An Early Start
Before taking the leap to Silicon Valley, I planted roots in New York City to work with Digitas' newly formed Experience Design team, an emerging group within the company that brought new digital product capabilities to the company’s traditional marketing services.
The initiative was the brainchild of UX leader Andrew Carlson. He championed our organization’s need to stay competitive in the shifting landscape of advertising and client services. His forward thinking and approach to building and deploying teams unlocked the powerful rise of design leaders like Kevin Lockwood, Min Chung and Jessie Harte. He would often say that we were “a band of misfits”, and leaning into this he took me under his wing to nurture my unique combination of skills and interests.
Andrew Carlson, New York, NY. June 2014..
Holiday potluck, Digitas, NY. November 2014.
New York City became a sounding board for my blossoming creative spirit. While I had spent plenty of time in the city as a visitor from Boston, living there gave me an entirely new reverence for its magic. I inherited space to grow not only as a designer but as an artist. I lived in Harlem, then in Crown Heights. I doubled down on photography and spent time exploring fashion. With every shutter snap, I became more of who I was meant to be.
"Finding my story." Portrait by Aundre Larrow. August 2014.
Nostrand & Atlantic, Brooklyn, NY. March 2015.
Puerto Rican Day Parade, Harlem, NY. June 2014.
Celebrating Akira-Adel's 28th birthday, Harlem, NY. April 2015.
Prior to Digitas New York, I started my career as a digital art director at Digitas Boston in September 2011, coming off a strong performance as an intern in Summer 2010.
I didn’t have a traditional background or well polished portfolio, but I had people like Kenny Renard, Tony Cappozzi, Peter Riddle and Sandra Sims-Williams who championed my story, believed in my aptitude and gave me a shot. These folks helped me build resilience and character. They taught me the importance of paying dues as well as how to avoid “corporate politics” at all costs.
Inside and outside of work I kept busy experimenting with ideas and side projects. I started clubs, blogged on Tumblr, organized photo projects and volunteered as a mentor. A project I am most proud of was called the L’Académie Project, where I curated a day-long event for fashion professionals to facilitate practical, informal instruction to aspiring talent. It resulted in a beautiful editorial series, featuring a diverse cast of students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Summer 2010 Intern Class, Digitas, Boston.
It required me to show-up, humble myself, and trust the process.
My cubical at Digitas Boston. October 2013.
Hatch Award by the AdClub Winners, Boston, MA. November 2012.
Prelude to L'Académie — Randal Jacobs in a clothing store shopping for our project, Cambridge, MA. March 2013.
The night before L'Académie — Prepping for wardrobes the experience, Dorchester, MA. March 2013.
I had never done anything like it before nor directed models on a shoot as a photographer — but with a little curiosity and a passion to create with my friends, I brought to life a concept that interpreted academic spaces like MIT through the lens of art and fashion. Projects like L’Academie pushed me past my fear of being unqualified or incompetent. It required me to show-up, humble myself, and trust the process.
Practice shoot with Nathaniel Porter, Jr., Boston, MA. February 2013.
Practice shoot with Sandra Teixeira, Cambridge, MA. December 2012.