We recently spoke with André, an Art Director, working artist, and an all-around creative thinker, to learn more about his journey to where he is today, and what inspires him to continue pursuing his passion of design and visual communication.
###Tell us a bit about the work you're currently doing.
As a multi-faceted Art Director and working artist, I stay pretty busy developing brands and driving creative initiatives for companies both large and small. In my 15+ years of experience I've been very fortunate to work on a variety of projects that have historically and positively shaped the communities I love.
Still with all the great work I've been able to do, I require an outlet. So in 2017 I decided to get uncomfortable. I launched Junious – a personal brand spotlighting my collection of experimental artworks – to explore ideas and creativity free of the restraints of project deliverables.
###How did you get to where you are today? What was your journey like?
I knew at an early age that I wanted to create things for a living. Plus, I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Combine that with the work ethic and dedication I learned as a former athlete, and here we are. While weaving through the "what do I want to be when I grow up" phase of my youth, my original plan was to become an engineer. But one day during my senior year of high school I attended a campus-wide art show and from that point on I was dead-set on joining visual communication ranks.
Today, I consider myself to be one of the "lucky ones". My passion for visual storytelling has only grown and developed into a career that has allowed me to generate wonderful partnerships and create meaningful work that will undoubtedly outlast me.
###What drew you to art and visual communication?
I enjoy helping others find their voice and shaping strategies to help them communicate their messages. I try to keep an open mind and heart for the type of projects and clients I take on. I listen and absorb information with the goal of capturing that "it" factor that my clients are looking for. I love what I do because I get to help others visualize what they have in mind but can't quite articulate. By offering strategy and ideas I'm able to help them share their stories through design.
###What are some of your goals?
Looking ahead, I hope to grow my freelance capacity through helping small to medium size businesses tell their stories through design. I also plan to expand the reach of my art brand and create a community of collectors. My ultimate goal over the next 3-5 years is to work my talents smart enough to reach financial stability.
###How does Catch help you manage your work and meet your goals?
Calculating tax-savings from paid projects was a manual task that I just didn't enjoy. (Am I the only one?). Insert Catch — They identified a problem and created a solution that was exactly what I had been in search of! I use the Autopilot feature to help me automatically save the appropriate amount for taxes, each time a client pays. I've been able to streamline a process that once was a pain point and I'm happy about that.
###What's one piece of advice you would give to someone just starting out in your field?
This industry can be extremely rewarding and fun. However, at the blink of an eye, it can also become very daunting and stressful. In order to successfully navigate all those peaks and valleys, I would advise those considering the creative industry to: find your value — then own it; surround yourself with inspiration; always try to see things for what they can be — not just for what they are; and stay humble during the process.