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05 Nov 2020

Humans of Kent: Joey Baldoza, Senior Creative Designer, Dubai

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My life design

I am known to be a creative person. It’s not only part of my job as a Senior Creative Designer, it’s also a core of my personality. Outside of work most of my time is spent with my beautiful wife, on creative design projects or on my biggest passion – gaming. But when I was younger, I could not articulate what creativity or design was. All I knew was that I loved to fix things, especially technology, and now I understand that that is where my passion for creative design really began.

As a child in the Philippines, I was always trying to fix things around the home. I would spend hours playing with and trying to fix the TV or my mum’s radio. In my teenage years, my mom retired from her military career and invested in a family computer. That’s when my interest in technology really started. I was often the first one in front of that computer and spent all my time learning how to use it and trying to fix it when it failed.

At the time of completing high school, I was giving thought to what my future career path would be. I knew my love for fixing, improving, and making things better was a part of who I was but also knew I needed to have secure employment. So, I considered what career paths had a high demand for recruitment. Eventually, I arrived at the decision of Nursing.

In the Philippines at that time, Nursing was a highly sought-after skillset. I balanced this up with my logic that people often say I have a big heart for helping others, I know I’m a dedicated learner and I love to fix things. So why not people? This made a lot of sense to me at the time and off to Nursing college I went.

After one year into my Nursing studies, I knew it really was not the life for me and that something else was my calling. It was at college that I met friends who were studying in different fields of technology. So I switched over to Computer Engineering. What I didn’t factor into that decision was just how much mathematics and physics would be involved. I applied myself as much as I could, but that didn’t excite me at all, so I didn’t excel in some areas.

Around that time, I started full-time employment in a call centre. I was financing my way through college and working hard but I knew there was something missing and continued my mission to find something that I could learn but I was also passionate about.

For anyone who finds themselves at a similar crossroads in their career, I think working part-time or full time is a great idea. All the time you are learning, developing new skills, getting exposure to working life and building relationships with people along the way. It’s satisfying to have a focus on life in that way, so you feel less stuck about what career direction you want to take long term.

While working at the call centre, I started a college assignment with some college friends who I am still pleased to say are close friends today. We all came together with different skill sets and worked on developing our first-ever computer game. The game turned out to be quite successful and there was even interest in purchasing the rights to it at one stage. It was during that long assignment that I was introduced to what would be my life-long career – graphic design.

Years have passed. My days are now filled with bringing vision to life in graphic design, video content, and building brands through creative and engaging messaging. In my own way, I still see that my purpose is to fix things. After initial designs are created, it’s then all about tweaking here and there or fixing small items to shape the idea of the people I work with. Nothing brings me more joy than when I share a finished design with someone and see them smile.

My favourite quote is by a master creator, Walt Disney. He once said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” For me, I bring dreams to life through design.

I have to say though, that not everyone loves my creative input and desire to fix things. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been in shops or local businesses and I’ve made suggestions to the owner on how they can improve their artwork or use of font or branding. Sometimes I think they’re saying to themselves “who is this guy?”, but usually it’s met with a smile and a big thanks.

I just consider myself a creative person who loves to fix things and make them better.

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