In a track stitched with rock fireplaces, linoleum floors, and sunken family rooms, soft shag carpet, and macramé everything reflected from floor-to-ceiling mirrored walls. Avocado and harvest gold brought an unnatural earthy vibe into kitchens. The ’70s vibe melted into the early ’80s as far as the interior design of my family home. That included the then futuristic heavy glass living room coffee table, my favorite place to trace letters over magazine covers, with a pencil onto bond paper. I also had a thing for drawing penguins and turtles, eventually graduating to cats in rock bands, and bubble folks and planets with different personalities.
Drawing drew comfort and space to explore new worlds, buildings, feelings, studies, and various approaches to see and be in the analog era. Ever since I could remember, I’ve been drawn to drawing, placing marks on any medium to reflect some kind of reality. Fast forward to 1996, the year that begun my professional journey in the creative space. I have worked in different aspects of the creative industry, continuing what drawing means for me – exploring and understanding myself, people, and our world.
Interned at an Advertising Agency
TINY DROP IN A BIG BUCKET
While finishing up USC courses, I found an ad on campus. It spurred me to call, apply, prepare my art portfolio, reach out for references and connect at the interview. I felt like I won the lottery getting a chance to intern through the MAT program (Minorities in Advertising Training). Although not in the graphic design department that I wanted to be in, I learned about the world of media walking in the shoes of a traffic intern.
At Dailey & Associates, an advertising firm in Los Angeles, I physically walked ad designs in production between the art, copy, and production departments. I was the human Dropbox of the ’90s. I called and faxed newspapers and magazines to confirm ad placements while performing office tasks. I got a chance to see how Celestial Seasoning’s copywriter and art director collaborated to create the tea brand, saw how Honda Motorcycles’ art director corrected proofs with comments and suggestions, and got a sense that I wanted to contribute to the visual aspect of design.
Ran the Production Backroom of a Photography Agency
BECAUSE SPORTS PHOTOS GOT TO BE IN TV, NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES STAT
Fresh from graduating college, I led the production backroom of Allsport Photography, a sports photography agency bustling in Pacific Palisades. I managed and processed the film slides’ labeling, sleeving, packaging, and shipping while maintaining the equipment. We imprinted thousands of duplicate film slides daily that went out to over a couple of dozen media subscribers, like the Associated Press, Reuters, and Sports Illustrated. I got to see photos from the Olympics and other major sports events before the media did. That was pretty cool.
I honed a detailed-oriented eye, shared good camaraderie with fellow coworkers, and valued a sense of needed humor. Worked real hard. The agency’s vibe clicked as quickly as their photographers’ fastest shutter speed. I kept up. I saw what manifested passion looked like from the photographers and editors. The exposure there shed light on what it takes to focus, be organized, and be timely. It illuminated my love for visual impact.
Immersed into Learning the Trade
TAKING STEPS TO PREPARE FOR A WORLD OF GRAPHIC DESIGN
The Experience at Allsport impelled me to go back to school, make steps towards my own passion. I wanted to be a graphic designer, learn how to apply beautiful photos and illustrations, arrange them with words, and move people. I wanted to have confidence through preparation and build a skill base. So, I found Platt College in Cerritos, close to my hometown, a technical school where I learned about the trade hands-on from experienced industry practitioners.
There, I built on the theories that I learned from my USC art and design classes. I got to sketch concepts, draw products with markers, mask layouts with Amberlith, cut out elements with Exacto knives to bring a composition together for print production, the old school way. Then, I loved learning the vital design programs, the quoting exercises, and the concept presentations that would be part of my professional toolkit moving forward into the digital era.
Working in Graphic Design
Print, Web, and Digital
MEANS STAYING ADAPTABLE, CREATIVE, TECHNICAL, AND OPEN TO GROW
The Story of drawing from creativity and growth, and applying them to projects, continue.
The first two decades of 2000 filled Professional Me with web, digital, and print work. I got a chance to work with mom & pop shops, a few fortune 500 companies, and everything in between.
My experiences include work with clients like LG Phone, Qualcomm, Jack in the Box at Apollo Interactive; Verizon SuperPages, a top online resource for local businesses retailers; AECOM, a multinational engineering firm; and MCM Group International, an architecture and planning firm.
I look forward to creative work where I can better understand different people, their unique wants and habits, and develop thoughtful visual and experiential solutions to connect them with helpful products, services, and ideas.