Today we’d like to introduce you to Eric Hamm.
Eric, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My early childhood was full of art and music as I grew up drawing and learning musical instruments. Artistically early on I was heavily influenced first by Dungeons and Dragon books and album cover artwork by the likes of Derek Riggs and others in the heavy metal genre. In my teens I was introduced to surrealism and was captivated by the cerebral and psychedelic nature of it. In my early 20’s I finally decided to take to art full time and headed on scholarship to Otis College of Art and Design to learn to paint and study illustration. There I found my voice as a painter studying under the likes of Nathan Ota, Jim Auckland and Bob Dob who lead me to the world of Low-Brow Pop Surrealism where I think my style still resides today. I continue to paint and show artwork in and around the Los Angeles area. In college I also (reluctantly) studied digital illustration and concept design which would be very useful in my next chapter. After graduating from Otis in 2005 needing work I took a position as Art Director at a promising jewelry photography and design studio in Downtown Los Angeles. In this position I was thrown into the deep end of the digital advertising world and learned on the fly how to create for clients and businesses. At this time I discovered that the mix of digital and traditional illustration skills along with photo manipulation could open new doors into my creativity. Here I worked as a team lead to suss out concepts and create all forms of print, web, and multi-media campaigns. I worked as the lead creative for them for 5 years until 2010 at which time I started my first company E3 Design Studio. I continued to work with their photography department to create ad campaigns of various sizes. Working mostly with jewelry and luxury brand clients, E3 continued to create and thrive for eight years but was lacking something. In the summer of 2017 I had the opportunity to form a new photography & design studio with friend and photographer Blanca Espinoza where we could chase new horizons creatively. The name is White Pig Studio as her name is Blanca (white in Spanish) and my sir name is Hamm it just seemed to fit. Together we are reinvigorated to create fresh and eye popping artwork for our clients and ourselves. We’ve been growing steadily since our inception and are incredibly optimistic about our future.
Has it been a smooth road?
We’ve had some bumps along the way as most do. My relationship with Blanca, my photographer and business partner, was formed over many years while she was working as lead photographer in house for another firm. We’d always had a blast working together and dreamed of a day we could open our own agency, in the early days while we were starting the White Pig we had to do everything in the evenings and on weekends. We had to convert our own bedrooms and living rooms into studios in order to get started financially. As busy and crazy as it got, we never missed a deadline or made any of our clients feel like they were second best. It felt like we were going 24 hours a day for the first year and though it still feels like we’re in the fast lane, things have gotten easier since she was able to quit her day job in early 2018. Simple things like having an office to take meetings in and being fully present for our customer during business hours will never be taken for granted.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Our business specializes in photography and design that focuses mostly on luxury products and jewelry. Whether it be product photography, branding/identity, print advertising of all types, creative photography, web assets, videos, or animations we have a knack for finding what our customer wants and executing it. For well over a decade Blanca and I have worked with incredibly detailed and beautiful products and developed ways to showcase them in their best light. At times that calls for elegant shots on simple backgrounds that appear to have minimal editing and other times it calls for full photo illustrations that transform the environment into the fantastical. Either way the goal is to get the client to their happy place. I believe we’re at our best when our talents combine to form something we couldn’t have dreamed of as individuals but as a team we find it.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles is a thriving but very difficult market for creatives to find their voice. LA is a car city meaning people spend hours a day in their cars and have little communication with people other than that. I would recommend joining networking/industry clubs, meetups, and the like to grow your network. If you’re just starting out don’t be afraid to start from the bottom or intern as a way in. LA is a city full of creatives so the competition is at an extremely high level and getting your first break is crucial. I would advise designers to find a niche and make it their own. Once you’ve found your niche then the Los Angeles climate can be very fruitful and rewarding. Much like any big city it is hard to find your way but once you do the sky is the limit.
- Website: www.whitepigstudio.com
- Phone: 213-278-0143
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/whitepigstudio/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/whitepigstudio/
- Other: www.erichamm.com
White Pig Studio. Headshots:Carly Baldwin