About Me

I think I am a thinker…

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Sometimes its words, sometimes its pictures, sometimes its something far less tangible…

A little spark that ignites my creativity.

I love ideas, concepts, nature and the capacity of the human spirit to evolve.

Bringing all of these things together in a story really makes me happy.

I love to inspire others or just to make their day a little brighter.

So this is ‘me’ in a nutshell…
I live in a really, really small village on the south western coast of South Africa, I have been in advertising and publishing since 1986. I began my career in colour reproduction and later moved into the publishing industry where I worked with the team responsible for setting up systems that controlled the electronic production of newspapers, later I worked in operations management where we set up the first telesales operation for classified advertising in South Africa.

When I felt I had learned everything I could about the newspaper publishing industry, I moved into the traditional advertising arena where I’ve worked as a freelancer for many of the big agencies such as Hunt Lascaris, O&M, Young & Rubicam, Leo Burnett and many others. Mostly I was tasked with establishing customer loyalty programmes as well as conceptualising and producing casino promotional campaigns. I loved my job and had a successful freelance career which offered me variety and the opportunity to explore my creative side. I enjoyed the challenge of coming up with something new and exciting for our clients. It was also at this time that I met my husband, he was a freelance illustrator, and life was good… until my daughter and I were hijacked by four armed teenagers outside her kindergarten, fortunately we were not injured but two days later these same boys killed a man at the stop street 200m away. It did not take us long to make the decision to move away from the ‘Big Smoke’ and start a new life in Wilderness where we now currently own an art gallery displaying my husband’s artworks and print collection.

Early Retirement…
Arriving in Wilderness on my 30th birthday allowed me the freedom to explore my creativity so I focussed my attention on assisting small businesses with marketing expertise and advice and Skin the Cat Creative Lab was born. But during this time, I was also confused, I had post-traumatic stress disorder (wouldn’t admit it though), I missed the buzz of the corporate world, big ‘important’ campaigns that kept you up at night, deadline frenzy, the boundless energy and ‘busy’ness of the advertising industry. But my friends in the industry had moved on and the people where I lived didn’t understand what exactly it was that I had done in the city and didn’t really care either …

I had lost my identity, I wasn’t a person… I was a job description;
a confusing one at that…

Later, as the internet evolved, together with my partner (based in Johannesburg) we developed our own website cms system to give businesses an opportunity to look after their web content themselves and I have basically continued working for my clients (both locally and internationally) and introduced new ones to the system as the years passed.

I love what I do, I really enjoy being creative, photography and writing are my passion, I often say that I could probably have done okay writing copy for Hallmark cards. Copywriting and conceptualisation are two core strengths and having worked in the publishing industry for many years, I am familiar with the ‘buzz’ of a deadline driven environment. Although I have come to terms with the changes in my life, I have always felt a bit isolated in Wilderness, so last year, I grabbed the opportunity to work on a project in Kenya on behalf of the United Nations and also spent five weeks working for an events company in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It was crazy, working through the night, insane deadlines, happy, busy people – I had a blast, but on reflection, I realised just how lucky I am to live the life I have in a small village on the Southern Cape coast of South Africa.

Each day is a journey… not sure where will it take me today

Thank you for visiting

Regards

Tracey Pharoah