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Meet Pasadena Entertainment Designer: Estephan Quass

Today we’d like to introduce you to Estephan Quass.

Estephan, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’m originally from Brazil and studied there in Industrial Design with a post-graduation in interior design. Soon after I began working in one of the biggest television networks in Brazil named, SBT. After months of working the late hours, I was noticed and promoted to a set designer. I began designing a variety of sets including outdoor game shows and kids shows.

After comfortably being at SBT for four years, I decided I needed another challenge, which led me to the decision to leave home, family, and friends, to move abroad. Los Angeles being the design capital of the world, I chose to enroll in school here and began studying Set and Exhibit Design.

Following school – about two years later, landed my first job at Brown United Inc. I worked on large name projects including Redbull, X-games, ESPN, celebrity concerts, etc. It wasn’t long before another opportunity arose at RIVA creative, working on the biggest indoor theme park complex in the world. The project involved Dreamworks, Smurfs land, Sony studios and many more. It took nearly two years to complete the design and development process in this project but once completed I was picked up by The Hettema Group, where I currently work. We work on numerous challenging projects, which I enjoy and are always testing my limits.

Aside from working with great artists at The Hettema Group, I freelance for numerous companies all over Los Angeles. Projects have been as small as a movie premiere to as big as theme parks. My role in these projects consists of transitioning the concept stages to production with the use of 3D models, animations, drawings, and sketches.

Has it been a smooth road?
The road was a bumpy one. Back home in Brazil I was already well established with a great job and sets recognized by the entire country. Taking the chance, I left to start all over as a student pursuing to work in the industry which is extremely competitive in Los Angeles. Some of the best artists in the world are what I’m up against.

I was unemployed for many months, struggling with small freelance projects here and there. The situation improved when a renowned producer, Seth Cover, from Theme Entertainment Industry, found my online portfolio and contacted me. My career now is going well and steady.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
The proudest moment for me was when I got offered a full-time position among the best artists in the world to design theme parks. I worked with major clients like DreamWorks, Sony, Lionsgate and Red Bull. It’s a victory to come from another country, start a new career and have my work recognized in the Themed Entertainment Industry in LA.

Were there moments when you had to struggle?
Yes, there were. Other than the cultural clash that foreigners face when moving to a different country, finding a job and starting to support yourself is always a challenge. In the beginning, I worked in a restaurant as a waiter and I painted movie flats to raise some money. It was a big step back after I graduated with two degrees, worked several years in the industry and had my work recognized in my home country.

The hardest moment was when I had to sleep inside my car for a few nights when looking for a new place to live. Asking for help when you don’t have many friends and don’t know people for that long is not an option.

What’s your outlook for the industry in our city?
LA is the place to be if you are an artistic person that works in design, media or entertainment, People come from all over the world in search of talent and creative services here, so if you have skills and a good portfolio, you will find work. The downside is that you will be competing with a huge amount of amazing artists that are here for the same reason.

Contact Info:

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  1. Felipe

    November 20, 2016 at 02:35

    That’s my man

    • Fabio Aubin

      November 20, 2016 at 03:32

      Great article! What an amazing artist! Congratulations!

  2. Andrė Brandão

    November 21, 2016 at 09:52

    Veryyyy nice Stephan! Keep going!!!

  3. Gabrielle Reynolds

    November 21, 2016 at 23:59

    Estephan! So nice to read this interview. You are an inspired designer, with a GREAT attitude and can-do spirit that is in everything you do. It was such a delight to work with you at Riva! I know your future is full of great things, for you are a man of vision. Boa sorte!

  4. roberto

    November 23, 2016 at 00:13

    Congrats Estepahn!!

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