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Hidden Gems: Meet Edwin Valle of EDAN Creative

Today we’d like to introduce you to Edwin Valle.

Hi Edwin, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I started graphic design in my sophomore year of high school (2009). I used to “make beats” and made a song that I thought was the coolest thing ever and I wanted to make cover art for it. I googled “how to make cover art?”, all the results said to use photoshop so I searched for photoshop, it was $999.99 for the software. I had a friend that was good with computers, he was able to get it for me for $20. I started to learn it by searching blogs and early youtube. I was getting pretty good. I started making MySpace backgrounds for myself and my friends. Photoshop and later Illustrator basically is all I did throughout high school in my free time. After high school, I went to community college for graphic design. While there, I felt I wasn’t really learning anything but continued going part-time while I worked. Everything changed around 2016 when I got this internship that was more like a mentorship working with Maca of Fire Brand. That was my first shot, it was like a crash course of everything school wasn’t. It is through him that I met all my close friends now. It was around that time when I moved out of my mom’s and started living on my own. I worked from the moment I woke up till I slept, we had big clients like HaloTop and it was only two designers. It was so much fun and I learned so much. From there, I learned to navigate the industry and worked both in-house and at agencies and now I’m trying my hand at freelancing.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It wasn’t the hardest but certainly wasn’t the smoothest road. At the very beginning of my career, I was driving for Uber and Lyft at night to make ends meet. I get to the office at 9 am and work until like 9 pm then go drive uber till like 3 am just to wake up at eight and do it all over again. I did that for years. I lived in a one-bedroom apartment with 12 people for like eight months because I couldn’t afford rent anywhere else. I shared a studio apartment in a not-so-nice part of town with one person for a year. I guess the struggles I had were kinda typical of someone chasing a dream. I didn’t wanna be “a starving artist” not that that’s bad but it’s not the life I wanted.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about EDAN Creative?
I’ve had the domain since 2016 and used it as a portfolio in the beginning then around 2018, I started Edan Creative, I would take on projects here and there but always had a full-time gig that took up the majority of my time. In April of this year, I got let go from my “nice cushy” full-time gig at a social media agency, I actually really liked it there. They were super great people and I learned a lot there too but ya know, that didn’t work out. Also, they were really nice about the whole “letting me go” process. I even got referred some work from one of the owners. It was scary at first, tho. I didn’t even have a computer because the one I used belonged to the company. I took a day or so and just kinda chilled and then my friends kinda assured me that it’d be fine and I’ve been freelancing since and it’s been going great.

I specialize in Branding, Packaging, Digital ads, and Social Content, recently I’ve been getting more into motion design and design animations so expect more of that.

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
APPS Apps whether on the phone or just web apps are getting good, really good.

I had a client show me about seven different apps that he would use to make ads and it required no design knowledge or know-how. It’s all templatized, he would just take images and videos and put them in one app to do one thing and export them to another app to do something different and so on.

I think apps are ruining our careers in the sense that clients and people who are not in the design world have unrealistic expectations because of how accessible these apps are. I don’t hate them because I like how they’ve made design more accessible so it’s a catch 22.

Another thing I’ve noticed is all the design trends now look like more polished versions than what my friends and I were doing in high school so I think all the trends will cycle back but more refined if that makes sense. I’m really loving this trend of like upscale grunge-like blkmarket mockups kind of style.

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