Q: What did you do after graduation and what are you doing now?
A: After graduation, I read a book a week for a year on business administration, people management, marketing, sales, finance, investing, real estate, advertising, business structures, law, budgeting, – you name it, if it had to do with building a company, or making money – I tried to read it. After filling my shelves for a year with my own personal MBA, I went for the big time, trying to sell to larger corporations rather than the smaller mom and pop places my company had been doing projects for since graduation. Royall Advertising was started in the evening hours, while for the first 6 months out of school I also edited video for a local production company to help make ends meet while the company got off the ground. Now I consider myself a “serial entrepreneur.” I’ve started 5 companies, sold one, shut one down, and now run 3 currently to date!
Q: Did you ever see yourself doing what you are doing now when you took DIGA 101?
A: I saw myself doing something similar to this, but not so diverse. I was focused in school at an early age – since middle school I wanted to own a “video production company” and although that’s a big piece of what my advertising agency does, it’s no where near all of what I personally do today. From middle school, to high school, through DIGA 101 and graduation, it’s always been a goal of mine to play all day with video equipment, I just surpassed it rather quickly out of school and moved on to a lot of other things as well rather than just sticking with video. I love to continuously learn new things.
Q: What’s the best thing you learned studying Digital Arts @ Stetson?
A: Best thing I learned was the audio aspect of the program. I knew a lot coming from my middle and highschool about video, web, and design. I didn’t know much about audio! I got into DJing right around freshmen year, spinning every Thursday – Saturday at what was Euro 2000, Central Park, and now I think is called the “P Lounge.” I’ve heard it’s not such a happening place for Stetson any more, although it was. Naturally as a DJ, I wanted to learn about synths, and in the DA program, I learned how to actually produce music and created my first vinyl record which I sold throughout stores in Florida while in school. (Another business venture!) :-)
Q: What advice do you have for someone thinking about a Digital Arts major?
A: If I had some advice for students at Stetson, it would be to try and learn the business side of things – and go intern at a creative place like a production company, advertising agency, or some other functional business out there. A lot of attention in school is placed on the arts side, and while you could most likely get an internship in a museum, it may not be the best long term choice for your financial situation. The one thing I didn’t learn in DA was how to take my artistic skills and make money with them. I did that on my own, and you may have to as well. If you don’t want to be just another “starving artist” turned “digital starving artist” you may want to start thinking – how can I apply this in the business world and make a living out of it? My other advice, study abroad. I lived in Spain for a while and made some amazing friends. I go back every other year, and they come visit me at times. In fact, one of my friends is coming next week as of the writing of this to stay with me for a month! What a great cultural experience living in another country is.