Growing up, the thought of wearing a suit and tie at some corporate job was completely terrifying. I knew I wanted to do something creative and art-related but at the time I had no idea what that would be. I loved art but was completely rudderless on how to translate that into a career that would support myself and my eventual family. I remember delivering fried chicken in high school and meeting a guy who said he was a graphic artist. I asked what that was and he invited me to his studio to check it out. I'll never forget bringing some of my fine art drawings to the meeting. He scanned one of them into his computer and then proceeded to show me the basics of a program called Adobe Photoshop. Everything changed after I saw the potential of using a computer to manipulate imagery, set type, and adjust color.
After that meeting, I spent my life savings on a PowerMac 6100 complete with a scanner, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Photoshop. I locked myself in my bedroom for the next year and taught myself everything I could about those programs. I would practice logo design, retouching, fake magazine ads, and digital painting. After practicing to the point of thinking I was ready to get a job designing, I introduced myself to a local motocross company and made a deal with the owner. I asked if he would pay me minimum wage in exchange for me bringing in my computer from home, setting up a desk in the warehouse, and working on anything design-related that the company needed. He accepted my offer and my career was born! I started designing stickers, header cards, motorcycle graphics kits, T-Shirts, gloves, riding pants, catalogs, and eventually our own Supercross team truck that took our motocross team all around the nation. One of the early highlights of my career was watching Michael Brandes take 3rd at the Anaheim Supercross in our first race! Seeing him up on the jumbotron live on ESPN2 in my gear was an incredible experience that I'll never forget. It's funny now but I remember thinking, I've made it to the big time!
I designed in the motocross industry for around 8 more years. I had a huge amount of success and got a lot of great exposure. My products were on magazine covers and products I designed were getting rave reviews. I had the #1 selling freeride pant in the entire industry and my helmets were being worn by some of the fastest racers on the planet. I learned many of the skills that I still use during those early years. Although motocross is an extremely fun industry for a young person, it doesn't really pay the bills. I went off on my own to start a clothing company selling primarily on eBay. That went great until sales started dropping drastically when other sellers began to copy my designs because they were selling so well.
I needed a change, but again I didn't know what that change would be.
Through a friend of a friend of a friend, I was introduced to a guy who changed my life, Xian Struzan. He worked in the entertainment world designing movie posters, and to me, that was the holy grail. Xian thought I'd be good at designing movie titles and gave me a job working full time at his shop in Burbank CA. He was one of those design masters who saw potential in me and educated me about design techniques and design theory. Without him, I never would have gotten to the level that I'm at today. He taught me that "concept is king" and "you have to understand the rules before you can break them" and "Make it look like. a movie poster". He got me to approach design in a completely different way and I'm eternally grateful to him for that.
We remain good friends to this day.
After working for Xian for a few years I decided that I'd like to get more experience so I hired an agent and started freelancing around Hollywood to some of the bigger poster shops. I've met and worked with incredibly talented people freelancing but decided to take a full-time offer as a jr. art director. I'll never forget walking into a movie theater and seeing my art hanging on the wall for the first time. I went from being a .jr artist to senior art director being groomed for the role of creative director for a major Hollywood advertising agency. The exposure my work received was incredible. I was now going global with my work.
After my daughter was born in 2007 my priorities changed big time. I was commuting away too much time and I didn't want to be the dad who was never there. I decided to change careers and return home to our family farm. My father was getting older and needed help with our family wedding business. I started with new construction, exclusive catering contracts, a new website, Facebook ads, Google ads, and Instagram campaigns. We are now doing over 80 weddings a year with bookings extending to the year 2022.
As the farm began to stand on its own again, I started to pursue my passion for art and design once more. I'm always looking for interesting projects and people to collaborate with that push the boundaries of design and the use of modern technologies and styles. This journey has taken me from business cards and T-Shirts to building wraps on skyscrapers and billboards on Sunset Blvd. Its been an incredible ride and I look forward to rekindling the design fire to burn hotter and brighter than ever before. -Josh