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Meet Erns Valdez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erns Valdez.

Hi Erns, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I guess this all started in the Pomona Arts Colony where I had a little gallery for a few years. I also was an artist but had a passion for giving emerging artists a place to show their art. In the eight years I had the gallery, I only turned away one artist. To keep the gallery open, I worked several jobs including an online advertising company. At the suggestion of the CEO of the advertising company, I started featuring artists in videos and on my website. My sister was already doing well with her beauty vlogging and it seemed like a great way to continue featuring artists. I then reached out to local online publications offering my services for free. I was fortunate to get an opportunity to provide content and do a little writing for IEShineOn. A local resource for things happening around the Inland Empire.

This would lead me to my first “foodie meetup”. I had no idea what a foodie was and I had no idea four years later being a foodie would be my full-time job. I have filmed hundreds of kitchens and have met so many chefs over the years and one thing that I love is they all have as much passion when talking about what they do like any artist. It’s been such a joy to meet so many passionate people who just want to make others happy with their food and dining experience. Like anything online, trends shift so quickly and quite often so most recently, I’ve been featuring myself more in my videos, doing reviews and trying to feature more of the wonderful people and places around me. That’s what Life with Erns is all about at the moment.

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?
To get to where I am now was not easy but I knew it could be done. I have a wonderful supportive wife, friends and family. Don’t let me forget to give credit to my followers and those who have continued to support all that I have done over the years. This chapter in my life started with me being unemployed and wondering what to do next. Do I go back to a job I hated? Do I go back to school to learn a new trade or get a degree in something I had no interest in? Due to some family situations, it turned out being a stay at home dad was the best option. I would continue to make and sell my art and invest a lot of time and money into learning how to work a camera. For two years, things financially were not good at all. I would take any gig I could paid or not so I could learn and make connections. I was fortunate to already know some talented filmmakers and photographers that helped me in what ways they could. The first few years took a toll on my marriage and self-confidence. I was already 40 or close to it so I worried I might be too old to be out there posting pictures of food with young college students. As my online social circle grew, I found the foodie and restaurant community to be very supportive. All the hard work and struggle was worth it. I’m someone who’s started his life over several times but this time I’m finally where I want to be doing what I love.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
The majority of my current work you’ll find on my social media is food-related videos but what pays the bills is providing content for other media entities, companies and organizations. I don’t have business cards and I never solicit businesses for work. Everything has been word of mouth or someone seeing my videos on Instagram. I do have a team I bring in on bigger projects but everything you see on my social media are videos made for myself. I don’t know if I have a specialty or anything that sets me apart from others. There’s so many amazing creatives out there who do wonderful work. Being self-taught and picking up pointers from pros I think has given me a different perspective on my work and my place in the media world. I’ve watched friends and even interns go onto work with large studios and I know that’s not where I want to be. My place is here featuring local small businesses and artists and now myself as of recently. This is also what I’m most proud of.

What’s next?
At my age, the future is now. This was my big motivation to put myself in front of the camera and change my branding to Life with Erns. The future, I hope will lead to me being able to create more content that features me doing things I love to do with people I love to be with. Earlier this year, I was very fortunate to land my first paid sponsorship with Northgate Gonzalez Market to do just that. It was a real dream come true moment that’s turned into continued blessing. I’m hopeful 2021 is going to being new opportunities as businesses open back up and our lives slowly go back to normal. I hope what I do can be a helpful part of the transition.

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Mr. Bane Scott

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