WOW this is happening.
Hi, it's me - Marshall. You're probably not use to hearing my voice; I don't talk a whole lot here. I felt the need to write a little blurb about what's going on and the big announcement that I'm making (or made? idk when you're going to read this).
SO, I got a new job. I've burned through a few since college & never written a blog post about them but this one is a little more special.
For those of you who don't know, I went to school & graduated with an engineering degree last May. I got a full-time job as a process engineer at Lennox Industries where I interned, 5 months later decided I wanted to work for a smaller, more creative company & got hired as an Account Coordinator at Stripes Agency.
At Stripes I met Stefani Billings who is an incredible friend, roommate, co-parent, designer, illustrator, human, creative director, therapist, partner, etc...
(Oh yeah I forgot to mention that halfway through college I picked up a camera and started taking photos)
So anyway, Stefani & I decided to leave Stripes where we made amazing friends & had a lot of fun to go do our new jobs.
Marshall David Cox -
Photographer/Partner at Secretary
Stefani Billings -
Designer/Partner at Secretary
What is Secretary?
Secretary is a new creative studio in Dallas, TX that combines photography & design to do cool things like branding and post production.
Secretary is the baby that has been incubating in Stef & I's home for awhile now & is finally ready to be birthed. (that was a very graphic way of saying that this is something we've been working on for quite awhile and we're really really really really excited for it to see the light of day).
Stefani & I really found out that this was meant to be when we shared our Pinterest inspo boards with each other & they ended up being so similar. After that we collaborated on a few projects that you may have seen/will see soon. We work so well together that it's borderline crazy. You know how parents get in fights sometimes and one of them says "I can't read your mind"? well we never have that problem bc we actually can read each other's minds.
We are so incredibly in tune with the other person & aware of their emotions as well as our own that I think we could dodge any icebergs on the icy sea ahead (sorry to rub it in Jack & Rose). I'm saying that more to the people who are thinking "you're just a child, you can't own your own company", "you'll end up hating each other if you spend that much time together", or "you'll shoot your eye out" (??).. Because trust me, between the two of us we have enough anxiety to stop an elephant's heart and there is no one who has thought about all the worst case scenarios more than we have. YET, we still decided to leave our "secure" jobs and pursue what we're passionate about. And more than anything, we believe in us.
My mom always said "It's gotta be somebody, why not you?" & that has been one of the most motivating phrases throughout my entire life. Why not me? the only thing standing in my way is fear or doubt, if there's even a difference between those. Why can't I have my work featured in Kinfolk or do a campaign for Céline? It's gotta be somebody.
On my end, people may question the jump from engineering to photography & why I'm throwing away four hard years of college or choosing something that is innately less lucrative & stable. Well, the thing is, my degree will never go away. If I want to go back to engineering, I can, but also, I'm young and I only get one life so why not do what makes me happy and wait till I'm older to do what I "have to do" - hey, who knows, maybe one will turn into the other. As for "throwing my education away" - I don't think that could be further from the truth. College was an invaluable experience way beyond my degree. I don't think I would have ever considered photography being an occupation had I not moved away and gone to college. Sure, it was a really expensive life experience, but I don't think there's a dollar amount that could be tied to what I learned about life. I also still use my degree every day; I optimized our shopping list, automated our proposal/invoicing process, & I have an app on my phone where I train my brain every day (I AM A NERD OKAY).
People have always been shocked by one person being passionate about two seemingly different things, but I've always defended that I feel they come from the same place. I am way more left brained than right brained. Solving an equation comes much more naturally to me than creating a campaign for a jewelry line. Photography, though, is a beautiful bridge that has connected both sides of my crazy brain. When I'm taking or editing a photo, it comes from the same place in my brain that engineering does. It's the same excitement about solving a problem or piecing together a puzzle. It's truly opened my mind up creatively & exposed me to that right side.
Before I started taking photos I always struggled with those ice breaker questions like "name one interesting thing about yourself" or "what are your hobbies" because I didn't feel like I had one. I thought I was passionate about engineering because I'm good at solving problems, strategizing, & being OCD, but really I was passionate about the money more than anything. That epiphany hit me senior year when I realized I would feel more fulfilled as a broke photographer than a rich engineer.
SO, with all that being said, I'm jumping off this cliff. (all the books I've read say there's never going to be a right time). If there's never going to be a right time & if it's gotta be somebody, why not now & why not me?
Thank you for reading this & thanks for all your love & support. Be sure to check out Secretary.