Girls In Focus with Technology (GIFT) Conference in Bucks County, PA

A Message for the Girls In Focus with Technology (GIFT)  conference in Bucks County, PA hosted at FITC, Toronto (May 4th, 2011)

Ann-Marie CheungMy name is Ann-Marie Cheung. I’ve been in multimedia and website design and development for over 12 years. What I love about my work is the creativity it involves. I also really enjoy problem solving. It’s so satisfying and exciting for me when I figure out how to get something working. I also love learning and in my field you are constantly learning and have to keep up with the latest technology.

This was actually a second career for me since my background and education is in fine art, mainly painting. After working at odd jobs for a number of years to support my art, a friend who owned a multimedia and video production company suggested I get into multimedia. So I took a crash course in multimedia where I learned the Macromedia Director software to produce CDROMs. Previous to this, I was completely computer illiterate; I had never even emailed or surfed the net. I discovered I actually enjoyed working on the computer and had a talent for it. The next year, I took another brief course on Web Design and Development. I found the HTML stuff rather dry and boring but Flash really peaked my interest. I was blown away by seeing the early Flash sites like Gabocorp. Wow, you can do stuff like that on the web! I get a laugh out of my first pieces which consisted of a lot of bouncing, gradient filled balls. For the majority of my career I have been freelancing since I have always been the entrepreneurial sort and it also allows me to be there for my two children.

In 2002, I attended the first FlashinTheCan conference which has since evolved to become FITC. I noticed there were no female speakers at this first event and I wondered why.  So shortly after that, in an experimental attempt to discover where all the Flash Goddesses were hiding, I launched FlashGoddess.com, a resource and community site. It has since grown to become an internationally recognized, inspirational site for women in the new media field showcasing and promoting talented designers, artists, coders, animators and authors.  Putting together this presentation, an idea came to me of showcasing some student work on the site. So if you have some work you’d like to show, please contact me.

I find that I’m really energized and inspired while hanging out with like minded women. I recently attended my local  business women’s networking meeting where we celebrated success.  Here are a few tips from successful business women that I would like to share with you:

  • Success is learning and experience, even when it doesn’t turn out like you had planned. There are always lessons to learn. All of us fail. Successful people fail often. It’s about the journey not the destination.
  • Support is very important and it can be surprising when we are forced to do something different.
  • Don’t ever give up on yourself. If you have to alter you path, smile and keep going.
  • Do something everyday that scares you. Challenge yourself everyday.
  • Follow your dreams. When things don’t go as expected, dream beyond what you can even conceive, determine what it is and make it happen.
  • Take the opportunity, risk, ask questions. Enjoy the ride.
  • Rise to the challenge and talk positively to yourself.
  • Believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself everybody else does!
  • Surround yourself with positive people. It lifts you up to be around other people. Take a leap of faith for something you believe in.
  • Never be afraid to reinvent yourself. When you change your perception, you change the perception of those around you. Do what you are called to do and you will be happy.  You will change the whole world around you.
  • If you like what you are doing you will always be successful. Liking yourself is the most important thing.
  • Attitude is everything, believe in yourself. I tell my 11 year old daughter that math is not hard. It has to be one of the easiest subjects since you’re either right or wrong there is no in between.
  • Things only seem big or difficult because you haven’t done them yet.
  • Success is not measured by money but by the lives you effect.
  • Optimists are right. So are pessimists. It’s up to you to choose which you will be. The choice is yours today and EVERY DAY!
  • Believe in what you do. Never stop learning.
  • Be the great women that you all are.