Today we’d like to introduce you to David Heredia.
David, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Heroes of Color started out as an animated web series in 2015 created as a direct response to my frustration with the curriculum my kids were being taught in elementary school. While cultural education is not entirely the school’s responsibility, I felt they could do more to highlight the achievements of people of color. In today’s climate, there is a lot of talk about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – but not much of that is reflected in the school curriculum.
My wife is Mexican and I am Dominican – our cultures are very important to us and we wanted to ensure that we educate our kids not just about our cultures, but about the richness of other influential people in other cultures not normally discussed in textbooks. My artwork has allowed me to do that. After the first three episodes of the Heroes of Color series began winning film festival awards, I knew that educating through art was my purpose. I soon realized the value of promoting positive representation. In 2017, I officially formed the company Heroes of Color, LLC and branched out to creating children’s books, facilitating creative workshops and speaking engagements at colleges across the nation.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been a smooth road. Some of the struggles early on was investing so much time into a project that I was so emotionally invested in, It took me a long time to actually check the market and see if it would be a profitable one. My original objective was to just create educational material for my kids to enjoy, As others began to appreciate and see the value in the episodes, I began thinking of new ways to monetize it.
Since the videos in the series dealt with how the heroes overcame racial inequalities, I knew that it would not be accepted by everyone. I was right. Soon after the second episode was completed in 2016, I started receiving hate mail and people on social media began accusing me of creating videos of hate. Whenever people asked me about the series, they either smiled and congratulated me or looked visibly uncomfortable and stopped asking questions. There was no in-between. Early on it was a struggle to speak so openly about the series, but when I saw the positive impact that the videos had on my own kids, I stopped caring about how others would react to my series.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Heroes of Color story. Tell us more about your work.
Since forming the company in 2017, the objectives of the company have since expanded. Aside from creating educational, digital animation, and children’s books, I specialize in teaching freelance artists on how to monetize their talents. I created and teach a workshop series called The Business of Freelancing. It is designed to help artists market and promote themselves, as well as learn new strategies on how to create new revenue streams. I thoroughly enjoy working with higher education and non-profit organizations that are dedicated to enhancing the economic development of all existing and aspiring freelance artists.
I cannot speculate as to what my company is known for, but if I had to take a wild guess, it would be the diversity of my cartoon characters or my mission to always put characters of color as representatives of my brand. I am most proud of the impact that my work has had on people. Many people have told me that my work and my story have inspired them to step out of their comfort zones. To know that my work helped improve the life of somebody in a positive way is truly a blessing and I am humbled to be in a position to inspire people.
I am particularly proud of publishing my new book, “The Freelance Hustle,” which was born out of over 20 years of my own freelance experiences. I had always kept business journals to document stories that happened to me both good and bad. I learned a lot from reading my own journals and felt like all of this would be useful for other artists to learn about. I remember sitting down and deciding, I am going to write a book about freelancing. A year later, the book is completed and set to be released in December 2019. The book is available at www.thefreelancehustle.co
I am not concerned with what sets me apart from anyone else. I am more concerned with how our missions are aligned so that we can work together. I am in no competition with anyone. We are automatically set apart from others because of our own ideas, philosophies, execution, and our purpose. I live in my purpose and set to be an example for my kids. That I can make money off of my talents is a blessing, but to teach my children how to become respectful, loving, kind, people is the big payoff.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
The situations that we get into are a direct result of the actions we do or don’t take. As they say, good fortune favors the bold. While there may be some things that occur that are totally out of our control, how we react to them often dictates what role luck has. It isn’t good luck if you were picked for a lead role in a movie if you’ve been mastering your craft and preparing for this role for decades before the role was even created.
- Address: 25000 Avenue Stanford, Suite #103, Valencia, CA 91355
- Website: www.heroesofcolor.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/_heroesofcolor
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/Davidheredia4
- Other: www.thefreelancehustle.co