ICYMI: 10 Orlando Design Legends’ Best Advice at Prequel to Pixel

Art, tacos, beers and laughs: sounds like a great night out, right? Throw in 10 of Orlando’s most renowned advertising legends, and the night instantly goes from great to perfect. A night so insightful, you’ll start thinking RTB is actually an acronym for “real-time bonding”.

We knew putting 10 of Central Florida’s most creative minds in a room and giving them the floor to dish on fine art, digital design and the future of each would deliver some pretty inspiring soundbites, and we certainly weren’t disappointed. We grabbed a few of our favorite quotes from each legendary panelist in case you missed out!

“Back in the day, you could never be a graphic designer AND a fine artist. There was a huge divide. Now, they support each other, and that cohesiveness has resulted in some really impactful art. Commercially and privately.” - Victor Bokas

“Don’t go into graphic design aiming to always be happy. Go into it aiming to be challenged and aiming to grow. What you believe and what you think helps shape what you create. Believe in something, and you will create.” - Mick Haupt

“When computers first debuted, I thought the chemical toxicity of the job would lessen. But now, we are dealing with a whole new world of toxicity. Emotional toxins, mental toxins, social toxins. We have to learn how to navigate that.” - Hudson Hill

“The industry is very cyclical. It was fine art, then graphic design, then Photoshop changed the world. Now, it’s really coming back around to where everything is very crafted, personal and incredibly artistically advanced again.” - Martha Lent

“In any kind of art, success can also be seen in knowing when to move on from a concept that just isn’t working. I apply the three-strike-rule to every piece I create, for a client or for myself. If it’s just not working by the third attempt, then it’s time to reevaluate what you are trying to accomplish and come up with a different way to achieve that. Don’t waste time on a concept that’s dead.” – Julio Lima

“Good work always involves a risk, but risk always makes a client nervous. So, the only way to get them to take the risk is to explain how it truly fits their strategy, even if it’s not in the way they originally assumed it would.” - Jeff Matz

“When a client disagrees with you, or rejects your first, or even second, draft, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s an opportunity to dig deeper into their minds and find out where they are coming from. Why is it you want it to look this way? What is the real goal you are trying to achieve that goes beyond how you think the finished product should look?” - Matt Merkel

“The client and the designer aren’t on separate teams. One might be creating for the other, but in the end, you are on the same team. The client has a problem to solve, and the designer aims to solve that problem. You work together, as one team, to achieve one collaboratively creative goal.” - Suzanne Oberholtze

“You have to deconstruct what your message is going to be. You have to have a purpose. Whether you do that with or without structure, you have to have purpose in order to be able to express yourself.” - Jorge Suria

“Don’t separate commercial art and fine art. It’s all beautiful, unique and inspirational in its own right. It’s all art.” - Mark Terry


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