Pete Rodriguez Exclusive Interview
How would you describe where you are in life right now and how does that affect what you create?
I am 22 years old, newly married, and live in the good ole farm country of Lancaster, Pennsylvania (the smell of manure being spread is what keeps us in the area…*sarcasm*) my wife Emily were both in a 2 Year Leadership development program called “DEVELUP” at LCBC Church that invests in young leaders developing them spiritually, personally, and professionally. Although my role at the church isn’t specifically a creative role, I did have opportunities to occasionally help the communications team with one off projects as well as doing my own freelance work or just personal project on the side.I love being stretched in new capacities every day, creating is crucial for my life. It gives me an outlet where I can express how I am processing situations, decisions and more than anything just do it because I love it and it’s fun.
What’s your typical schedule like?
I spend some time in the mornings trying to align my heart, and my mind with Gods through prayer and scripture. I’ll go into the office and fortunately I get to work alongside some of the most amazing people ever! (S/O to my team: Matt, Josiah, Des, Caleb, Juliana, Wes, and Dylan) I usually try my best to fit in some design work after I get home and just about any other free time I can find. Design for me isn’t an itch or a hobby, it’s part of who I am and who I believe God design me to be…a designer designed by THE ULTIMATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR, God!
Describe how you find inspiration or inspire your team?
I find that I am often inspired when I am simply out and about. I am an introvert at heart but when Emily forces me to get out of the house every once in awhile, I love seeing the branding, ads, magazines, and marketing strategies that are being used out there. I love walking or driving through the community and seeing what some of the smaller, more local companies are doing to reach their audience. I also receive a ton inspiration through nature, my community, but more than anything else, I receive inspiration through music. There has been countless times when I am jamming out in my car to some tunes and actually see a visual representation of the lyrics I am hearing. I’ll usually speed up to get to wherever I’m going to put the idea on paper before I forget it.
What keeps you going in Creative Ministry?
We are all creative beings, each and every one of us. When I see a piece whether it be a logo or any design piece I try to view it through the lens of these two things…”LOOK” and “FEEL” What does the design “look like” is really about taking the piece at face value, what are the visual wins or losses of the piece. What does the design “feel like” when I do see it at face value how does the piece make me feel? How does the piece communicate what it is supposed to communicate? Am I hand feeding the message to the viewer? Or am I allowing them to process the meaning of the piece on their own. My heart for creativity is to make things look better, it’s really that simple. I see great design all around me and I love to immerse myself in it, learn from it, and let it inspire my own craft. My design is inspired by the world I am living in and the things I am allowing into my life. For example, If someone only ever goes to the same place for inspiration, their work will lack the diversity in “Look & Feel”, but if we allow ourselves to be inspired by all the amazing things around us and the diversity in humanity then our work WILL continue to feel fresh and our work can resonate with people from all walks of life
If you could build a creative team atmosphere, what would you include?
Trust is huge, I would want a team that felt the freedom to ask questions, give pushback, and make suggestions on a potential better solution and not wonder the heart of anyone else in the room. We are all on the same team working towards ONE GOAL, meeting the visual needs of our client. I also believe HEAVILY in fun! People have to want to be there and I think someone who loves doing what they do matters for the finished product.
Describe how you work with your clients.
Usually clients have thought through what direction they are wanting to go with a commissioned project. It’s important as a designer to listen more than you speak. Listening builds trust and gives you more influence in the long run. I often try to let the client paint as vivid as a picture that they can before I suggest anything or in most situations even speak on the project. I want to honor and value the client while prioritizing and doing what’s best for their project. You can’t rush the process! My hope is to crank through however many bad ideas before I arrive at a good one, it’s not always easy but allowing the process to do its work in my opinion leaves you with a better product in the end. I try to study and do a little bit of research as it relates to the visual need of the client and then I begin sketching or creating super rough drafts. Sleeping on ideas is key for me before presenting any ideas to the client. There is something about taking your mind off of a piece and it not having your focus for some time that allows you to return to it with fresh eyes. After coming up with some solid pieces to present to the client (always have some variance in direction to take) Clients often appreciate getting to choose what direction they want their project to go and if you create more than one creative solution that is quality you allow them to feel empowered in the direction of the overall design and you give them skin in the game. Ultimately between the client and myself the goal is to meet their visual need and deliver a product that is clean, understandable, packs a punch, and is timeless.
Freelance Graphic Designer
I am a graphic designer who’s passionate about hacky sacking with friends (kind of weird…I know), a good beer and the challenge of solving a problem. A one time service just doesn’t cut it, I want to walk alongside the folks that I design for and develop solutions for them as new challenges arise along the way. My focus is in branding, illustration, apparel design and social media strategy. Simply put, I want to cut through the noise and clutter of visuals that the people you’re trying to reach are bombarded with. Whether it’s a tweak or a full redesign, my hope is to give your company or brand a look and feel that stands out from anything else out there.
In my spare time you will find me drawing, listening to movie scores, day dreaming about Taco Bell, and like a true introvert, trying to convince my wife Emily to stay home and rewatch all three Lord Of The Rings films with me.