Joe Cavazos Exclusive Interview

Describe how you find inspiration or inspire your team:

Finding inspiration is two parts for me. The obvious one would be pinning or saving things I come across. The new bookmark feature on Instagram has come in handy for that. I try to follow and pin things from different industries. For example I find a lot of inspiration from painters, videographers, and photographers.

The second part is implementing some kind of creative play. These are little warm up exercises where I like to create just for the fun of it. Some of these little warm ups have inspired other work.

Describe one thing you wish everyone knew about working in the creative ministry field and why it is important:

Relationships matter. I wish I’d learned this earlier in my career. It’s really easy to fall into the trap of having the project or campaign at hand trump the relationships with those involved. A lot of what we do is connecting dots or what I like to call visual translating. We work on taking someone else’s event/idea and creating ways to visually connect to their audience. In order for these partnership to work correctly there has to be a lot of trust. And it’s really hard to have trust when one party doesn’t feel valued or cared for.

 What keeps you going in creative ministry:

I think it’s the people I get to work with. My dad was a bi-vocational pastor growing up. He never really had a lot of help back then. And after working in a church for several years I also saw first hand how many hats people wear when working at a church. So I have a heart for those that work at churches. I know it can be a busy life, with a weekend service coming at you every week. My hope is not just to make great graphics but most important to hopefully make the jobs of those I get to work with easier.

“Relationships matter. I wish I’d learned this earlier in my career. It’s really easy to fall into the trap of having the project or campaign at hand take the place of the relationships with those involved.”

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Describe your work/life balance:

Work/life balance sometimes seems like this magical goal that is always shifting. Like trying to catch a falling bar of soap. I believe it requires a lot of self awareness, which is something I’m learning. I’m a husband, father of three young kiddos, run a full-time freelance business as well as starting on a couple of ventures. One thing that helps is I work from home and have a pretty flexible schedule. But even still the work/life balance does get out of whack. For years I try to separate both work and life. But for me, it’s all one life. I’m learning to enjoy both and know that they each feed into each other.

What is one creative tool you cannot live without:

The one tool I couldn’t live without would be Photoshop. It was the fist tool I started this journey with. It feels like a comfortable pair of sweatpants when I’m using it.

Work/life balance sometimes seems like this magical goal that is always shifting.

Like trying to catch a falling bar of soap.

Describe your work environment:

Thankful to have a room dedicated for my office in our house. My desk setup and environment has grown over the years. It’s both a workstation but more then that. It’s a sanctuary of sorts. Occasionally I’ll work from the local coffee shop or my living room. But nothing really beats working from my little space. When I use to work a day job, there was always this clear separation once I enter the office building. After going freelance I soon realize my brain still needed that. It’s like a little switch goes off and its time to work.

“My Work/life balance sometimes seems like this magical goal that is always shifting. Like trying to catch a falling bar of soap.”

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Describe how you work with clients:

My clients all vary and are different in their own ways. While I have some general processes when working with clients. I’ve found each client is different and they all don’t fit a similar mold.

What is the weirdest, funniest, most memorable story you have about working in creative ministry?

When I used to work at my church one day someone wrote a message to me on a offering envelope. All the message said was: “This font size is really hard to read in the dim lighting.” At first, I was a bit defensive about it. But then realized that this person had a point. I actually carried that envelope in my backpack for years. It was a great reminder that it doesn’t matter if things are designed pretty, if they don’t serve their intended purpose.

Tell us about the behind-the-scenes on one of your projects:

Had the privilege of working with All Sons & Daughters on their recent album, “Poets & Saints.” It was one of the most challenging and rewarding projects of 2016 for me. Like most fun projects, we were under the gun to develop something within short deadline. It also wasn’t’ a normal album project. This one would require designing a study guide, along with packaging for other pieces in the study kit. We actually started down a different route for the artwork. Everything seem to be rolling smoothly. But at some point in the process the direction just wasn’t sitting right. It was good, but it wasn’t the best fit for the project. So we went back to the drawing board. The album was inspired by a trip All Sons & Daughters and company had taken to Europe. Where they gather inspiration for this album. They were heavily influenced by this trip so it only made sense to use photos from their time there. I had played around with this mirror technique in the past, usually just for fun as part of creative exploration. And thought that might a put a different spin to it visually. All in all I’m really proud how it turned out. Thankful to have been a part of this project. It really did teach me that hard things are good things.

Joe Cavazos

Joe Cavazos Design

I live in Mission, Texas with my wife and two kids. I’ve worked in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors as a designer and art director for more than a decade. I love working on album artwork, sermon series design, product packaging, and branding projects. During my downtime I love hanging out with family and friends, drinking craft coffee and searching for taco stands around the Rio Grande Valley.