Hello eyeka creators!

This month we would like to introduce you our creator of October – Juan Sebastián, known as juansebastianecheverri on eyeka. Juan Sebastián is photographer and copywriter from Medellin, Colombia, and he currently lives in New York. Let's read more about his amazing journey!

Tell us a bit more about yourself (what have you done/worked/studied, where do you live, what do you like most about your country/city, what characterizes you the most and anything you feel comfortable sharing) …

Hello everyone, my name is Juan Sebastián Echeverri.

I'm a photographer and copywriter from Medellín, Colombia currently living and working in New York. I studied advertising and had the chance to work part-time for TBWA\COLOMBIA while I was attending school in my hometown, so I got real-world experience since the beginning and found great mentors along the way. At that moment of my life, I knew I wanted to be a copywriter, but I had to be patient because I started my career in the Production department, later on moving to Media. Eventually, I graduated and started a position as a full-time copywriter working for different categories like courier, energy generation, retail, cultural organizations, furniture, among others.

At some point between advertising agencies, I decided to go to photo school to learn more about the visual side of creation, after all, as a copywriter I always felt great admiration and respect for the image creators that I worked with when we commisioned photography for our campaigns. I kept mixing both worlds, writing, and photography until I decided to go all in 2015, I left advertising and the agency world to transition toward a freelance career behind the camera.

How did you find out about eYeka? Why did you decide to join and participate?

I discovered eÿeka by accident in January 2016 maybe browsing or Googling from one website to another because I'm very active online and motivated by curiosity and the need for new things to learn. I love social networks, apps, technology, etc. anything that represents an opportunity to grow. Anyway, I found the Carrefour Shopping Experience contest, looked at eÿeka from A to Z and I thought, this seems like something that I could do. If all of these amazing creators from all over the world have won, I could win too. I submitted my first idea convinced that I was going to win, but I did not win. I guess beginner's luck wasn't waiting for me on my first entry.

Do you have a creative process? If so, can you share a bit of your secret with our community? Where do you look for inspiration?

After this initial "disappointment", I established some goals and started working on my workflow. I moved into my second contest aiming to win 10 eÿekas on my first year (fun anecdote, I call prizes eÿekas as an analogy to Lions from the Cannes Creativity Festival). The secret is that there's no secret, it's just hard work and consistency. You have to find ways to be organized and make repetitive tasks efficient enough to let your brain work on idea generation. The more you participate the better you become. Creativity is a muscle that you have to train. If you only have one idea you're risking too much. You have to create your own opportunities, and in this context, it means participating more to hone your skills and increase your chances.

My workflow went from pencil and paper to Evernote, I created a system where I manage the briefs digitally. I highlight the important parts and write down my ideas on the bottom of the notes. I combine that with color tags on the Mac Finder and that way I can work with priorities and deadlines more efficiently. I also have folders for logos, fonts, templates, strategic tools, etc.

In terms of inspiration, I think that's the easiest part. We live in a world where we have access to almost everything on our screens, we are more connected than ever and there's fertile soil for ideas, it's surprising how easy is to create now, the next big thing can come from anywhere in the world. Take a look at Everything is a Remix from Kirby Ferguson and you'll see that creativity is just playing and mixing elements that you may already know.

(picture with David LaChapelle, one of my heroes)

We know you are a photography lover; can you tell us more about it? What is your favorite type of pictures? Do you have a blog or any link you want to share with the community?

I love the kind of photography that makes me feel something. When it's more than what you see and you have to think about what's behind, what was the photographer thinking about, I like smart photography because it starts from an idea, you can guess some kind of level of premeditation and thought. I love photographic series because they require an extra level of commitment, more than just a simple snapshot of the sunset. I like when I see a picture in a gallery and smile thinking "this photographer is really clever, I'm looking at something I didn't see before".

My favorite genre is Still Live, even overlapping with painting, I would say that I find great inspiration from Dutch Golden Age to more recent photographers like Irvin Penn and Sharon Core.

My Instagram handle is @juansebastianecheverri

When submitting an entry, how do you keep positive if it is rejected or not selected as a winning entry?

I'm positive even with my rejected ideas because they are all part of the process and there's no point on taking things personally. The goal is to create more every time, it's a numbers game. If my ideas are rejected that only means that I'm getting closer to my next win and if I really want to have these amazing brands in my resumé, I have to keep trying while I'm having fun.

What's cool and I really like about eÿeka is the shortlisted area on my profile, It's so exciting to see your ideas on that list, it creates an expectation, it's like knowing the nominee list for the Oscars and you just want to know ASAP. I feel that being shortlisted is like winning in some way too.

What would you like to achieve (or have already achieved) with the prizes you will win/have won?

My life changed in great ways thanks to eÿeka. Long story short: 2016 I was in my hometown, Medellín, 2017 I moved to New York to fulfill my dream of studying a Master of Fine Arts in Photography at New York Film Academy. I had this idea of studying abroad for a while, but I always thought it was kind of impossible, or maybe I was just scared because every major change in your life brings challenges but in the end, you're always prepared even if you don't know it yet.

After all the paperwork, applications, visas, and even a quick civil wedding (I got married to my girlfriend, who’s now my wife and with whom I’m eternally grateful for all the support, patience and love) we moved to the big apple, including an 8-month scale in Los Angeles, and we are living the dream here. I graduated with honors in May and now I'm working at my school, freelancing as a photographer and photo assistant and getting the most out of this life-changing experience in the most inspiring city in the world.

If you had to describe eYeka in 3 words, what would they be?

Vive la créativité!

Finally, is there anything you would like to share with our creators (secret, tip…)?

Go beyond what’s expected, eÿeka gives us the power to create the communication we want to see from the brands we love, that’s a great challenge and also a great responsibility, so, Resist the cliché, fight the cliché!

Thank you very much Juan Sebastián!