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jenpen.studio - July 8, 2016 - 2 comments

It has been a pleasure interviewing all these young professionals and being inspired by them. The “Your Own Boss” series has been received and applauded by several people and lots of interest in the topic. Today I wanted to share with you an interview with another go-getter. We are diving today in the world of art with my good friend PITOPOLO. I’ve know him now for 10 years and co-organize two photo exhibition with him. I even had the pleasure of being on the photographers at his wedding. So, why did he made the decision to be his own boss? Let’s take a look.

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PITOPOLO, what is the idea behind the name and what is PITOPOLO all about?

I got the first part of the name, PITO, from my father. He came up with the name because I was so small as a kid. As an adult I’m still not a long person. When I got older I put POLO as the end part. POLO is the being part of my last name, Polonius. But to be totally honest, I have to give credit to hotmail for making the name complete. Remember back in the day when we had to make our first email address? Well, like most of us I made one with hotmail. When I was interning at one of our local telecommunication companies I had a mentor there, Mr. Bob, with whom I had a very pleasant working experience. He wanted to keep in contact, but I didn’t had an email, so he made one for me. Hotmail gave several options and PITOPOLO stood out and has been around since. 
PITOPOLO the company is all about art. I specialize in photography, art exhibitions and now light productions for movies and videos. I also started an foundation called “fundashon ritmo di kurason” (Foundation Rhythm of the Hart).
What’s your logo all about?
The name, PITOPOLO, and the logo has been trademark. The logo represents my eye into the world of art. Maybe you see a chair and see just a chair. I try to see more than just a chair. I will go deeper with it. I want to see what the intentions of the designer or maker was.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
When I was a kid I always loved to working with my hands and create little art pieces. I would invite my parents to come and see. But eventually I wanted to get paid for my art pieces. I mean, as a kid candy was the number one goal. But it was a bit difficult to sell artsy pieces back then. So, I started to work several odd jobs, from working in a toko to waiter jobs. I studied electrical engineering and telecommunication at college, but I also had  a love for art. And when you have to start working as an adult, I always felt that when working for a someone else I would be limited to what I can do and achieve. When I realized that I would have no flexibility to grow (the way I wanted to) in a company, the only thing to do was to start my own business.
What are some of the high and low points of starting your own business?
The high point is the flexibility of time I have to do what I wish to do at time I want. If you work full-time for someone you can’t just pick up your things and head out to the beach to pick up corals. So, my time is my high point. The recognition I get for my projects or work after it’s done is also a great feeling.
I have several low points. One for sure is when I get sick. Work has to be put on hold, meaning losing time and money. Another low point was when I was started out I didn’t have the guidance to start a business. People, like the bank, wasn’t taking my seriously. They literally laughed out loud when I came with my business-plan asking for a credit-card. I kind of felt like an alien. Another low point can be when I have to struggle to get work because of “prize” competition. Others doing your craft but more like a side hustle asking less for the work. The clients would sometimes rather pay cheap for a poor end result. So, that’s when I figured out to not only focus on what you love to do, but also seek work with a different angle and which will generate money from that source.
What is your greatest achievement(s) until now?
My greatest achievement was a while back. I had the honor to participate in the exhibition of “Antepasado di Futuronan” (Ancestors of the Future). I had the privilege to meet the king and queen of the Dutch Kingdom (the Netherlands). The reason why it was a great achievement was, because some time before that I was feeling like all work was the same. Don’t get me wrong, I was getting lots of great projects and lots of work, but all had the same end results. I felt I went to commercial. So, I pulled the plug on everything and went back to my creative roots. I took a trip to Cuba with one person that really inspired me, Rasta Bientu (shown in the picture below). I was taking photographs of things that really inspired me and was important to me. After that I put a show about the trip and one of the organizer of the “Antepasado di Futuro” exhibition, Felix de Rooj, also visited my exhibition and was introduced to my work. He then invited me to participate in the exhibition of “
Antepasado di Futuronan”
I also had the pleasure to do the light production of the new movie “Double Play”.
Where do you get your inspiration?
My source of inspiration used to be when my heart got broken or when I was angry or disappointed. For some weird reason, my creativity would flow greatly when I was in that situation. But when I met my lovely girlfriend (now my wife) I had to seek another source for inspiration. She pretty much made and still makes me happy. I then turned to the world of fantasy for inspiration. I looked for the inner-child in me.
What advice can you give to those who would like to be part of the YOB Club?
The most important thing is to love what you do and do what you love. Otherwise you won’t make it. Also if you are working as a creative, it would be very important to have someone to handle your administrative tasks (including taxes). Someone who can tell you when you can invest in something and make the right financial decisions. Having someone like that will be you creatively sane. 
This was again an inspiring interview with another young professional from the island. Doing great work in the world of art. Thank you PITOPOLO for your time and your insight in the world of being Your Own Boss.
For more information and insight about PITOPOLO, click below:
email: pitopolo@gmail.com
Photography & Styling by JenPEN Creative Studio


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