We had the good fortune of connecting with Aaron Garcia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aaron, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I think the idea of “work-life balance” tends to deal with extremes in behavior and the inability to set boundaries. Even as a freelance designer, I make my bed and get dressed everyday. I try not to respond to emails or work on Sunday’s. When I think I have to work later than usual, I try to be honest about what I’m producing or not producing and tell myself to turn off my laptop and just go to bed. Over time and experience, I’ve tried to adapt a “quality over quantity” mindset when it comes to the amount of hours and effort put into a project. This is way easier said than done though. People tend to have an ideal in their mind about finding the perfect work-life balance when in reality, life is so unpredictable and uncertain that the very ebb and flow of it all needs to be accepted in order to maintain realistic expectations of yourself and your work. I might be super motivated in the Summer, then struggle to focus in the Fall. But it’s important that I don’t frame that struggle as “failure” but instead, do my best to find out why I’m struggling. What has changed? What isn’t working? In the end, I do my best to honor my client’s needs while trying to stay true to the conviction of quality work that isn’t rushed while living my life.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
From the very beginning of working in design, I knew I wanted to be different. I knew that I had the ability to make any concept my own and that my approach of digging deeper into a client’s vision would benefit my work in the long run. When I look back on the work I’ve done, from the early rough projects to the later projects I was proud of, I can see my growth and development as a designer and creative. My major in college was in animation, so I knew how to work Photoshop and Illustrator but had no idea what “good design” really looked like or meant. Throughout all the learning curves, failures and successes, I believe my perspective and vision is what makes me a “creative” not necessarily my drawing or visual skills. As I grow, I am simply learning more tools that will channel that creativity. I’m most excited about lowering the quantity of projects and increasing the quality. I’m also excited about developing my own brand in a way that will continue to set me apart while providing others with guidance, depth and insight into a creative life.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had a friend come to town (pre-COVID), I’d show them around my favorite Dallas neighborhoods like Bishop Arts and Deep Ellum. Both of those have changed quite a bit in the years I lived in Dallas but there are some gems still.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There have been a handful of people, books, podcasts and Instagram profiles that have helped or motivated me in some way throughout the years. My parents have always been behind me and my pursuit of art and design. I’m forever grateful for that because I know a lot of people don’t have that kind of support. The encouragement I’ve received from the content I put out on my Instagram has been incredible. Thank you to all that follow and appreciate my work. Some of my close friends are very successful artists, designers, photographers, businessmen, etc. and being surrounded by their love for what they do, successes, and support of my own work has been invaluable.
Image Credit: Leian Shaer