WHAT DO YOU DO?
On the side, I also run my own business, warmbros, designing and curating a print magazine around LGBTQ+ voices through art, stories, and photography. I find happiness both in design, being an entrepreneur, and cultivating visual pleasure through my personal photography.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
It has been a complete journey for me to arrive where I am today. I went to school originally for Film and Media Studies at UCSB, where I graduated with my BA in 2015. After graduating in 3 years, I spent a year abroad just taking in art, figuring out who I was, and what I wanted for my life.
I returned home in California to a job in digital marketing where I began to learn about business, digital media, and marketing. At this job, I discovered graphic design and began to teach myself the art form. Some of my colleagues took notice and took me under their wings to educate me on design and hone my skills.
After nearly 3 years there, I moved to New York City and enrolled at Parsons School of Design, where I am currently obtaining a second degree and devoting my time and energy to becoming the best designer I can. Along this path, I began warmbros, the magazine I design and run, which has become my passion project and really has influenced my design work and aesthetic since its creation in 2017.
How do you stand out in your field?
I stand out by offering both an aesthetic eye, a business background, and the passion of someone who has worked his whole life to be an authentic, hard-working, and determined individual. Giving back to the world occurs in a variety of ways, and I feel I can do that with my design work.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I just finished the 100-page, full-color design of 03: Boys' Paradise, the 3rd issue of warmbros. It has sold over 115 print copies in just 3 weeks of pre-sale and is currently being printed for distribution.
I am also working on a series of illustrations for a new Instagram account to improve my illustration skills and share my style of Henri Matisse-inspired colors in the context of a queer aesthetic.
Lastly, I am attending school at Parsons in NYC as a graphic design student. I am looking forward to finishing with my 2nd degree this December.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
My style is a mix of a few different aesthetics. I am influenced by Vignelli and his work with type and minimal designs. I also take a lot of influence from the design work of Hello Mr, a gay magazine that influenced my early 20s both personally and professionally.
I would describe my work as a cross between some of my favorite brands (I love branding): Glossier, Aesop, UNIQLO, and Kinfolk. All of those brands have a few things in common: minimalist design, emphasis on clean shapes and types, and focused color palettes/aesthetics. They also all emphasize beautiful photography and how it can play with graphic design in effective but clean ways, which is one of my strong suits as a designer/photographer.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
I would love to focus more on improving my illustration style and technical abilities because, while branding, type, and photography are more my immediate skills, I want to be a stronger illustrator both for professional work and also for my own artistic purposes and projects.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
My biggest frustration right now is just finding time to work on design projects that aren't for a specific purpose but instead are for my personal improvement and joy. There are styles and concepts I want to work on that I find hard to make time for since they are for specific clients or projects.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
If I could hire someone for $20/hour I would have them mail out warmbros packages for me, pick up my laundry (I hate doing laundry), and cook for me (I am learning how to cook right now, but it is usually last on my list of must-learn/do right now).
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
I wish I could have told myself that life will not go according to plan every time, and while that can be stressful, you will land right where you belong and discover passions and people that you never knew you needed. Enjoy the ride more, drink less coffee (just a bit less), and always remember doing the work you love will make your life much happier.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
I would love to talk to an expert about the brain. It seems really odd perhaps for a designer to say that. but everything we do starts in the brain and the way neurology, psychology, and our nervous system interact is so important for our work as visual communicators. I also just really enjoy neurology and have been binging on podcasts and TED talks about it!
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I am looking for opportunities and projects that both the client and myself can grow together in. I love logo design, branding (color palettes, typography), digital and editorial design, as well as photography projects, but am more than happy to take on any sort of design project!
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
My ideal client/job/collaboration is one based on good communication of their wants, needs, and goals. They would ideally have a design brief, a budget or budget range, and a deadline for me to work with as well.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
I have a flexible rate based on a variety of factors that make a de facto rate/cost/salary hard to put here. I would prefer to have a potential client reach out and we can discuss rate/salary/retainer within the context of the project(s), budget, and purpose/need. I am affordable, though, and am glad to discuss more based on what the design needs are.
WHO IS A CREATIVE THAT HAS HELPED YOU ELEVATE YOUR WORK?
Beth Phillips and Jess Van Der Fluit are 2 creative that have mentored me and helped push me along towards honing in on my style and growing my talents. I would also say my professors at Parsons (The New School) have all been extremely vital in giving me the criticism and knowledge to grow and continue to learn as a designer and thinker.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
I have my phone on me almost all the time so over email is generally the best: firstname.lastname@example.org. If possible, I would love information on the project itself, scope, and budget, but if not all those are available, that is fine as well!
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Never stop exploring.
This member profile was originally published in February 2019.