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I am a jack-of-all-trades, with exp as a creative director, designer, illustrator, apparel designer, product designer, a print production retouching and digital-imagery specialist. As part of any team I contribute greatly to the capabilities of visual execution and design as well as bringing a strategic level of thinking to any project.
I truly believe that concept and execution walk hand in hand in terms of importance no matter the project, and have consistently fought to set high standards for both in my work.
Brian Kekoa Yap
Desired position: Creative Director/Senior Designer
-also available in freelance capacity
Education:Virginia Commonwealth University
Department of Communications , Arts and Design
Graduated in 1993 with a B.F.A. with a focus in illustration and design
Creative Director- Boxing Clever
March 2009 to Present
Helping to take a small production company through the transition to full service creative agency, I was part of the team within 4 Alarm Studio that was responsible for branding a creative identity for the new side of the business. This included naming and creating the identity for Boxing Clever, designing the the majority of visuals for as many as 20 pitches in one year leading to winning such clients as Tuaca Liquore, Southern Comfort, Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Chambord Liquore and Chambord Vodka, Finlandia Vodka, Lambert Airport, Doghouse Systems, Furniture Brands (Lane and Broyhill), O'Fallon Brewery, SIUE Athletics, Sain Sound Recordings, Saint Louis Science Center and Tsunela SEO. During the initial pitch process and to completion of work; I designed, concepted, brainstormed and directed production as well as art directed photo shoots and researched print materials and special print processes. For jobs that were more promotional marketing oriented, I created whole campaigns based on element lists and designed/comped everything from advertising to promotional POS to chotsky giveaways to high end premiums and launch kits.
As the agency grew I took on the role of creative director, developing a powerful new type of creative team built on members that have multiple sides to their talent and work at a higher level of output than the average creative. As the role of "designer" has changed so has the need to build for creative teams that can tackle a variety of projects and direct outside resources and still continue to keep a very high level of consistency in the work.
This approach has lead to continued growth within the scope of our original clients, winning more business among companies we already had a relationship with like Brown-Forman, and creating new opportunities with exciting new clients like Adobe systems and the newly created Touch Tooling group.
Senior Designer/Image Specialist- 4 Alarm Studio
March 2007 to March 2009
Joined small group responsible for high-end imagery and comp support for local and national agencies. I have worked as both a digital specialist and senior designer for agency projects as well as direct to client projects. Clients include Bacardi, Tecate, Budweiser, Shell motor oil, Heineken, Anheuser Busch, and Corzo; as well as projects like event posters for local venues, cd and lp packaging, website design, and print materials.
While my role in this agency/studio shifted dramatically as we moved into working directly with clients as a full service creative group, I consider the ability to "do" paramount to our success so far and always look to bring on creatives with similar backgrounds.
Design Director - Elan Polo, Mitre Division
March 2006 to March 2007
Responsible for the design of new a soccer/fashion fusion-style line of apparel to coincide with the launch of casual shoe line. I worked with sourcing agents and apparel developers to create sample line, directed trade show booth design and consulted with retainer agency involved in marketing. This involved learning all I could about garment construction, screen printing processes and sourcing samples and budgeting product lines. I also created all the in-house marketing materials, brand graphics and catalogs for both the shoes and apparel for this brand. This job also entailed frequent travel for reference shopping as well as trade shows and sourcing meetings.
Art Director/Production Specialist - Zipatoni Marketing Agency
January 2003 to March 2006
I worked on the New Business Team at Zipatoni in a hybrid role of art director and production specialist, utilizing all skills to work on all new business pitches and new client projects. This job involved every aspect of the creative visual process from comp to presentation to execution. In this role I had the opportunity to direct photoshoots, design client programs, and create digital comps. In the time I was on this team, we garnered work from Jim Beam, Maytag, White Castle, Winchester, Baci candy (Nestle UK) and several promotions added to the Miller and Energizer brands.
After that I transitioned to working as part of the team responsible for Energizer, White Castle and Viactiv. This move gave me the opportunity to learn more about working with a brand on a daily basis. I was able to lend digital and traditional illustration skills to the team while developing as a brand art director. I was also very involved in new business pitches and working with the visuals in new client assignments.
Digital Artist/ Illustrator - Zipatoni Marketing Agency (fotocelli)
October 2000 to January 2003
Digital comp and assembly work for point of sale materials for Miller Brewing Company, Kinkos, Bacardi brands, and other clients. This involved advanced photoshop and illustrator knowledge as well as using traditional skills to supply comps and high-end print-ready artwork. I executed several illustrations for Bacardi Summer, MGD/DefJam Black History Month, and Miller Mardi Gras, as well as product concepting for our newest client; Hallmark.
Senior Product Designer/Illustrator - Trendmasters, INC., St. Louis, MO
October 95 to March 2000
Concepted, developed and designed toys and products for a variety of licensed product lines including; Powerpuff Girls, Dexters' Laboratory, Osmosis Jones, Cartoon Network, Spy Kids, Godzilla (Movie and Animated series), Halloween, Christmas, Easter, Coca Cola, Tootsie Roll, and M&M. This included everything from original concepts to semi-engineering packets sent overseas. I was senior to 15+ designers and responsible for supervising workflow, communication meetings and brainstorming as well as working with packaging and R&D divisions to help with any support requests.
I also helped push a traditionally classic, art department towards using graphics software in their workflow as well as working as a designer in the marketing department for the last year I was with the company. I was responsible for design of marketing materials for sales personnel, PR promotions and media events. This included designing product feature sheets and whole-line marketing booklets, early conceptual logo design, concept and design of domestic and international sales ads, warranty cards , coupons, event booth displays, in-house presentations and catalog one sheets.
Adjunct Professor for Graphic Design - SIUE
August 2011 - Present
I was asked to teach at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in the Art and Design department and have had a rewarding time working with students to create relevant projects that focus on design, typography and illustration in the upper level of their coursework.
I am also an active painter/artist with several shows in the last few years including the NO. 1 and NO.2 shows at Grand and Arsenal, the Mississippi Mud Gallery, several Famous Fictional shows at the Mad Art Gallery, the Starclipper 20th Anniversary show, Congestive Art Failure and hopefully many more.
References available upon request.
Virginia Commonwealth University