Today we’d like to introduce you to Eric Garabito.
Eric, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’m a freelance photographer, designer, just an overall creator from South Central LA. Born and raised on the Eastside by my super Mexican parents and I’m proud of it. I mean maybe I’m the one that the village really had to raise together. But I’m part of a big family and we’ve always looked out for each other. I’ve done a million things to earn my way, kind of a jack of all trades. My first job was at my family’s car wash. Hard labor but it was fun so I can say I learned work ethic there. Had a couple of office jobs, attorneys office answering phones and customer service stuff knowing office life wasn’t for me but this creative thing kind of came from left field. I worked for a company managing sales and customer service day to day operations in the medical marijuana industry when I started to do the branding and marketing there.
Taught myself photoshop and illustrator during my free time. Really fell in love. With the support of some wonderful people, I dove headfirst. Got a camera and started shooting. Honestly, didn’t take it serious till maybe a couple of years ago. One day I was given an opportunity to work on a real design team @ this company in Boyle Heights called Matteo LA. Started as a jr graphic designer but really, it meant grunt work merchandising and tech packs for in house cut and sew. Slowing worked my way up till I literally ran the entire company. Product development, branding, social media and production management. I mean there’s isn’t anything I didn’t do so fortunately, I learned a lot there.
I’ve never taken any classes in anything to do with design or photography. Never thought id go this far In life but one Christmas an old partner and still my best friend in life Rose Knight got me a Wacom tablet and that simple gesture sparked a muse. It felt amazing having that support. Someone who believed in me. She always encouraged me and would gas me about how good my art was even when it really sucked. But till then especially growing up how I did, I never knew I could do anything like I’m doing today. Now photography is how I can let people see my outlook. Where I came from. What I’m about. help people in a hard situation see that people like us from the BOTTOMZ can get out.
Has it been a smooth road?
Are you crazy?!?!?! lol I’ve been over every kind of bump in the road you can think off and I’m sure there’s more to be expected. Growing up with nothing to losing my pops in the judicial system for about ten years, had to grow up on my own very fast. Honestly, the hardest part is getting out there. Building a moment and gaining enough confidence to know not to quit. Learning self-worth cause creatives always get their efforts and hard work dismissed. There was a lot of long sleepless night working two jobs training and practicing my skills trying to hone my crafts.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’m all freelance. Content development and branding. Photography is my go to. I’m not proud of anything specific but I do carry my ability to help people feel comfortable around me in high regard. I think being able to show people outside of my community how beautiful and how united we are in what people consider “a bad environment” can be. Like just cause we’re not a hop skip away from the beach or there isn’t tourist attractions around us doesn’t make it an ugly place. I can show you that.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
If you can make it here, you’re cut from a different cloth. Not to say LA isn’t great but everyone is trying everything under the sun. I mean in a city so saturated with talent you have to find a way to stand apart. Find a nitch, don’t quit but be genuine. People feel that.
- Phone: 323 480 5629
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: ericviatif