Happy Valentine's Day!
For over 20 years as an illustrator I have made some great connections and even attracted illustration work from sharing and expressing my love for chocolate. Chocolate, it seems, can be a powerful magnet for unexpected opportunities. Here are some highlights of my experiences to inspire you to express your own passions and other personal interests to the world...
Toblerone Chocolate connection:
When I started illustrating professionally after graduating from art college I knew intuitively how to market my style within a sea of other great illustrators. I simply illustrated my passion for Tobleronechocolate and had it printed as a promotional ad in a national illustration directory book.
I grew up loving that triangular box as well as that delicious milk chocolate and nougat taste. So I put that happy feeling into the illustration of a little boy joyfully holding up a huge, towering version of the Tobleronebox.
When the ad/book was released to art directors and graphic designers across Canada I soon received several commissions for doing Tobleroneads. It was an exciting reward for expressing a passion that would help establish my profession as an illustrator with a fun and tasty style!
Ganong Chocolate connection:
I’ve been lucky enough to get invited, for the past few years, to GanongChocolate’s annual Toronto Christmas party. What a thrilling evening it was the first time I entered the cozy restaurant venue called Sugar surrounded by dozens of chocolate boxes opened up on tables. All those colours, shapes and sizes of chocolate morsels was a chocolate lover’s dream come true.
Plus I got to meet Bryana Ganongheiress to Canada’s oldest chocolate company since 1873. It was exciting because it felt like meeting a princess of chocolate land! The second year I attended they introduced ‘Fruitfull au chocolat’ which became one of my new favourites. It was like a chocolate fondue with pieces of fruit dipped in rich dark chocolate. Mmm, did I make a new connection there!
Stubbe Chocolates connection:
A few years ago I had an art college friend of mine introduce me to her new boyfriend, Daniel Stubbe who owned Stubbe Chocolates here in Toronto. The first party I was invited to at his chocolate shop was a real treat because he later asked me and some other guests to try his latest chocolate truffle creation. He didn’t have to twist my arm! There he held out a large tray with rows and rows of these magnificent truffles. My eyes and tongue were swelling with delight! What can I say? They were absolutely delicious.
Recently I was asked to illustrate a store moving post card for them. Since I was drawing truffles for the promo I asked for specific truffle samples which I needed as models and Daniel happily obliged. Later my mouth happily obliged to get rid of the evidence.
Chicken Mole connection:
During a recent keynote presentation I talked about the tantalizing recipe for a classic mexican dish, Chicken Molewhich combines chocolate and chili peppers. Chili peppers is another food, like chocolate that stimulates the endorphin rush in our brains (see tip#27). One woman excitedly shared where you could get a great serving of Chicken Moleat a restaurant surprisingly close to my office in downtown Toronto.
In that moment I made a pause in my presentation and in front of everyone walked over to her. We introduced ourselves, smiled and I thanked her for the recommendation. I then took a moment to get the audience to acknowledge the connection I just made with this woman. I simply shared my passion and excitement for something and I made an instant connection with her and learned something new.
So become more aware of how expressing your passions with others can magnetize unexpected opportunities. Practice expressing your personal interests more in an email or letter to friends and family, slip it into a conversation or apply it into some creative form for the world to see. For some it takes practice being more authentic and communicating what you value most in the world.
And believe that synchronicity is always at work whenever you express yourself. What you value has value to someone somewhere. Passion is a positive energy meant to be shared!
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
“Passion, I see, is catching.”
“I could give up chocolate but I'm not a quitter.”
“Exercise is a dirty word... Every time I hear it, I wash my mouth out with chocolate.”
Read Part 1: Click here
Read Part 2: Click here
Read Part 3: Click here
Read Part 4: Click here
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007