My obsession with ordered thinking manifested itself at four when I would color sort my Legos. I found my calling as a designer when I was 15 and discovered that you can make a job out of creating the surf and lowrider, mini-truck magazines that I read every day. Over the last 15+ years, I’ve partnered with iconic brands both big and small: adidas, Coca-Cola, Nike, Siemens, TaylorMade, Sotheby’s, Nixon, Ashworth and Fox Racing. I’ve gotten my hands dirty with products, logos, branding, consumer experiences, TV spots, integrated campaigns, websites, retail stores, user interfaces, packaging, social media activations, interiors and signage. This wide collection of projects for these companies has given me the opportunity to integrate a brand’s point-of-view and values into every possible activation. Brand design and creative thinking is my life.
Brand loyalty started early too: Topps not Fleer, Lego and never Playmobile, Transformers over Go-Bots, Haro instead of GT, Nintendo rather than Sega, Morey Boogie not BZ, Apple over anything else. Growing up (and even now) my friends and family characterized me as being "fussy" and "impossible to shop for during Christmas." But I felt a connection with these brands and considering their competitors felt wrong, and I couldn't figure out why.
I was asked a question in an interview that I felt was meant to trap me into a box, "Are you a designer or a marketer?" I thought for a quick minute and responded in the most honest way I could think of, "I'm a story-teller, and I want to bring a brand's story to life in everything they do: product, brochures, retail, everything." After the interview, I agonized over that response and came to the conclusion, "Well, I was honest and they either think I'm brilliant or an idiot." I got the job, and that response defined my career.
I'm about defining a company's "why" and bringing its unique story to everything they do. When a brand knows their why, creative and design decisions are made by visually embodying that why, and not around a person's taste of photography, color, typefaces, form, etc. I approach creative and design from a strategic position. I see creative/design as problem solving, which means the final visual result is a correct answer to a problem and not a series of arbitrary artistic decisions. This is the position I lead from and challenge others to do the same.
I’ve found that job satisfaction comes when I am learning something new or sharing something that I’ve absorbed. Nothing makes me happier than collaborating with colleagues, clients and vendors to better define and deliver on the brands I work with.
I started with two dreams for my career. One, to work for the agency that made all of the Michael Jordan/Mars Blackmon ads I memorized and recited as a kid. And two, to work for my hometown team, the San Diego Padres.
One down. One to go.