Real life, behind-the-scenes interviews with Church Creatives

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Take It Or Leave It | Stephen Houk

Join us as we learn more about the behind-the-scenes from church creatives in the Pro Church Media Community. Stephen Houk is our host and will be having real-life conversations with church designers, PCM University instructors, small business owners, freelancers and more!

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Latest Episodes

Episode 13: Austin Pluskot

“Being a creative isn’t about sitting in a back office creating content, it’s about using the platform and resources God has given us to lead others closer to God.”

Austin is the Creative Director at Canvas Church in Alachua, Florida (Southwest of Jacksonville). As a Creative Director leading a handful of creative volunteers and staff, Austin’s focus as a creative goes beyond a printed piece, a social post, or b-roll for a video. Austin said, “Creatives exist to put visuals to the vision of the leadership, anything else outside their God-given vision is false advertising to the community.” Such a true and insightful thought. As Austin and his team work to bring consistency to the Canvas brand, they have realized that their creativity has led many to doorsteps of the church. Many who serve alongside Austin, including Austin himself, were drawn in to Canvas because of their message of real life and real love. Check out @canvas_fl to see the brand in action.

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Episode 12: Cameron Smith

Cameron Smith is the Media Arts Director at Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) in Phoenix, AZ. He and his wife Mikela have been married for 15 years and have 3 children. Christ’s Church of the Valley has ten locations within the greater Phoenix metro area. Cameron oversees the Media Arts team which consists of creating and producing content for three key areas/groups: NextGen, Weekends, and Adult Groups. These three areas are was drive CCV’s culture of growth and community.

Cameron talks about having a healthy culture of commraderie among team members. Having a mind to grow and learn is also vital to a healthy team. Growing from a couple basic DSLR cameras to a fully geared up team didn’t happen over night, it came by building trust with the leadership team of the church. They also were great stewards of every piece of equipment given to them over the years.

To see more of his work, go to @cameron987 on Instagram.

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Episode 11: Joe Cavazos

“Our output should be greater than our input. We should be doing the work instead of always browsing the work of others. Put in the work.” – Joe Cavazos

This week we talked to Joe Cavazos about freelancing advice, getting work noticed, anxiety and depression, working distraction free. Joe instructs the course Church Design Remix for PCM University, which is an awesome course for learning advanced design skills in Photoshop. To see more of his work, go to @joecavazos on Instagram.

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Episode 10: RJ Prestenbach

RJ Prestenbach is a graphic designer from New Orleans who currently resides in Lafayette, La. He has over 15 years experience with working along side individual clients as well as churches to create memorable and lasting work that inspires both growth and productivity. Currently employed at a multi campus church who just planted their sixth location in Louisiana, RJ occasionally freelances when his schedule allows it. To see more of his work, go to @rjpresetenbach on Instagram.

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Episode 9: Casey Olson

This week we talk with Casey Olson! Casey is a Senior Designer for lifeteen.com. She is a designer who believes “creativity is God’s, and collaboration is ours.” To see more of her work, go to @caseyparis on Instagram.

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Episode 8: James Graves

Our talk with James Graves, on today’s podcast episode, highlights how he discovered his identity was in things that could be taken away rather than his relationship with Jesus…which can never be dissolved. We talk with James about everything from freelance, to working at several secular design agencies, to working on a church creative team. The pros, the cons, the ups and the downs, James shares how God continues to work on designing him to be more like Christ in all that he does. To see more of his work, go to @visualjams on Instagram.

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Episode 7: Ashley Ulmer

Meet Ashley Ulmer, freelance design artist, wife, and mother of three boys. Based in New Mexico, Ashley takes her surroundings, both physical and emotional, and applies them into her artistic creations. She has learned to look for the beauty in imperfections and brokenness. She believes and encourages others in that God is a God of second chances.  Ashley is also an instructor for PCM University, you can sign-up for her class “Creating A Minimal Tee Design” to learn more about how to use Illustrator to create effective shirt designs. To see more of her work, go to @ashulmerdesign on Instagram.

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Episode 6: Dustin Cooper

This week’s guest, Dustin Cooper, gives us insight into growing a freelance business! Dustin is also an instructor for PCM University, you can sign-up for his class “Collage Design Fundamentals” to learn more about how to create collage-style designs in Photoshop. To see more of his work, go to @dustincoopergraphics on Instagram.

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Episode 5: Jenessa Wait

This week’s guest, Jenessa Wait, gives us insight into her growing lettering business, as well as encouraging us to use our gifts and creative ability for the Creator who gave them to us. She talks about overcoming comparison, give yourself grace, enjoying the process, and just have fun serving the greatest Designer of all—Jesus! To see more of her work, go to @jenessawait on Instagram.

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Episode 4: Josh Engler

Josh Engler is the Creative Director for Grace Avenue Church in San Antonio, Texas. He is a gifted singer, songwriter, and performer and is also the instructor for the PCMU Course: Worship Song Writing. In today’s episode, Josh talks about the importance of worship and preparing the heart in seeking God each and every day.

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Episode 3: Chase Eggenberger

From Alabama to Memphis, and Valets to Social Designer, Chase Eggenberger is using his skill and influence at The Life Church in Memphis, TN. Listen to today’s episode and discover something you can start applying to your life and work today! To see more of Chase’s awesome design work, visit him on Instagram @chasecreate

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Episode 2: JJ Getz

Get a behind-the-scenes look into the world of freelance design with JJ Getz! This episode is all about being brave and staying curious in the creative world. To see more of JJ’s awesome design work, visit her on Instagram @jj_designs_stuff.

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Episode 1: Jason Watson

Get a behind-the-scenes look into design and animation from Jason Watson! Jason is an instructor for Pro Church Media University and has worked in the church media world as a producer for over 10 years. He now works with companies like Google and Toyota to help tell their message through stories and video.

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