When/how did you start DJing- same with the design.
I started messing around with keyboards and guitar pedals and looping devices when I was in high school. I didn’t really want to DJ, so I sat around in my bedroom and made noises. I have hours of cassette tapes of my experiments.
I have always drawn things, so the design and illustration part of my life and business I mainly fostered in college. I was hired by the Physics department to create 3D models of their laboratory experiments. All I had as a portfolio were some Photoshop images I created in my spare time. But, they hired me.
Did you always want to do these things or did it evolve out of something else?
I was always told that I would most likely end up doing something creative. So, it may be one of those “self-fulfilling prophecy” type things. But I always studied art and design and took advanced and summer courses in art throughout my schooling. Then, I realized I could actually pay bills through freelance website design I had learned in my Professional Writing class. So, yeah, I guess I was studying to be a writer or a rhetoritician and found that design took the higher suit and trumped my best laid plans.
How do they intermix?
I design states of mind. Whether that is on paper through colors and balance or the right font or some interesting photograph or on an audio track where I pick the instruments and mix them together with the right lyricist and the mastering levels at the finishing stage. Kind of an interesting way of looking at things, but I pride myself on being an artist as well as an entrepreneur. Balance to everything.
Do you have a hard time balancing the two?
Not usually. Occasionally, I will come to a block and have to really push myself into a project. But, typically, once I start things just work out. You can’t rush creativity. That is what I tell many of my clients, and they get it…but that doesn’t change the deadline. I stay up pretty late some nights trying to get everything just right.
What do you enjoy most about both things? Plans for the future…
I enjoy the process of creating. I enjoy the people I get to work with and be around on a regular basis. I also think my creativity develops the more I use it and push it to the max. I also like to do my own thing. For a large awards ceremony, I was sweating what I ought to wear. When I asked my girlfriend, she just said “wear what you always wear.” It was exactly what I needed to hear. Sure, it might be unprofessional to some, but I prefer to think that everyone likes to see people who have flavor, who can really express who they are and what they do no matter what the current trend or mode.
Tell me a little about how growing up with a family run business may have inspired you to be a young entrepenuer.
I watched my parents and decided that I could do it. We worked hard in all sorts of weather, so I guess I learned that I didn’t want to work that hard and found out through my trials that I could make it. I just had to keep my nose to the grind and adapt to things.
What jobs if any did you have with your family business…
I grew up the way any forester grows up, with trees. I dug them, cut them, pruned them, chopped them, studied them and burnt them growing up. I guess if anything, it gave me time to think and develop my imagination. Someone said the best philosophers are born with a shovel in their hand. Maybe the best artists are born with a tree spade in theirs.
There is something that makes someone drive themselves to be self-employed, it is never the easiest route, what made you choose this instead of furthering someone elses goals…
It’s like buying a house. Why not pay for your own home than rent from someone and pay their mortgage. So, I bought the house in 08 and have been working out of it for as long.
J. Noah Mattern
President | Art & Brand Director | Maximumedia
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