We had the good fortune of connecting with Jonathan Montalvo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jonathan, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
My why lies in the understanding of who we are. We are all born capable of having powerful imaginations and creative abilities. Even the very nature of existence is based on a superior and complex design that could only be imagined on how it all came to be. From the stars down to the smallest molecule on earth, everything in nature follows an intricate and harmonious design system. The basic laws of designs we use every day is inherited by the structures of nature studied by the pioneers of design, art and architecture long ago. The way we think and our behaviors has a seemingly designed pattern that has formed overtime through experience and influence. This has also been studied by Psychologists, Anthropologists, etc.. My fascination about all of this is what led me into a career of User Experience Design. This is the art of empathizing with users and transforming digital experiences into delightful and easy to use systems. The beauty in all of this is that humans evolve overtime; their needs change. This makes the creative process very iterative. But there’s beauty in the logic that is formed from these methods of creative thinking and it’s what drives me every day.
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 am a self-taught multidisciplinary designer working in digital product design, branding and videography. Currently I run my own freelance design business and also work full-time as Digital Product Designer at Wrecking Ball Studio. I’ve work with brands like Adobe, AccuWeather, MasterCard, CBRE and Citrix. I’ve made it this far because of my willingness to fail often and never giving up on my dream. I embodied what it means to be a designer with a business mindset. It became who I am not something I shut off after 5pm. The journey wasn’t easy and the story is still being written. I overcame challenges by being focusing on my goals, being disciplined and feeding my hunger to learn. I’ve read many books and always prefer to indulge in material that grows my mindset. One main lesson I learned is that the knowledge I’ve gained throughout my 10 years of experience is best used to empower others. No matter what time of the day or how busy I am, I always make time to mentor individuals and host events to educate the community about design. Along the way, I’ve been blessed to find mentors of my own. If there’s one thing I would want the world to know about my story is that I truly came from nothing. I am an only child raised by a single mother who struggled quite a bit in her life. My father, although a good man, wasn’t around during my youth. I was never good at school either and through the eyes of others, my future was never bright. But I didn’t let that stop me. With very little guidance throughout my life it took a long time for me to finally find myself. And it happened in a single moment at the age of 23 in a small print shop in Miami. So my advice to anyone struggling is to paint a clear picture about what you want your future to look like and hold on to that vision as if your life depended on it. Because along the way it will open doors and lead you down paths of opportunity both for you succeed and fail at. Let neither phase you. Stay grounded, there are many mountains to climb and reaching one peak only means it’s time for you to reach another. Stay focused.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in Pembroke Pines. Some of my favorite spots are Roasting Buddies and Ella which are phenomenal coffee shops with great food. Also The Shops at Pembroke Gardens.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shout out to: Organizations: Ironhack, Adobe and the UX Design community in South Florida, IxDA, UXPA and FluxYeah. Mentors: Juno Jo, Marcelo Paiva, Claudio Luis Vera Books: User Friendly, The Design of Everyday Things, Creativity Strategy and Business of Design, Don’t Make Me Think, Inclusive Design for a Digital World