I started off as a college dropout’s online portfolio for a school assignment back in 2004. With no business background, company profile, and other team members, I took on my first client in 2008.
Things just started to flow from there. While everyone else was closing down because of the global recession, I was hustling and growing. I took in a bunch of people from different backgrounds and professions. You could say I tried to be the Googleplex of Tomas Morato, but who doesn’t want a workspace that’s super fun, exciting, and refreshing, right?
Everyone seemed to really enjoy it. They were well fed, they could wear whatever they wanted, they got cakes on their birthdays, there were cool fun beanbags on the floor, but at the end of the day, work is work. I learned that a lax environment wasn’t always the most conducive to productivity. As a leader, I was there to provide clarity and direction—not just a fun house. It wasn’t always going to be rainbows and butterflies and four-day work weeks. I needed people who enjoyed the work for what it is. Designers who are inspired! Creatives who want to empower! I’m lucky to have found these people eventually. I’ve worked with clients, both big and small, and collaborated with some insanely talented friends and clients.
I asked myself, “What works? What doesn’t? What’s missing? What can be improved?” When you aren’t self-aware, you can’t take the necessary adjustments. You wouldn’t know what you can improve to be better.
I learned to take three necessary steps to lead my team and keep them, the clients, and myself happy. First, I learned to be mindful. I asked myself, “What works? What doesn’t? What’s missing? What can be improved?” When you aren’t self-aware, you can’t take the necessary adjustments. You wouldn’t know what you can improve to be better. Mindfulness is an important practice for myself and the people I work with, so we don’t get sucked into the vortex that makes us question if we’re doing anything with our lives!
With being mindful, come acceptance. We always need to accept our past—for whatever it is. May it be ugly or embarrassing, it’s important to remind yourself that you can learn from any experience.
That’s where the next step comes in: being proactive. You live and you learn. Take what you learn and empower yourself to transform into whatever or whoever you want to be.
And the most important thing to keep in mind throughout this all is to embrace optimism. It’s hard to see light when we feel like we’re always left in the dark, but without optimism, we lose our drive to see that things are not worth giving up on. It pushes us, it comforts us, it keeps us hopeful.
After over hundreds of client works, my pride and joy will always be the Kids of Vigi internship program. What better way to show and share my love for good design than keeping it alive with the next generation.
I love graphic design. It is what I do best. It gives me meaning and purpose, so I happily do everything in my power to keep it living, breathing, and thriving.