On the road with Heart & Sole: PFMeet


08 August, 2011

Posted by Alex Stanhope

Over the last few months, the Heart & Sole crew have taken a series of road trips that Jack Kerouac himself might have enjoyed. The mission has been simple - to sample the delights of some of the the best meetups in our neck of the woods.

In this collection of posts, we’ll be reminiscing about these journeys, and hopefully spreading the word about some truly great events in the process.

First off, we’ll be taking a look at the Portsmouth Freelancers Meetup, a.k.a. PFMeet. This regular gathering of graphic designers, web people, photographers, illustrators and generally creative types is now in its second year, and the brainchild of no less than our very own Jo Eyre.

Introducing Jo Eyre: The hostess with the …most-est

Jo Eyre

Here's looking at you, kid

Freelancer extraordinaire Jo is an experienced video production specialist, who just happens to cut a mean dash when it comes to web design and front-end development duties. Some of you may remember that she also headed up the talented team that put together the videos from our launch night in January 2011.

PFMeet came about as a result of Jo’s firm belief in the power of networking to generate business opportunities, and a strong desire to bring like-minded people together to share stories and banter, through both the good times and the bad, and generally have an honest old-fashioned laugh among supportive company.

Most freelancers know that the path they have chosen to tread can be an isolating experience given the time spent away from the sound and fury of the traditional office environment. This is why having an “extended family” of people in the same proverbial boat with whom to shoot the breeze of an evening can quickly become a veritable lifeline; a real sanity saver.

The conversation is as varied as the guests themselves

Enter the second Tuesday night of the month at one of Albert Road’s finest watering holes, the Wine Vaults. Things kick off in earnest at 7 p.m. on the first floor, which rather conveniently at that time of day, is devoid of the usual punters and can therefore be taken over in full by PFMeet’ers.

The conversation is as varied as the guests themselves who operate across a huge range of disciplines including (but in no way limited to) graphic design, illustration, web design and development, animation, photography and videography and a whole heap more. While the event’s name features the word “Freelancers”, you’ll more often than not find a goodly representation of students from local educational establishments (Portsmouth University with its strong creative and computer science departments springs to mind here), and everyone from industry veterans to newcomers rubs along just fine at these good-natured sessions.

Probably worth mentioning too is the well-stocked bar at the venue (again, its name might provide a clue); for those fancying a tipple after a long day beavering away at a hot Mac, there’s plenty to tempt. My votes go for the delicious house red (served in glasses of bucket-like proportions) and, joy of joys, Früli on tap. Could anyone really need a better definition of “win” wonders your humble scribe.

We’ve always been blown away by how welcoming everyone has been, so if you’ve never been along until now but were thinking of making the trip, we say go for it! You won’t be disappointed!

Oh mighty Pea-Eff-Meat, the Heart & Sole posse salutes you and wishes you many more happy years of providing such a valuable service to Pompey-based creatives <3