Having a father who was a graphic designer/art director/senior art director, I grew up in the '90s around mid-to-large size agencies in St Louis. At a much younger age than most, I learned about project briefs, photo shoots, concept sketches, brainstorm sessions, tight deadlines, client presentations, account execs, interviews, and colleague relationships and morale. By the time I went to college I had long before decided I was going to be a designer. As a freshman I became president of the university freelance club; leading client meetings and directing fellow classmates on projects. My passion and desire for all things design was fueled by design annuals, magazines, books, How Design Conference seminars and presentations, my peers, the Bauhaus, propaganda posters, Paul Rand, Paula Scher, Art Chantry, and early Shepard Fairey.
After college I headed out to Los Angeles and started freelancing for agencies doing print, sales promotion, digital, and experiential marketing work. My path eventually led me to becoming partner of a startup retail brand with two boutiques, a few employees, ecommerce, a line of treats, event hosting, adoptions, a MySpace page, a minimal advertising budget, and a passionate dedication for animal rights. After the retail business and LA, my girlfriend and our 5 dogs moved to San Diego and I became the Art Director, and eventual Marketing Director, for a financial startup targeting financially underserved and Hispanic markets. My responsibilities involved collaborating with sales and operations on brand messaging and B2B and B2C marketing strategies and executing those strategies through the design of collateral, private label product presentations, POS/POP, packaging, customer retention programs, the website, and digital ads.
Back to the middle
Eventually being away from family, old friends, and four seasons proved too much and back to the Midwest we came - to Wisconsin to be more specific. While there, my working days were split; with the first half of the day acting as a part-time interactive freelancer for a Milwaukee agency, handling all things digital: eblast programming, video production, SEO, web design, landing pages, and flash banner ads; and the final half of the day producing work for my own clients – involving branding, print design, websites, and marketing work for clients primarily on the West Coast or in the Midwest. After about a year in Wisconsin I was getting the itch to go full-time on my own. Around that same time we went to Kansas City for a wedding, had some business conversations with friends, and made the decision to move to the city of fountains (KC) – which is where I would finally scratch that itch and start Ziles Creative.
In the years that followed, from '11 to today, I've worked with companies – individually, with my own team, or with other agencies – on an array of branding, design, website, and web application projects of all different sizes, shapes, budgets, and timeframes. Depending on the day, I may be wearing any number of hats that include: business development and sales, marketer, consultant, accounting, account manager, project manager, designer, or developer. The number of clients and organizations I've worked with since '05 is now at 75+ in a variety of industries, from conservative to progressive. My involvement with the local startup and design community varies depending on my available time, but I continually try and keep tabs on what's going on and how I can be involved.
Having ran my own business for a while now, I'm ready for a new environment and am searching for an agency with a great creative team that does award winning work for exciting clients. And I'm looking to contribute my skills, experience, and knowledge to help develop new ideas, inspire my peers, produce eye-catching work, and grow the agency.