Do What You Love is a new series that showcases the entrepreneurs behind emerging companies. In this edition, we sat down with Alziro Braga, Art Director and CEO at Inart Design Works. Here’s what he shared:
I’ve always learned as I was going. When I was little, I used to play around with the paint brushes on an online application. My dad thought I was pretty good and put me in classes to learn CorelDRAW and that’s how I got started in graphic design.
I got my foot in the door when I was 14 years old. I worked as a graphic designer for a magazine publication at a nonprofit called Legion of Good Will, and I still do pro bono work on their website to make it more up-to-date and user-friendly.
Sometimes it’s not all about the money. It’s about what’s in store for you in the future. After I married my wife in Brazil, we decided to move to the States. I had $800 in my pockets. I didn’t speak any English. But I came prepared mentally to adventure and try to do thing that I haven’t done before.
It seemed like mission impossible at first. I started slowly, doing design work at a company for free. After a couple of projects, they decided to use me for all of their work. From there, I built my clientele and eventually the $800 grew into a business. Today I have approximately 15 clients that keep me busy. It’s exciting because I can see the results of my hard work.
Today I love my work more than ever. I now do web design at Inart and the web brings many challenges, but it’s always exciting. And working with a startup, you are part of something that can be really big. You’re helping to get the ball rolling, and that’s amazing. It makes you feel accomplished and happy.
As hard as it can be, just focus on the big picture. That’s what I tell people who are starting out. It’s challenging when things are not 100% certain. But if you take one step at a time and take time to think things through, it will all work out.