I have been consumed with creating ever since I was a child. I jumped at any opportunity in elementary and high school if it meant I could draw, take photos or shoot video. I spent most of my free time drawing and being creative, but I could never really fathom how that drive and obsession would translate into a career.
A friend introduced me to Brooks Institute of Photography located in Santa Barbara California. I enrolled into the major of Visual Communication. We learned all about graphic design and design language from teachers that all worked in the field while they taught our classes, so we received a really current perspective.
I graduated with a B.A. and was ready to experience the real world.
My first job out of school was with an international company who had always outsourced all of the previous creative work, and just like that, I became the new creative department. Eventually, I was in charge of managing a team, as well as seeing out all of the projects from initial development stages to the final piece. The main focus was package design for the company's own private labels. I also worked with large companies like Nordstrom, Gap, Target, Victoria's Secret and Fredericks Of Hollywood. I would work with their creative teams to develop new looks for a packaging line that we would create based off the product that they were licensing through our company. I really was able to get my hands on everything from the initial thumbnail sketches to final sign-offs on press. I also focused on magazine ads, product development, photoshoots, video shoots, template design, and much more. Getting to travel around the world was a dream of mine, which I was able to do for either press checks or fashion show booth designs. I had a lot of responsibility and learned more than I could have ever dreamed of in those years.
I then started my own clothing company which I ran for two years in Southern California. After years of friends telling me that my art should be on shirts, I gave it a real shot. The clothing was sold in multiple local retail locations, as well as larger retail locations on the east coast. Between managing the online orders and maintaining the retail inventory, I had my plate full. We held a large skateboard competition at a local skatepark with the collaboration of some prominent local companies. I developed a relationship with a local children’s shelter who we worked with to raise money for. As much fun and gratification that I was getting from that venture, my wife and I were planning on having children. I decided to shutdown the company and seek out something where I could be creative and have adult things like health insurance.
In 2012, I took a position at Guitar Center's corporate headquarters in Westlake Village, California. I started at Guitar Center in the digital asset management department, where I learned all about managing massive amounts of digital assets for web and print tactics. I helped develop new image standards for a wide range of product categories throughout the enterprise.
A graphic designer position opened up in the Private Brands department at Guitar Center, which I jumped on right away. In that position, I was able to get back into more creative based projects. The visual language of the music industry that I became so close with in my previous role really helped me dive right into the new position.
After roughly two years under the graphic designer title, I was promoted to Multimedia Manager which is my current role. I am responsible for all of the photography efforts across all of in-house brands, as well as managing the workflow amongst our in-house creative team to ensure the final assets are delivered as scheduled. I work closely with product managers and category directors amongst different product categories to help ensure we understand and deliver the desired product. I have to make sure the assets are created and delivered for packaging deadlines, as well as print and web launches. It is not often where things go entirely to plan throughout an entire project, so being adaptable to a fast-changing environment is crucial in my role. I have implemented new workflow processes that I have developed that have helped teams communicate with each other at a higher level, which in turn allows our creative team to work more efficiently. With over 20 brands that our team manages, I have learned how crucial time management and communication is. Whether in a large team environment or working on my own, I take ownership and pride in my work. I am absolutely passionate about the work that I get to do, and I truly appreciate the fact that I am able to continue growing with the support of this company.
Outside of my day job, you can find me at home with my family, or out shooting photos for freelance gigs. My main focus is lifestyle photography, as well as anything that involves an engine and wheels. I have been shooting more weddings and family portraits in the recent years which has been really satisfying.