We had the good fortune of connecting with Christian Ochoa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christian, how do you think about risk?
I like to think that risk is a feeling, not a certainty. If you feel there is risk involved in your personal or professional life, it’s because you are about to make an important decision and most of us are afraid of choosing the wrong path and fail. The key is to have the ability to manage the risk of your decisions. When you see risk not as a cliff but as a road not yet discovered, things start to change. I’ll tell you how it played out with me. For years I tried to deny my creative self. My father used to tell me that drawing comic books or playing the guitar weren’t careers worth to pursue. Most of my friends studied engineerings, law, business and other careers that people would call “safe”. I felt like I was left out. But my best friend’s mother pushed me to pick advertising. She was a designer. Was this a risky decision? Yes, it felt risky. Advertising is not a glamorous career anymore. At least not like the TV series Mad Men. The vast majority of people don’t like advertising. They don’t want to be sold. However, during my years in the advertising industry I’ve learned that creative ideas are the ones that help shape culture. Think about the Super Bowl. That’s probably the only event in the year where people want to talk about advertising and some commercials have become memorable like the 1984 spot from Apple. Now, as a creative director and freelance designer my job is to help my clients feel more comfortable about taking risks because creativity is risky. Good ideas are risky. Innovation is risky. Solving interesting problems is risky. The risk won’t go away but you have to feel comfortable when you are doing something that is worth talking about. The risk of failing is a wall between you and the desire to make things better or to choose the thing that makes you happy. So, go and pursue that creative career. Finish that book that you’ve been working on for years. Create a product that people didn’t expect. Make a business around something that inspires you. The only advice that I can share with you is to observe closely to successful entrepreneurs and people that you admire. They manage to feel comfortable around risk. Take notes and repeat their formula. Keep in mind that risk is not an enemy, it’s just a reminder that you are about to make an important decision in your life. Kudos to all the risk-takers!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m a creative designer and storyteller. In advertising and marketing, the ability to be creative and develop ideas that people would care is very valuable for most companies. That’s how I started working in multiple ad agencies in Ecuador creating advertising campaigns for different brands including Coca-Cola. Advertising is the art of communicating your product or service to your customers so I think that creativity has a lot to do with it. What sets me apart from other designers it’s my approach and the ability to translate the message that my clients want to express with their brands. Most business owners have some trouble finding the correct words or images that can truly represent the essence of their business, that’s why they contact me so I can help them translate those ideas in creative executions that make their brands engage with their customers. Being a freelance designer is not easy at all. I believe that the most common challenge that people face when opening their own business is to contact prospect clients and invest time on creating content online. I forced myself to schedule a marketing calendar so I can keep creating content while working with current clients. I think that the biggest lesson that I learned is being consistent with my message and keep investing in my marketing to get that message spread across different platforms because that’s how people contact you. Whenever I have the chance to talk to somebody about my brand I say this: For the people who don’t believe in online marketing but still want to build their brand or grow their business, I can help you craft and launch your marketing message so you can promote your business with confidence. I always want to remind people that marketing is not about who spends the most in promotion or how many pieces of content you create on social media per day. It’s about creating the right message to the right people. If you want to be effective with your marketing I can help you build your website, design your logo or produce a promotional video that will put your brand closer to the people you want to serve.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
To be honest, I’m new in Miami but the place that caught my attention when I came here it was definitely Wynwood Walls. The last time that one of my cousins came here, I took him to visit Wynwood where we took many pictures, we hang out the whole day admiring the graffitis and the street art. I believe this is the perfect place if you want to get inspired by different artists and different styles. When I go there I like to eat at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar. Tacos, nachos & beer are a great combination when you are hanging out with friends while enjoying a little chat. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I love this. Of course, my success comes from the support of people who believed in me and that’s why I would like to give a shoutout to Danilo Vargas who is a mentor and a friend of mine. Danilo is a business coach and manager of Accelerate South Dade, a non-profit organization that helps small businesses and entrepreneurs with seminars, workshops and many services dedicated to accelerate the growth and promotion of new businesses in South Dade. If you dedicate a space to Danilo, I think that more young creatives like me will begin to use their skills not only as an art form but actually build a sustainable business around it. http://acceleratesouthdade.com/ http://danilovargas.com/
Photo by Sergio Arguello, Victorious Photography. Design by Christian Ochoa.