When starting an agency, the goal is simple: Create a sustainable business model that allows creative work on your own terms. If only it were that simple. Join us for a unique panel discussion as we discuss building--and growing--a successful design firm with local creative professionals with experience doing just that.
Scott Meisse (Ferroconcrete)
Justin Carroll (Hamagami/Carroll Inc.)
Leon Rodriguez (LR-LA)
Moderated by Rob Valerio, President, Central Planning Organiation & AIGA Los Angeles Treasurer
Some of the topics we'll be discussing:
Starting out - freelance
Partners or no partners
The first big client
Handling multiple clients at the same time
Hiring: employees or freelancers
Office and overheads
When partners leave
Losing a big client
How to sustain for the long run
Success and selling the agency
When the agency becomes the client
6:30pm – 7:00pm – Pre-Event Networking
7:00pm – 8:30pm – Panel Discussion
8:30pm – 9:00pm – Q&A
The Hub LA's parking lot is accessible off of Traction Ave., and there's plenty of street parking to boot.
About the Moderator:
Central Planning Organization: President
Rob Valerio of CPO is a business consultant for the creative class, bringing rapid growth through new customer acquisition. He has successfully grown and sold 4 of his own companies, along with consulting experience in over 20 industries. Robert is a senior lecturer in marketing to fashion students at OTIS College of Art and Design.
Ferroconcrete: Brand + Design Director
Throughout his career Scott has been immersed in the operational and creative process as a lead in project and account management, design strategy and brand architecture. He has multi-disciplinary expertise across branding, identity, print, digital programs, packaging and environmental graphics projects. Scott has worked with clients such as Sundance Film Festival, USC, Pinkberry, TBS, and Art.com. Prior to joining Ferroconcrete, Scott was the Project & Operations Manager at AdamsMorioka and served on the AIGA LA board as VP Development from 2006-09.
Hamagami/Carroll Inc.: Chief Creative Officer
Justin Carroll is a partner and co-founder of Hamagami/Carroll, Inc. As Chief Creative Officer, he oversees the vision for all the firm's creative development, and leads its brand strategy initiatives. In a previous life, Justin worked as an Art Director at GSD&M Advertising in Austin, Texas, and as a freelance illustrator/designer in Los Angeles. (He is very old.) Along the way he's been an instructor at Otis Art Institute and Art Center in LA, and served his rookie season as Vice President of AIGA Los Angeles.
Leon Rodriguez is the founder, president and creative director of the exhibition design firm LR/LA. With nearly 15 years of experience working with top-tier museums, Leon’s work has shaped the landscape of contemporary exhibition design. He strives to continue this legacy of trendsetting by approaching each project as an opportunity to build experiences that connect audiences to stories, objects, art and ideas in new ways. Leon designs compelling and enriching visitor experiences to convey a focused message by integrating all possible elements—interpretive graphics, digital media, space planning, furniture and interior design, and promotional campaigns.
Prior to founding LR/LA, Leon was an exhibition designer for nine years at the J. Paul Getty Museum. His work has won awards from AAM, has been featured in Communication Arts, and published in books on exhibition design. Recently, he has volunteered time to educating middle school students on the importance of design thinking. In 2003, he participated in the De Program Graphic Design program through the College for Creative Studies at the Koninklijke Academie van beeldende Kunsten (KABK) in Den Haag, Holland. Leon earned a Bachelor of Science in Advertising in 1998 with a concentration in graphic design from Boston University’s College of Communications.
Leadership Coach and Business Development Consultant
Peleg Top is a leadership coach and a business development consultant to creative agencies worldwide. He helps creative business owners and people in leadership positions learn how to grow their business while living a creative, well-balanced life. He is an author, a speaker, a poet and an an artist. Peleg owned and ran a design agency in LA for 18 years and never had a non-profitable year. He will teach you how to do the same.
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AIGA Los Angeles: Blueprint
Blueprint is an ongoing series of events that focus on the business aspect of design. Aimed at business owners, freelancers, and students, Blueprint features presentations, panel discussions and workshops all designed to decode the mysteries behind cultivating a successful design business.
$15 for "Supporter" Member
$30 for "Contributor" Member
$45 for non members