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Journeys of Creativity, by Daniel Cardoza
Creativity and self-expression have been things that naturally flow through me since I was young enough to realize what imagination was. In my childhood, this manifested as primitive doodles on spirals and walls, crafting various swords and tools for play, building lego constructs with my own set of directions, singing and acting, writing (very simple) poetry, and so much more. I had many interests, and the energy to explore them all.
As I grew, this subconscious magnetism I felt towards the arts amplified. It was never a question of why I was doing what I was doing, I was just compelled to do things. Even after learning various musical instruments, writing stories and poetry, dabbling in photography, painting/drawing, and exploring other outlets of creativity, I didn’t identify as a “creative” person. It didn’t occur to me that my imagination and creativity could actually be an amazing tool I could use to succeed. I never quite knew what I wanted to do, because I had so many interests.
In my second year of college at the University of Houston, I was studying Anthropology, but quickly realized that was not for me. While looking through a course catalog, I stumbled upon the Graphic Communications (now Graphic Design) program at UH. With a little hesitation, I enrolled, and soon found that design was a kismet outlet for my creativity. Design has the potential to synthesize language, form, photography, sound, thinking processes and problem-solving into this awesome profession that existed as a channel for creativity. I learned much about myself as a creative individual in this program, but the most important thing I learned was the immersion into a creative process, something I had been subconsciously cultivating my whole life. This gave structure and logic to the raw power of creativity, and taught me how to bring an idea into tangible existence.
As any creative does, I have drawn inspiration from many people who have spent their lives cultivating creativity. I truly admire the work of many mid-century modernists such as Lester Beall, Saul Bass, and Alvin Lustig. These people pushed a frontier of form and logic, and created work that transcended two-dimensional planes and communicated ideas to people in such an honest manner. Their work continues to influence many designers today, myself included. Some more contemporary influences of my own aesthetic are Cristiana Couceiro, Mark Weaver, and Mike McQuade. These people have a way of collaging imagery in such a bold and precise manner that communicates ideas in such an inevitably harmonious way. All of these people inspire me greatly, but I attribute so much of who I am to a single person in my life.
I have an older sister, Lindsey, whom I respect with my whole being. She has had such a huge influence on my creativity and self-expression, and I owe so much to her for that. When we were younger, we would craft a universe of play in our heads, we would make art together, we would write poetry and share lines with each other, all the while just doing for the sake of doing. As we grew older, she exposed me to the arts and so much culture related to it. She now lives and works in Portland, OR as a custom ceramic tile production artist, staying strong in the veins of professional creativity. If it weren’t for Lindsey, I might not have been exposed to the arts the way I was, and could be a completely different person with an untapped potential. Thankfully, I have her in my life as we both continue to traverse our individual journeys of life and creativity.
Aside from creative manifestations in the workplace and my freetime, I’ve developed many interests in my life that allow me to explore the meaning of being a polycentric being. I’ve always loved traveling. Having been to a few countries in Europe and various places around the USA, I’ve recently trekked to Japan, Marfa, TX, and Portland, OR, and hope to visit many more places in the future. I still riff away wanderously on my guitar when I get the chance, because music will always be a creative passion of mine. I’ve also recently developed some skills in the kitchen, which is a journey in itself, and find it very satisfying (and reassuring) to eat the food stuff that I cook myself. Regardless of the medium, I feel that I’m never going to stop creating. It has always been such a huge part of me, and is the object of my passion and perseverance. This journey has been a long time coming, and so it goes.