She walked inside the cafe, smiling wide with her big framed glasses, a black bag in one hand, and a coffee tumbler with black ink doodles on the other. I noticed the minimal tattoo on her left arm, and wondered if this was really the Chief Operating Officer of digital advertising agency Arriba Digital.
Her name is Kankan Ramos, digital marketer by day, visual artist by night, and a full-time mother of three, and she is the one woman who has been gracefully managing work-life balance to the core. But apart from dashing her way in the world of social media marketing on a daily basis, her family and her passion for art has always been the most important aspect of her life.
I was quite amazed of how she’s wonderfully handled being on-the-go all the time and is still able to pursue the things she loves without a sweat.
And in her own words, Kankan shares and talks about her life in the digital marketing industry, her love for the art, and how she’s able to combine the three things she’s passionate about and make it work.
My career in digital media
My career in the media industry started at Yehey! This was in 2004 when digital media was just at its infancy in the country. It was purely just content before all the big social media networks arrived, and when it did arrive, we started shifting our business models.
I grew with the company, and learned all the fundamentals of digital marketing. Back then, nobody taught us how to do it, and so I had to constantly keep up with the pace of the industry. We all know that digital market keeps on changing that’s why I keep on educating myself.
I worked there for eight good years before I transferred to bigger company–Havas Media Ortega. I left Yehey! because I felt that my career needed to grow and I wanted to learn more about advertising since I have a degree Fine Arts in Advertising, and this company was a very great place to learn that. It was precisely what I got and my training there helped me a lot as to how I run my company now at Arriba, as well as marketing myself as an artist.
My love and passion for art
One thing I’m also really passionate about is teaching digital media and art to kids. I love sharing about my career. In fact, last month I had a career talk with high school students about careers, and it’s discerning to know that a lot of them want to take Fine Arts however, their parents are discouraging them because of the lack of opportunities out there. But there are actually so many opportunities for a fine arts graduates–advertising, photography, interior and graphic design, and a whole lot of other things. Especially now that the world is revolving around creativity and innovation.
In my other classes, I have students who say they’re not good at being artistic, but for me, anyone is capable of doing it. Sometimes, when you’re not an artist, the most difficult part of the process is starting, but once you start and you get the hang of it, that’s it! That’s the beauty of art. You first do it for yourself, not for others.
Finding the harmony in everything
I make it a point that both digital and my art complement each other. It’s like my stresses with my day job in advertising, I destress it with art. And since art requires you to be creative, it also helps me with my work in social media because my mind keeps on thinking and creating new concepts and campaigns for clients.
I think balancing passion and profession is not about choosing just one, it’s really about merging the two together. And this helps me both ways. For my family, I try to bring them to my world. My kids, for example, when I’m painting at home, I encourage them to paint or create something as well. I really just try to incorporate what I do and what they do into our lives.
Balancing is a work in progress, and you learn how to do it in time.
The signs of success are not linear
I know I wanted to be in advertising mainly because I was an advertising graduate, but I didn’t expect that I was going into full blown digital marketing. I knew I wanted something different, and I knew very well what I didn’t want–and that’s to be confined in an office setting 8-hours a day. This is probably why I did freelancing before I joined Yehey! I enjoyed it, however, it wasn’t sustainable enough when you have a kid. One thing I also never imagined to do was to also pursue a career being an artist. I guess everything just happens when you put your mind into it.
Today, the career path is not linear like that of our parents before. The world and the industry now is opening bigger and more diverse opportunities; you are no longer defined to just one type of profession. I am me because I do a lot of things, and I try to be best in everything that I do.
What I admire about your generation is when you look for jobs, you look for purpose and a platform where you can be an impact to society. So that’s my advice for you—look for something you’re truly passionate about and put all your efforts into it. You can be passionate with a lot of things, try to merge it together like what I did for mine. Don’t confine yourself into just one box. I didn’t know what I wanted before, but I just explored. Fail many times because you learn from your failures. So just explore.