginning. I am committed to my goals and I’m excited to share my journey in hopes of helping others achieve theirs.