We had the good fortune of connecting with Eduardo Bono and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eduardo, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
It comes in the genes. My whole family is creative. Writers, musicians, painters, photographers. You name it. You gotta follow your call. No matter how advanced technology may go, it will never ever be able to mimic the creative nature we all come with.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Ever since I remember, I’ve been surrounded by art, growing up in an environment conducive to creativity. Starting with my mom, who had to raise 4 children by herself due to her divorce (my dad came into the picture later when I was a teenager and that was long distance anyway). In order to make it through, mom had 3 jobs, she worked as an interpreter/translator for the Mexican government and the UN, she wrote fiction novels for a newspaper and she knitted blankets to make ends meet, all while taking care of 4 children. The one job I enjoyed the most from her was her writing, which she did at home. I will never forget going to bed every single night listening to her typing away with that bigass typewriter, drinking her Cutty Sark and smoking her Viceroys. She wrote mini novels about Crime, horror, the occult and sometimes about romance. They would publish them as little illustrated comic books every week and we couldn’t wait for early Tuesday mornings to go to the news stand and see how many copies of her “Novelitas” would make it. They were a hot commodity because they were always sold out the same day. She made a lot of research by getting those True Crime magazines at Sanborns, a drug store chain in Mexico that had everything, from fine jewelry to toys, to books and magazines and an amazing restaurant. I highly recommend their “Molletes” when you visit Mexico. She was so good at writing these stories that one day at her job, her boss asked her to tone down the writing because she was actually teaching people how to commit crimes. That was mom. Now, all my siblings were artists as well. Charlie played Classical guitar, Carolina wrote her own songs and played the guitar as well, and José was and still is a poet. My mom’s brother, uncle José, was a very successful documentary director, who has an award named after him in Mexico’s most prestigious filmmaking award show. Being surrounded by so much talent and the youngest of 4, I wanted to do my art as well, so I ventured into drawing and painting. I also loved storytelling and I remember at a very young age imitating my mom by writing my own little stories and drawing them. Those were the early years and my foundation. What sets me apart from everyone else? Hmm, being myself. Once in a Job interview, the creative director who I was talking to, told me something that stuck. After hearing my background, the first thing that came from him was: “You’re a “renaissance man”. I said, how come? He replied, because you do everything, you write, you art direct, you direct your own stuff, you even do voice over! (I was the Spanish voice of Tony the Tiger in the 90s when the actors went on strike and Kellogg’s was one of our clients). I think one of my biggest strengths is my resilience and adaptability to any situation. Darwin said that it’s not the strongest or the most intelligent who survive, but the ones who adapt. In my life, I have had to adapt in order to survive for my family, which is the most important thing for me. I am not focused on money or awards or fame, I am focused on my family and how to make it through with my creativity. A very good example of adapting was during COVID. Like millions of others, I lost my job 3 months into it and it was very hard to land a job anywhere. I freelanced as much as I could, because unemployment here in Florida is a joke (don’t get me wrong, I’m still grateful for the little money I got from our government, It helped us a lot). I did Voice over when I could and some writing gigs here and there. But then one of my most fulfilling projects came to fruition: GRADS ON THE PORCH. You see, COVID robbed graduates and their families from the celebration of finishing High School, even College, but especially high school.
Everyone was sequestered in their homes with the lockdown and nothing could be done, no parties, no gatherings, no nothing! My son was a sophomore at the time and he had friends from the swim team who were graduating. My wife kept telling me how sad it was for these kids not to be able to have the experience of the banquet, walking down the aisle to receive their diplomas and no celebration of any kind. It came clear as water, I told her why not photograph these seniors outside their house, on their “Porches”? Socially distancing ourselves from them and letting them have a little fun while I snapped away. We started with a couple of swimmers and their parents were so grateful. We found a couple of Caps and gowns in Offer-up as well as borrowing from friends who kept theirs. The project was a big success, word got out and suddenly we had a bunch of parents calling to book photo shoots for their kids. Since COVID hit everyone the same and most people were hurting for money, we decided to give people a choice, pay the fee for each kid or if they didn’t have the money, offer the services for a donation. Most people could afford it, but others donated. Even my wife’s pre-school owner jumped in and we had a two day session for Lil’ Grads on the porch at her school. Although it wasn’t a huge money maker, it did help us get through some difficult months.
These last years have not been easy at all. The older you get the more difficult it is to get work. You have to stay relevant and adapt to any given situation. I have been lucky enough that my wife has had my back. The only advice I can give is stay resilient, never give up, keep hustling, stay humble, and most importantly, never grow up. Keep learning whatever comes your way and adapt, even if you have to take some steps backward, career wise. I learn something new every day and I intend to keep that going until the end of the road. My son has taught me a lot by following some of these important lessons. And hopefully he will one day teach them down to his children.
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.
Living in South Florida, there are plenty of places to go. The first place I would take them would be the 5 Hermanos Mexican Food truck and have them eat some damn good Sopes. After that I would plan several different places to go to and discover ourselves. Believe it or not, living in this area and being so busy working, I have not had the opportunity to go out a lot. And having our only son doing serious competitive swimming his whole life, doesn’t allow for a lot of free time to roam, other than the local pools and swim meets. The next day I would get up really early and take my guests out to the people’s dock in Deering Estate, which is a couple of miles away from our house. There we can witness the sunrise off of the Biscayne Bay. It is spectacular when it’s clear. Then breakfast at Lots of Lox. that’s the local stuff we have here. Then visit our two Crocs who live in a lagoon right next to the old Burger King Headquarters in Palmetto Bay. The Everglades would come next and then the Florida Keys. Have I mentioned the beach? No, not at all. That would be at the end if our guests would like to go there. We feel that it’s more important to be connected with mother earth than to having to deal with Miami’s nasty traffic and rude people, not to mention the overpriced restaurants you find in the more touristy areas of this city.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
At this point, the list is too long, but let’s give it a shot. Family: My parents Yolanda and Carlos, and my father-in-law Dale, who are no longer with us. My wife Kim and my son Dominic. My brothers and sister Jose, Carlos and Carolina and Penny, my mother in law. They all have supported me on every decision I have made, right or wrong.
All my friends and people I have worked with who never gave up on me (you know who you are).
I can’t leave out all the naysayers and negative souls that have crossed paths with yours truly. They just helped fuel my desire to succeed. You also know who you are.
And last but not least you guys at Shoutout, for reaching out. Thank you.
Other: Shootnstars is a creative hub where you get what you need ranging from fresh Ideas for a new business to professional photo shoots for your kids. We focus on storytelling, no matter where or what you want to tell. Creative: Copywriting and art direction in English and Spanish for all kinds of media, including Traditional, Digital and social media. Photography: We specialize in nature and sports photography