We had the good fortune of connecting with Roderick Stillwell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Roderick, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I found myself to be good at something that every business needs, with that said there was no way I was going to not capitalize. So I took the leap to create a brand so that I could make money doing what I love.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think I have a natural style that sets me apart from others, mainly because my design process is very unorthodox compared to others. I am very proud of all of my high-end work on brands, to have your work on billboards or packaging that will be seen by massive amounts of people is insane to me so that has to be the most exciting part of my job. The path taken to get where I am today has been done by simply doing great work. When doing good work and business it does the marketing for you. When I say that I mean that through building a network of clients that value your work they become your marketing department. If you get a good service you are willing to refer a few friends and that’s all it takes. Yes, it is pretty easy to get that network but the job itself is not easy. I don’t want to make it seem like this has been a cakewalk for me because it has not been at all. Art is subjective, and not every client is not going to love your work nor be easy to work with. There have been droughts and hard times but the best thing to do is to endure and push through it. I’ve learned a lot of things along the way but the number one lesson is that all money is not good money. The customer is not always right, that to me is a myth. The truth about the world is that there are good and bad people no matter your definition of what those are. You will encounter people who are cynical and just do the most, you have to learn to work with them and give refunds when your sanity takes priority over the money. I want people to know that I take a realistic look at the things that I do, but most of all I want people to respect creatives more. The people who don’t understand the processes and the skills that are taken to do the things we do don’t always respect us or think that what we do is easy. Just because a person sits behind a computer does not mean what they do should be valued less because trust me those people that dont understand would never be able to do what we do.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am very new to Houston so I don’t think I would be the best to give a full itinerary but I will say my favorite place to eat and get drinks has to be Lost n Found.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My student organization in undergrad deserves so much recognition, If I never joined MAG (Media Arts Geniuses) I would have never become a graphic designer and my business would not exist. They can be found on social media outlets by the handle @MAGVSU they have produced some of the best and brightest minds that I know today including myself.
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