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I always like to think of myself as someone who demands the best effort from myself and others around me. I can honestly say a lot of the qualities that have helped me shaped my thinking, have come from my deep interests in various creative outlets. Now, that's not to go without saying that having so many interests and passions hasn't hindered my focus on one particular craft, but more so has made it difficult to find an effective way to challenge myself and make smarter progressions. Thankfully, I still learn, challenge and grow more than ever because of the mindset I continue to practice.  

Here are a few recent side projects that I have immersed myself in.
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OVERVIEW

In the past year I have been helping small local businesses stay positive throughout the pandemic by offering free video, photo and design opportunities. A good deed can go a long way, and I always try to remember that! The biggest challenge for me was managing my time between these projects and my professional obligations. The project I am sharing here is the first service I ever did, and I am continuing to reach out to new businesses to continue my help.

The idea started about a year ago when living in New York City. We, my girlfriend and I, both love coffee almost too much and I have an addiction for anything with sugar in it.

A lot of the sugar blame, in my opinion, came from a local bakery that opened during the beginning of the pandemic down the street from where we lived, deliciously named, Coffee Plus Cake. Because of the hardships and safety requirements in a large city like NYC, the bakery was only open twice a week and short staffed. We made small talk with the owner more and more as we returned regularly to collect treats for our trophy bellies. One thing led to another, and because the owner was having a hard time finding new and non-local customers, I felt compelled to offer help in any way possible.

 

I ended up shooting a short commercial and a series of interviews for the Bakery. You can watch my first video promo below.  

I have learned that helping others is a deed that is seldom seen these days, especially in todays world. Since shooting the video above, I have helped numerous local businesses by offering photo and video services for free.

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I started a YouTube channel a few years back but uploaded a video only once or twice a year at best. All the videos I posted were random and had no sense of direction or correlation to each other. Now, being 2021, my goal was to challenge myself by writing, shooting, editing and uploading a new video every week. I started my channel with the intent to educate others who have little to no experience in photography or film and want to get started for free. Whether it be a small business, a person laid off due to Covid-19, or just someone who wanted to start a side hustle and needed guidance along their journey. I wanted to be there to share my insights on how I create and stay positive through challenges. The last year has been hard on everyone, and many like me have seen their incomes vary significantly. The first videos I produced were, "How To" tutorials and ironically named No Money, No Shame

 

I have a fairly new channel and very little subscribers, but I do have a weekly posting schedule that I try to follow. I am always thinking and experimenting with topics that are useful, relevant and organic to me and others. I have podcasts, travel vlogs and documentaries as well as my "how to" videos on my channel. I am always striving to learn more about the process of what it takes to make videos for YouTube. I follow analytics, plan, organize all my content and storyboards and copyright for my descriptions and research the best SEO practices for each type of video.

YouTube is a great asset to learn and grow. It may not be my main focus, but I will always love and continue to write and film videos for myself and for the community.

You can check out my YouTube channel in the footer below...

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After finding a blank felt covered notebook on a dusty shelf at a thrift store, I instantly thought to myself, "what if I filled this with sharpie illustrations and created a story from cover to cover?" This is exactly what came to fruition for this project. I wanted to challenge myself by sketching daily for however long it took to fill the empty pages. I also wanted the story to develop as I drew and didn't want any pre-determined storylines. Who knows what the story will turn into or what happens to the characters. 

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Creating both digital and print promotions for small businesses and local events. The menu pictured above was used for a private pop-up catering event in the Boston area. Along with designing posters, handouts, business cards and other advertising mediums for various ventures, I consistently designed every menu for all of the X|Y events. You can learn more about my role and X|Y on the Design & Branding page.

Birthday parties, special events, BBQ's, album releases or literally any type of event, I always volunteer to make the designs and eat the leftover hot dogs!

Im sure all of us designers draw and sketch at some level and were the excessive high school doodlers that every classmate at some point during class peeped over your shoulder and said, "whoa, that's cool man!" These are just a few of my more recent doodles.

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I have created Album covers for numerous musicians and created some for my own music production as well. Many of the images and albums vary depending on the client and if they have an existing logo, brand or image they want to portray. Creating album covers for either single song releases or full albums is always a challenge. Many of the artists I have worked with prefer a more creative and organic look rather than a well designed cover. Conceptualizing a final version can be easier in the sense that is has more creative freedom in the design process but can also be harder to come by given my practical design background. For these exact reasons, I welcome projects like this to keep my critical thinking organic and functional.

More Fun

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