My Work: Owning My Own Illustration Business
Everyone works; from the high school student working on a homework assignment to the congressman working to pass a national bill. But how does a Christian connect their extraordinary faith to their ordinary job? In this article series, we will learn about work from a variety of Christians in all stages of life.
This installment is an interview with Sophie Konop. Sophie is a project manager for an Indianapolis-based advertising agency as well as the small business owner of Simply Sophie Designs.
1. What does “work” look like in the context of your life stage/focus?
I am a full-time project manager for a Christian advertising agency! I also own a freelance art and illustration business where I work with clients in the US and internationally to create digital art for various marketing efforts. It is a part-time job but still takes up a lot of time. I really enjoy it though and I’m so thankful for all the opportunities that God has given me through this business.
2. Why do you do what you do for a career/study focus?
I love working as a project manager because one of my biggest strengths is organization and time management. I really enjoy being able to come alongside my teammates to help them succeed, make deadlines, and move projects along. I also love working for a Christian company (which is part of what drew me to the position) because every day I know that I have a very tangible to help grow God’s kingdom by working hard to serve the churches that we work with. God is in all the details. I feel such purpose in my work because even the smallest things are all part of helping churches with their marketing efforts which can also lead more people to Jesus.
When it comes to my art and illustration business, I have always been a creative and artistic person. I’m also a very ambitious person, so it’s been great for me to have an outlet where I can be creative while always working towards new goals and going after new opportunities.
3. When do you find your work to be the most challenging? During those times, what helps motivate you?
I find my work most challenging when I feel like I haven’t had enough time in the evening to decompress or unwind—because I work full time and have an illustration business that I do part-time, it takes up a lot of my personal time in the evenings or on weekends, which can lead to burnout very quickly.
I’ve gotten better about balancing the two in the last year, but I’ve noticed that if I’m trying to give 110 percent of myself to too many different things, sometimes the quality of my work suffers, and the worst part is that my relationship with the Lord can suffer too. I’ll skip reading my Bible in the morning or I’ll get out of the habit of an evening devotional. This alone affects all areas of my life. It’s important to me to recognize when I need to rest in God’s presence and to also recognize when I need to reorder my priorities.
4. What is one thing you wish that others knew about the work that you do?
I think the nature of both of my jobs is that they’re very fun. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard work! With my full-time job I am very much involved in a lot of details behind the scenes which can be a lot to keep it all straight in my mind, especially when I’m trying to balance all of that with my personal art business!
5. Who do you look up to in your life as a model of one who does their God-given work to glorify the Lord? Why?
I really look up to both of the owners of our company. They are both strong female leaders and their hearts for the Lord are truly what fuels them and the mission of our team and company. They lead us in prayer at work and I feel so lucky to be working alongside other believers where we can share prayer requests with each other and be in community with one another. I feel very fortunate to be working with both of them and to be learning from them as they navigate running a business and doing it all for God’s glory.