Introducing Antonio García
We’re excited to announce a new team member to colored, Antonio García. Antonio joins us as a Partner and contributor. Get to know him more below
Who are You?
My name is Antonio García. I’m a boricua living in Chicago. I’ve spent half my life in the design world—building brands, teams, studios, practices, and products. I’m husband to an amazing design researcher and papi to two young sprites, ages 4½ and 1.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Arlington Heights, a northwest suburb of Chicago, but spent 9 years in Atlanta (1997–2006) before ultimately moving back to the city proper.
What do you do?
Professionally: I’m a design leader, educator, podcaster, public speaker, mentor, and board member. Passionately: I’m an illustrator, DJ, marathoner, and storyteller.
Gif or Jif?
I converted to Jif about 5 years ago.
On a scale of 1-10 how excited are you about life right now?
These days, I’m pushing 11.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
“Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” —George Addair
Best piece of advice you ever gave?
Yikes! You’d have to ask my students, mentees or direct reports. That’s a tough one!
Biggest professional flop?
Anytime I’ve shown up unprepared I’ve (rightfully) had my ass handed to me by clients and/or colleagues. Thankfully, that’s only happened twice in 20 years.
Greatest professional achievement?
Taking a year-long creative break after 20 years in the industry.
What do you say to yourself in the mirror?
“Damn, you got a lot of grey in your beard.”
“Ante Up” by M.O.P.
Favorite self care practice?
90 minutes of qigong tui-na deep tissue massage
What’s your why?
Through hustle, focus, discipline, the guidance of others, and a great deal of privilege, I’ve been provided incredible access, perspective and exposure—I want to make the same experiences and opportunities available to other people. Essentially giving back, creating space, and equipping others to achieve great things.
Where do you find inspiration?
Visually: 8-bit video games, graffiti, kawaii character design, 80s sci-fi, 90s skateboard culture. Personally: my kids, my students, documentary film, all the talented folks I know.
Who should everyone be following right now?
The beat of their own drums
Who do you wish you could meet?
What’s your dream title?
Chief Creative Officer or to borrow from Maria Guidice, Design Executive Officer
What’s the hardest part about being a designer?
It really depends on the season of your career. In the early days, the hardest part was being relegated to production roles and not taken seriously. Later, it was learning how to confidently lead projects, team and clients. After that, it was transitioning into leadership roles and leaving behind day-to-day design work. But these are all expected, cyclical “hardships”. In general, design is not a hard job compared to most.
What’s the most rewarding part about being a designer?
Building conviction within others to take action. Communicating complexity clearly. Changing hearts and minds. Making other people care.
What do you bring to the industry no one else does?
I bring my personal worldview, a life of experiences, culture and traditions, imagery from unexpected mediums, and ideas crazy enough they just might work.
What is your advice for the next generation of designers?
Be patient. Stop comparing yourself to others. Seek mentorship. Get outside. Take notes. Invest in experiences and travel not stuff. Make personal work. Breathe.