21-year-old Tristan Clarke, better known as TCSpades, is the owner of Spades Multimdedia. He calls himself a content creator, creative director, and brand visualizer.
Somewhere between all that he finds the time to be a third-year digital-communication media studies student at the University of Guelph Humber as well.
“I create content with different people, say a social media influencer. I’m the one that helps make their ideas physical and bring them to life. I’m a creative director and brand visualizer because I help with the development and visualization of a brand’s image.”
The bulk of Tristan’s work involves using his love for photo- and videography to generate the currency social media runs on: influence and popularity.
And the Brampton, Ontario native is good at what he does.
“There’s too many ways to make money on the internet for me to work a nine-to-five job. I don’t see myself working in any other industry necessarily, and I enjoy myself while I do this.”
Tristan has over 2,300 followers on his Instagram page and as such he carries influence in the digital food-chain.
This is the essence of how he monetizes his business, as someone who carries less online-weight than him will reach out to do a shoot so they can increase their following and Tristan gets paid in return. On the other end Tristan will reach out to someone who pulls more influence than he does in hopes of doing a collaboration with them, and a bargain is struck which ideally increases both parties’ followings.
Although, reaching out is a humbling process and you must be aware of overstepping boundaries, he says. Sometimes it can happen by accident as Tristan explains in this clip about him filming at the Digital Dreams music festival.
What sets him apart from his competition is his unique level of drive and creativity; useful weapons in the fight for followers.
I know my level of creativity, and what I’m capable of is so far beyond. You can follow my footsteps all you want, but there’s no one who can create an idea as original as my own.”
Passion for what his work is responsible for Tristan’s drive, and combining that with setting goals for himself is what has gotten him so far.
“You gotta be able to wake up and know it’s really what you want to do, and be realistic with yourself and set goals. If you love it and you’re doing it without any sort of real direction, it’s a slim chance you’ll end up really far. Same way if you set goals for yourself but you’re not waking up everyday thinking ‘I’m gonna get this', then you’re not going anywhere.”
Surrounding himself with people who have the same hunger and drive only stokes Tristan’s ambition further, and that ambition is clear in his plans for the future. Within the next year Spades Multimedia will be international, with work lined up for different influential people in the music industry in Texas and Atlanta, and by then Tristan is confident he’ll be self-sufficient.
“I’ll be getting called out to make proper money for what my work deserves, working with different brands, getting sponsorships which is a huge thing developing right now, and pretty much just hitting the goals I set for myself and being self-sufficient. I want to be able to say ‘Sorry Mom and Dad, I know I gave you grief here and there, but it was worth it.’”