I have known Ned for a couple of years now. He has always been passionate about making the world (and the city where he lives – Stara Zagora) a better place. I have seen him grow from a young student to a talented professional and I believe his journey can inspire many people.
Tell us a bit more about yourself and the dream you are chasing.
Let me introduce myself – I’m Nedko Boyanov born in 1998 in a small town called Turgovishte. Nowadays, you’ll find me in Stara Zagora. I’m a leading member of the Art Collective “On the Street,” where we create cultural events and make a cozy space for creative people to hang out. When I’m not doing that, I’m a freelance brand designer. Basically, I help companies figure out how to look good and get noticed.
The dream that I am chasing is to create an art residency in a charming village close to Stara Zagora. I want to create a creative zone where people from around the world can come together. We’re talking about artists, people who do freelance work, and those dreaming of starting their own businesses. It’s like mixing a bunch of different colors on a canvas – people from all walks of life blending in with the locals learning and growing together.
This place isn’t just about four walls and a roof. Nope, it’s more like a workshop of ideas. A creative incubator that has all the creative tools that you will need – whether you’re into painting, writing, sculpting, or building a business. And here’s the twist – It will be led and mentored by successful artists and entrepreneurs who will guide the participants to the road of creative success.
How was the idea for your dream born and how it developed over time?
I clearly remember when I was about 10-year-old traveling by bus from Stara Zagora to Turgovishte to visit my grandmother with my mother. I shared my dream with my mom to build a shelter that provides homeless people a place to live, gives them food, and most importantly teaches them how to become valuable to society by achieving a skill. After they finish their training, job recruiters hire them and give them the opportunity to work. I have always wanted to help others by teaching them and expanding their horizons. I am so glad that throughout my life I’ve had many great mentors to learn from such as my mother, father, and school teachers. My dream developed when I discovered the Erasmus+ Mobility program. This program enabled me to travel around Europe, meet other people my age, and learn valuable methods and tools. The feeling of being in a totally new city in a country you have never been to, meeting good and positive people, and learning, sharing, and experiencing together was mind-opening for me. I have been to over 10 countries and 15+ exchanges and training courses. This sparked my imagination and I envision a similar creative incubator in the rural part near my city. Stara Zagora is roughly in the center of Bulgaria and has an amazing geographical potential to attract ambitious creative people from our country to stay and learn from successful creatives around the world.
What are your plans for the future? What do wish to achieve in the next 5 years?
I’ve been working on balancing my nonprofit responsibilities within my organization alongside my freelance brand consulting career.
My aim is to begin organizing Youth Exchanges and Training programs in Stara Zagora, centered around creative entrepreneurship, visual storytelling, and freelancing. The goal is to educate young individuals, encouraging them to delve into creative career paths and arming them with the necessary skills.
Sharing my knowledge and skills stands as a fundamental principle guiding my life.
Conversely, my strategic focus involves expanding my consulting business and firmly establishing myself in the international market. This strategy is expected to generate the financial resources needed to initiate self-funding my vision of constructing a creative residency. I have a strong preference for personal funding, as it provides me with the autonomy to design it according to my vision.
What are the most important lessons you learned along the way so far?
Throughout my journey, I’ve learned that being generous and helping others is a cornerstone of a meaningful and fulfilling life. It’s not just about making a difference in someone else’s life; it’s also about enriching your own existence in ways you might not expect. I imagine it like a Lighthouse, it chases the darkness and shadows away and attracts the good people in your life because it shows similar qualities that they have. Share and exhibit what you have learned to your friends. Show your work and steps. People get inspired and will help you get closer to achieving your dream.
What would you say are the three principles or qualities that can help a person make their dreams come true?
- Curiosity: Keep asking questions and exploring new approaches. Don’t assume; ask “why” and then figure out “how.” The more you delve, the clearer your path becomes.
- Consistency: Just as the ocean never stops making waves, dedicate time every day to your dream. Envision it before sleep, plan for it when you wake up.
- Charisma: Forge positive connections. Be sincere, apologize when needed, and share smiles. We’re interdependent beings; being likable can propel your dream. A touch of humor adds flavor to the mix.
What inspires and motivates you when times are difficult?
When things get tough, I remember that making progress isn’t always a straight road – it has twists and turns. It’s okay to face challenges along the way. My friends and family often tell me that I’m the type of person who finds something good even when stuff isn’t going well. I like finding lessons and bright spots in every situation.
What would you say to the people who are still hesitant to chase their dreams?
If you’re unsure about chasing your dreams, here’s a simple trick: it’ll only cost you 1.50 euros! Search for inspiration online, get pictures of your dream, and make a visual board. Print it for a small cost, and stick it near your bed. Before sleep, gaze at it, picturing every detail, feeling it real. Imagine the joy, the scene, the people, and the celebration. Repeat this when you wake. Plan each day to take a step closer to making it real.