1- Hello Chris, can you please tell us a bit about you?
Hello there. Can we agree on the fact that it is never an easy task talking about yourself, agree?
Let me just start by saying I am an artist and entrepreneur. My journey into the creative world began at a young age. I was a doodler, in school all of my notebooks were covered in cartoon characters and abstract shapes. Eventually, that started turning into larger scale drawings and paintings.
I am a self-taught web/graphic designer and have been designing for roughly 5 years now. This year though, I have decided to take my hobby as a designer and turn my passion into a career.
I also and the creator and owner of an outdoor hiking brand called Venture Off. I create all of the designs and screen print all of my shirts myself.
2- What influences your work? What makes you want to wake up every morning?
Oh man. Everyday life is a major influence. As an artist, anything you look at can turn into inspiration. Billboards, signs in store windows, flyers that are you are handed while walking down the street, and all of these are major influences. Someone with the same passion as me created them, their work is being seen, that’s the best feeling in the world.
3- What are your focus areas and why?
As a Web/Graphic Designer, I focus on the graphics side of everything. From logos, website templates to magazine covers I do it all. When I first dabbled into the design world was to explore the world of web design which I later realized I need to learn to make logos as well. So here we are, five years later and still love it.
4- Can you tell us more about “Chris Chaffin Designs”?
Chris Chaffin Designs was created earlier this year as an idea I had thought of from an outdoor hiking brand that I currently run called Venture Off. I began getting messages from people asking if I can make them t-shirt designs or marketing ads that can post on their social media accounts. This got me to start asking myself if I was ready to take my passion to another level.
I like to say that Chris Chaffin Designs is a reflection of me. You can see my appreciation for art in my work.
5- Where do you think you are making an impact?
This used to be a hard question for me to answer. After thinking hard about this exact question for some time now I have come to the conclusion that my impact isn’t being made in just the design world. Making the impacts starts with me. It is my job to take jobs I am interested in I have to give my client full attention and respect. You have to befriend you clients in my opinion that’s what makes the job so fun.
Then there are the reactions. When my clients are excited and happy to receive MY work there is no better feeling in the world. My most recent client is my longest client is a local music brand. I designed their website and a few of their album covers. Once the final design is finished I ALWAYS hand deliver it.
There is nothing that makes me happier than sitting down with them, going through the designs and seeing the reactions in person is when you realized your impact has been made.
6- What were some of the biggest challenges you encountered while working on your last projects?
Challenges will always be there. ALWAYS. No matter what you do in life. For me, my most recent challenges I have faced with my latest project was a new style website design. I have never made a music style website before. Even though I knew from the start I was going to have to my research and it was going to take some time to get my feel for the layout. Even though it was a new experience and I was nervous to show, the client was extremely pleased to receive the final product.
7- Where do see yourself in the next 5 years?
I have a couple of dreams and goals for different areas of life that all mesh together. Let’s see, five years from now I would like to be a well traveled on the go freelancer. Hiking is a much of a passion to me as a design is. Life is about adventure and exploration. VENTURE OFF. Combining both my freelance business and my hiking brand, my main goal is to be an established brand/travel blogger, with my full-time job as a Web/Graphic Designer living in Thailand or somewhere exotic.
8- What can you tell young entrepreneurs who are pursuing their dreams?
This is a topic that I can go on about forever. As a new entrepreneur myself, the advice I would give is to new stop trying to perfect your craft. Especially as a designer, you never know everything, there is always something to learn. Don’t get discouraged. There are people out there who strive off of putting other people. Ignore it. Take in the constructive criticism, and research everything you can find anything you want on the Internet. The last piece of advice I can give is to just never give up on a passion or any dreams because someone tells you, you can’t do it.
9- What are you most excited about at the moment?
At this very moment, I am most excited to see the progress I have made this year alone. Getting real clients instead of just helping a friend out, I am able to see my work getting better. It definitely pushed me more.
You have to make every day exciting. You have to put yourself in situations that better you. Sitting here right now writing my answers down is an exciting process, this is my first ever interview for either of my businesses, so to me I take this as a huge stepping stone for myself.
Following your dreams is priceless.
10- The last word or final thoughts?
Do what you love, follow your dreams and enjoy every minute of it. Actually look at your surroundings because everything can be used as inspiration.
You can check out my work via social media links posted. I would be glad to help anyone bring their ideas to life.
Also, if you would like to check out my Outdoor Hiking Brand, you can see more on Instagram (@ventureoffco).
Thank you for this opportunity.