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Inspiring Conversations with Jonathan Morgan of DominantArts.Design

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jonathan Morgan.

Hi Jonathan, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I’ve always thought of myself as someone who makes things – a creator of whatever I wanted to create. Before 2020, I had spent my life pursuing a career as a freelance musician. When the Pandemic hit, I was sitting at home taking stock of what had been my career up to that point. Like so many of us did during that time, I quickly realized a shift needed to happen because despite succeeding at all the “right things” to be a professional musician, I was still unhappy, jaded, bitter, totally broke, and my headstrong devotion to the trappings of being a professional musician had caused me to fall out of love with making music. Understanding all that was a huge shock to my core. As a maker, I had lost sight of why I was making music.

Then I had a second, more powerful realization: I had lost my sense of play/wonder/fascination with music and had instead become trapped by the difficulties and challenges the profession of music had created in my life. To quantify that realization, I made a list of pros and cons, and the cons greatly outweighed the pros. That was the beginning of a very long mourning process for a career that never gave me what I was looking for. A career that never saw a return on the emotional, physical, mental, and financial investment I had pumped into it. And yet, I still wanted to – had to – create. I needed to keep making.

I made a second list. Many skills on this list I had acquired in some of the oddest places because what they don’t tell you in music school is that most musicians will have to find part-time work outside the realm of performance to support their music performance addiction – they don’t tell you that this part-time work will crush your soul. They don’t tell you that you’ll have to cobble together so many part-time jobs/gigs/things just to make ends meet that you’ll have almost no bandwidth to engage with the play/wonder/fascination that comes from music-making, and when you realize almost none of your “career” is the career you signed up for, your soul will feel devastatingly crushed. But before things get too dark, let me just say that this second list was only the good stuff. A list of all the positive skills I had acquired over the years in my pursuit of a music career. And by virtue of the years spent kicking and screaming my way through a string of part-time dead-end bullshit jobs, my list of skills was very long.

What would I call someone who has the skills I have? What would that person’s role be in a professional setting? It seemed most fitting that I’d be some sort of consultant because I’m someone who thinks about solutions to problems in an artistically creative way, but consultant seemed too stiff a word for me. So I went with “Creative Director” since it best captures my knack for persuasive communication and ability to manage a creative process from start to finish. As a Creative Director, I have a good eye for proportion, narrative, and layout, and I have the skills to meaningfully improve these elements for other people.

As the pandemic raged on, I crafted a collection of online services that I could use to help other creative people and organizations tell their story, and this has allowed me to fall back in love with the act of creating again. I started building websites. I started learning photography, I started learning graphic design principals, and I’ve always been a good writer – persuasively structured writing is one skill you pick up as a musician in grad school because that’s about the only way academics can measure you against their outdated and absurd curriculums.

I started my small business knowing that it would branch out into a creative design firm offering a suite of in-house and networked services. Along with my creative partner, my firm DominantArts.Design offers portrait and product photography, copywriting, wardrobe styling, social media management, content creation, brand strategy, email marketing, e-commerce, website design, and consulting/coaching for creatives – basically all the things I didn’t know I needed when I was starting out as a musician.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
The biggest struggle has been that I’ve become so busy with projects that I rarely have enough capacity to promote/advertise/market myself and my business. It’s a great problem to have, but one that I’m actively trying to solve. If you have any advice, I’m all ears!

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about DominantArts.Design?
Our firm leverages website design, portrait and product photography, copywriting, wardrobe styling, social media management, content creation, brand strategy, email marketing, e-commerce, and consulting/coaching to deliver meaningful results for businesses, nonprofit social justice organizations, and an extensive variety of creative individuals. To date, we have launched over 25 website builds that utilize industry-leading design paradigms, tapping into subconsciously unique and intuitive elements to create “something special” that people feel when visiting a well-designed website, proving that good design supports a myriad of professional applications.

Our e-commerce clients have all experienced a return of at least three times their website’s costs when compared to their online sales figures, showing that good design leads to greater revenue and always provides a return on investment.

My firm’s focus on narrative-based design was recognized by the leading website design platform Squarespace in late 2021 when we were inducted into their Expert Marketplace; an invitation-only collective of the world’s top 100 Squarespace website designers.

My website design and photography work for was featured in the 2021 Louis Vuitton Official LA City Guide, capturing the spirit of Los Angeles in a comprehensive sampling of work by creative talents in many fields.

My firm has methodically solved key pain-points for all our clients, positioning us as a valuable asset to anyone looking to persuasively communicate with targeted audiences online. We look forward to working with anyone who wants to leverage our services to increase the exposure, following, and success of their projects.

What does success mean to you?
I won’t define this, but I will instead say that understanding and love of process is key. Sure, good results are…good, but things always seem to work better when someone is empowered to connect the dots between all stages of a project. When this level of cohesion is achieved in a project, the results appear as “success.” Good designers ask a lot of questions because it’s the learning and process that’s most important. If you want your project to be successful, be prepared to have answers to a lot of questions.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
The single “Personal Photo” of me is by Roman Udalov (the one where I’m wearing a bright white hoodie and have neon orange pants) ALL other photos are by DominantArts.Design

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