I wrote my very first column, then called “I Did It Myself!”, in 1979 at the tender age of 20 (don’t bother with the math). I was a naïve young guy with a passion for decorating and a few years working in the newspaper industry. When my employer, The Montreal Star, shut its doors in August, 1979, I wasn’t ready to give up on my career, so off I went and created a package to send to every editor in Canada with a goal of syndicating the column. I had seen it done. A friend’s Mom made a damned good living syndicating her column, so why couldn’t I? So what if she was Canada’s pre-eminent economist and I was, well, nobody.
Imagine my delight when I got my first order. The Red Deer Advocate agreed to pay $5.00 a week. A few weeks later, the St. Catharines Standard came in with $11.00. Within a few months, I was making close to $30.00 a week.
The big moment arrived in November, 1979 when I received a phone call from one Bonnie Cornell. She had been seconded from her regular editing job at The Toronto Star to produce the paper’s first “Home” section. She received my package and was prepared to offer me $80.00 a week. She did have a few requests, including changing the name of the column. After a few minutes of throwing ideas back and forth, Creative Space stuck. Shortly afterwards, Jim Cherrier, then the General Manager of the Toronto Star Syndicate, called to ask me if I would consider allowing them the opportunity to syndicate the column. I remained on Cloud 9 for many months thereafter.
Fast forward to 2015 and it’s a very different world and yet Creative Space has changed little. As a consequence, one by one the big papers cancelled their subscriptions to my little column that could. The internet has all but taken over as the primary source of information and the smart papers have adapted to the change by creating mobile apps and editions geared to tablets.
And that’s where we are today. Just like in 1979, I am not prepared to give up so I’ve created this new website with interactive illustrations, computer-generated photographs, informative and entertaining articles and useful video tips, all intended for the real interior design world.
Plus, I’ve created a Facebook page where we can all share our thoughts and ideas, or ask questions on subjects that have us stumped. And of course, what is the world of communication without Twitter? Follow me @DFCreativeSpace.
I hope you enjoy the new look and feel of the column. My team and I have worked very hard to put this together.
PS. If you miss the old column, have no fear. It will continue to appear here every week exactly, as it always has.