Today we’d like to introduce you to Geoffrey Evans.
Hi Geoffrey, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
My journey as a digital artist started in Middle School, where I gained popularity for creating a series of comic books that impressed the students and teachers. At the time, I was very at arms with what career I wanted to pursue. I had an imagination. I had ideas. I liked to draw. But I wasn’t sure if there was a job that encompassed all of those things. For the next couple of years, I danced around the idea of becoming a film director or a game designer after college. After discovering photoshop in a printing class during High School, I was finally set on becoming a graphic designer.
I started out creating movie posters and title cards for my TV Production classes. Then, I was tasked with designing the souvenir booklets for a gospel show that my family collaborates with every year in Augusta, GA. My journey continued into my college years, where I became the graphic designer for the Student Government Association of Florida A&M University. It was around this time that I ventured out into different forms of multimedia, like time-based design, websites, video production, photography, and animation. Now that I had so many different skills under my belt, I decided to take on entrepreneurship and found Ivory Coast Designs, LLC. Being a business owner gave me complete control over how much I charged for services, and the types of clients I worked with. It also gave me some extra money to spend, so I wasn’t relying on ramen noodles and a meal plan while living off campus. I eventually went on to work with 150 clients from all over the world, including law firms, celebrity promoters, religious groups, influencers, and countless small businesses.
My stellar portfolio attracted the attention of music festival retailers, government agencies, and military-owned IT firms, all of which I had the honors of working with over the past decade.
Currently, I am still offering freelance services as we speak. I have developed a strategy for balancing traditional work with an employer and doing all of the fun independent stuff as a freelancer on the side. All in all, I am proud of how far my talents got me and I am thankful for the friends, mentors, teachers, and family that helped me get to where I am today.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Of course. There were quite a few “speed bumps” I had to encounter along my path.
One of my main challenges was that I am a first-generation college graduate. So, I wasn’t able to turn to my parents for advice and suggestions about college life. I was also the first in my family to go into a career field that wasn’t medical or education-related. Since I didn’t have a college fund like some families, I chose to complete my first two years at a community college, then transfer to a 4-year university with a scholarship.
Being neurodivergent was also an obstacle that I came across recently. Around 2017, I noticed my sense of “structure” falling apart. I wasn’t able to focus as much as I used to, and getting through complex designs became more challenging. I was recently diagnosed with ADHD-Inattentive, which gave me access to resources to tackle something I didn’t know I was going through for years. Still, it can be a challenge in corporate environments where management refuses to provide accommodations for such conditions. But now that I know what I’m facing, it’s been easier for me to create my own solutions that work best for me.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I specialize mostly in digital design, web design, and brand identity. I created plenty of flyers, logos, brochures, programs, invitations, websites, and training programs. I also created e-commerce sites for small businesses and a digital marketplace for black-owned businesses, content creators, and non-profits. I worked with over 150 clients across the world, and I am known for my conceptual approach to design.
I loved to toy around with concepts, especially if the client wants me to capture a specific theme for their event. For example, I created a medieval look and feel with knights and swords for a flyer I did for a church event.
One project that I am most proud of is a brand development project I completed for the Zeke Upshaw Foundation. The Zeke Upshaw Foundation advocates for heart health awareness and improved health screenings for young professional athletes. I created a website that allowed users to pay tributes, views educational material, make donations, and purchase apparel with the #LIVE4ZEKE hashtag and branding. I also designed the logo, which depicts Zeke Upshaw during a performance of the national anthem, with a heart behind him to indicate the foundation’s purpose. This project meant a lot to me because the foundation also worked in conjunction with the NBA, and it was a great cause! I love designs that will make a positive impact on the community.
There are a few things that set me apart from other designers. The main thing is my eye for variety. As I mentioned before, I am a man of many styles and disciplines. I noticed that most designers stick to one main style, and I was always able to tell who was behind a design just by picking up on re-used fonts, visual cues, etc. So, I decided to be different. I made sure there are no two designs that are alike. I also prefer not to use templates unless under I’m special time constraints and something needs to go out.
Because of my quick turnaround, prompt communication, and eye for diverse art styles, I was called the “Pharrell Williams” of graphic design.
We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
Simply believing you can do something, especially when you were told you couldn’t do it, is a definition of success for me.
There were plenty of times when I was told I would be fixing computers for $20 when I got older and that there was no way I can make living “creating fancy pictures”. I was also told that going to college for design was pointless because you can learn everything at home. Look at where I am now.
External doubt can and sometimes will slow you down. But the simple fact that you marched forward despite the nay-sayers is what I consider a symbol of success.
- Custom Website Design Package – $1,200
- Social Media Flyer Design – $55 (Mention Voyage Orlando)
- Full-Color Business Card Design + 500 Printed Copies – $120.00
- Branding Logo Design – $200.00
- Website: https://www.ivorycoastdesign.com/
- Instagram: Instagram.com/CreativeGeoff
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CreativeGeoff