Motion graphics and user experience designer
Seated next to me at the table was my fellow designer friend from class, Jose Camacho. My first impression of Jose was that he was one of the few strong designers in my class. I knew this because within the admitted cohort of 25 creative students in the multimedia track, Jose would actively participate in giving design suggestions on how to use the Adobe programs. After Jose spoke up several times in class about shortcuts in Adobe and enlightened the class on some key command shortcuts, I knew he was someone I needed to get to know and learn from. One day, on a day I was feeling slightly more courageous, rolled my chair over to Jose and tapped him on the shoulder–”Hi, can we talk about design?”
Jose Camacho, a fourth year Communication major and multimedia writing minor, will be entering the biotech industry as an associate designer at Apeel sciences where he will be in charge of motion graphics and UX design. He began his design journey when he was tasked to design a brand identity for the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, and received positive feedback from the community. Since then, he has focused on learning the basics of graphic design and eventually developed a skill set to pursue it professionally. Within one year of beginning graphic design, he was able to develop motion graphics and illustrations as a hired professional designer for Apeel Sciences.
His professional design journey began when he was hired as a graphic designer for UCSB sustainability and eventually ended up at Apeel sciences new design team. Jose mentioned in the conversation that he has a “stop at nothing mentality”. In other words, there should be no reason to stop if you have already gained momentum. “If you’re having fun and you’re good at it, then why stop?”, said Jose.
However, his self-taught design was rough like many of our learning experiences. At the beginning of his internship, he was working in a scrappy environment and newly developed design team. This meant that he had to wear many hats and take on various tasks. As he recalled his first assignment at Apeel, he said he was essentially “thrown into the water” and had to learn motion graphics on the spot. During his time there as an intern, he has led large projects like designing the company’s website, illustrations and interactive content. With such influential projects, there was no surprise that he was hired as a full-time designer upon graduating college.
Multi-disciplinary designers who can work in cross-functional teams are slowly growing in demand, and Jose is a great example of that. My favorite quote in our discussion was said by Jose, when he addressed his outlook on his responsibilities at Apeel: “‘I’m wearing too many hats right now and I’m not sure which one is my favorite.”
I was humored by the statement because I found it to be so fitting for Jose, especially for someone who eventually wants to integrate his UX design experience with his interest in the fashion industry. It is a great figurative but also literal reference to fashion that encompasses his character very well. As a user experience designer, Jose hopes to enter the fashion industry through a very niche portion of the online fashion industry.
I also wanted to note that, of the three candidates, Jose’s optimistic attitude towards design and business was the most contagious. Jose’s excitement for design can be described as an attitude brimming with positivity and passion, which makes it such a pleasure to talk to him. Throughout the conversation, he constantly referenced great design resources ranging from podcasts to books to blogs. After every recommendation, he would apologize for “nerding” out, but he was simply hyping up all the designers at the table so we could not thank him enough.
Towards the end of the conversation, he defined his interpretation of design as a way to “engender feelings of design and aesthetic” into a symbol, whether it be through technology, print or merchandise design. Ultimately, our jobs as designers is to help people understand the world visually as technology becomes a dominant platform for all lifestyle activities.
And I couldn’t have said it better myself.