When creating a brand identity, how important is target audience research?
Absolutely core in its nature. Why waste arrows if you don't have a target?
I’d love to hear more about your experience! Can you tell me about a project you found particularly challenging, and how you managed to overcome any obstacles?
For one of my projects for our client Activision and their game Call of Duty, the task was to create a modular animation template that could be templatized, so that the user could generate a 2 min video based off their game history and profile, like most used weapon or generate stats based off their performance. This was the first of its own and there were many technical hiccups along the way, but led way (after 3 months) to am extremely successful launch.
What is your dream project?
I'd love to get more into immersive tech. AR/VR have always interested me as well as implementing AI into 3D and animation. Anything super nerdy, I'm all about.
How do you work with clients to ensure their vision is accurately represented in your work?
Studying their brand. Not just who they are today, but how they arrived. Clearly parsing their objectives and what they are trying to achieve. Understanding their audience and target market. Generating proof of concepts or frames that demonstrate ideas instead of just words. Lastly, tight-knit communication with client during every step of the way.
What does your creative process look like?
Depends on the ask. Usually I will spend a full day researching the brand and getting to know their objectives along with their history. Next I will begin RnD and find inspirational refs that align with any off-the-cuff ideas. Next stage is refining the creative and exploration. After the design exploration, some revelations may have occurred, which I'll implement in the refining phase. Present and discuss with client to get a pulse on what they are reacting to or not. Revise. Rinse. Repeat. Then finally....deliver.
Please share with us your absolute favorite project from amongst all your work.
Working on set for Avengers for 3+ months designing screens used in film production for various space ships. That was incredible.
Did you always know your creative calling? How did you find your way toward it?
I knew when I was 13. Playing with photoshop and AE, it was the only way I could make sense of the world—through storytelling and art. I founded my own clothing line when I was 15 and sold to local skate and surf shops. I stayed laser focused and kept improving my craft, jumping in cold to a freelance career. That's lasted me and supplied amazing opportunities for the past 18 years.
What’s it like being a Creative in the US, in terms of the work, influences, treatment, etc?
I'm not sure I understand the question of being a creative in the US. Creativity lives everywhere, across the world. The US can be a nice cultural hub or center of influence, or possibly has a stage that is bigger than other countries to display your work.
What are some valuable lessons you’ve learned professionally so far?
To give your team the leeway to "own" a project, and giving meaningful feedback that cultivates creativity. There's nothing worse than feeling like a tool instead of a talented creative mind. There's a lot of brilliance out there, sometimes you just need to shut up and let them come to their own solution instead of hovering over the process.
Before starting a new project, what information are you looking for from the Customer? What do you ask them?
What are their key objectives? What have they done in the past that has worked (or hasn't) and what they aspire to be as a brand? And lastly how does this project fit into that big picture jigsaw?
Can you share your background and how you got started in your career?
I started designing when I was 13. I was very bored in school, and this felt like I finally unlocked something that I excelled at and felt passionate towards. Filmmaking was always a counterpart to that, as telling a story is just as relevant to a film as it is to a print ad.