Amongst the music industry community of students at SC, we often talk about the importance of good visuals. In fact, many believe that the most undervalued element to an amazing musical performance are creative graphics. Graphics have the power to convey an immersive experience, incomparable to any other form of media.
So when an older fraternity brother of mine was showing me the digital resume (personal website) he’d designed for himself, I couldn’t help but let my mind drift off to what I had long envisioned for myself. I’ve know for some time that I’ve wanted to have my own online presence in order to present and express myself, but it took my friend’s stimulus to move me to action.
When I started the process of developing what has now become my website, my goal was threefold: to create an online platform through which I could write about my music-focused involvement on campus; share my related experiences in the cities I spend most of my time– LA, Montreal, and NYC; and to use the site as a means of logging my most meaningful activities, sharing stories and personal insights, while also facilitating connections with others within the field of music.
My first crack at building my site came in July of 2016, immediately after finishing up some extra summer session classes at USC. I found a freelance web developer with WordPress experience who I worked closely with to start implementing my vision. I wanted my site to be built in WordPress so I could take over the personal content management once the foundation had been built.
Unfortunately, with no experience at all in WordPress, I found myself struggling to effectively communicate with my developer. Because I wanted to be more in-control of the process, I took the initiative and signed up for a WordPress weekend Boot-Camp at General Assembly in NYC— see below.
Although I was disappointed that the summer had blown by and my first crack at building my website was a clear misfire, I learned a ton through my experiences and knew I was returning to LA with a stronger sense for what was needed to get my site “live”. After moving into my new room, I shifted my thinking and abandoned the idea of working with a WordPress web developer. Instead, I decided to try and team up with a freelance “Creative Director” who could help bring my vision to fruition.
I spent the greater half of the Fall semester searching for talent on campus and/or in downtown LA. After two months of searching, I finally came up with an idea. Several years ago, my family had discovered in NYC, and over time become personal friends with, an amazing artist named Borbay— birth name, Jason Borbet.
In short, Borbay is an American painter, entrepreneur and creative wiz. Borbay recently left NYC with his family to settle in Victor, Idaho– a quick drive over the pass from Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
When I reached out to Borbay to see if he would mentor me, he said he’d be happy to help, but only if 1) I would give deep thought and provide concrete answers to a series of questions he had developed for use with his clients back in his days as a Creative Director at a NYC ad agency and, 2) I would fly out to meet him in-person in Victor.
My personal project was turning into a creative journey and my interest was piqued.
I arrived at the Jackson Hole airport a week before Thanksgiving break where Borbay met me at the airport. Together, we worked on developing the strategy for my new site.
We started by talking about our goals as well as a personal branding initiative. Saving my notes for posterity!
Although driving traffic to my site isn’t a goal at this time, we came up with an effective distribution plan that could help with traffic when the time is appropriate. He even taught me a bit about SEO.
But the highlight of the trip came on our work breaks, when I got to shoot some pool Borbay and hang with his fam.
All in all, the trip was an amazing opportunity to learn about the creative process. I left Victor with the “solid bones” of the site in place, excited to continue building, and feeling like Drama.