With the holiday season in full gear, the work flow in the office gets noticeably sluggish. Who am I to complain though? I started working at Key Web Concepts around the second week of November and since then, I hit the ground running and am just now finding myself slowing down to a stroll. Good problems. That said, I’d like to take advantage of this time to share some interesting facts about myself, not only to the world wide web, but especially to my new KWC family. I’m not much of an open book during work hours so there’s still so much for the KWC crew to find out about me. Let’s try and change that:

Black & White vs. ColorLiving Contradiction

I guess some people call it an eclectic taste but my interests always seem to be polar opposites of each other when juxtaposed side-by-side. “I get my rock, I get my roll, I get my hip-hop on.” I am logically creative and creatively logical. I am a guy’s girl but I come with some of the functions of one of the stereotypical girliest of girls (I’m admittedly materialistic & I know I am on a road going down to domestic goddess status — thanks mom!).  Open-mindedness as well as balancing/combining different approaches to life is what I live by.

New York GraffitiGraffiti Influences

It may have to do with the fact that I spent a majority of my early childhood in the Bronx, the birthplace of all things hip-hop, but I have major influences from the graffiti world. I was exposed to what little was left of subway graffiti, pre-Anti-Graffiti iniative by then Mayor Giuliani. Granted it was nothing compared to what it was in its prime (NYC circa late 70s/early 80s), but I’m lucky to be able to say such a thing. I didn’t realize how much I admired it until I was taken out of the Bronx and into the epitome of suburban life that is Charlottesville, VA. I spent my middle school years obsessively crafting my own graffiti style and art and it continued on into high school. Little did I realize that the marriage of bold blocks of colors and grungy textures of graffiti would translate itself naturally into my own design aesthetic. My heavy interest in typography and  hand lettering definitely comes from  my love of graffiti as well. If anyone is curious about the graffiti/street art culture, I would be glad to pass on my knowledge to you! 🙂

Next Day Better organization New YorkNextDayBetter & RVA Card

Aside from my day job at KWC, I continue my design endeavors with two start-ups. In early 2013, I became the Creative Director for social-do-good, NYC-based start-up, NextDayBetter. We act as a platform to spotlight individuals doing big things in industries ranging from design, innovation, entrepreneurship, technology, etc. We curate events for these individuals to speak to the community. We also offer outlets for this like-minded community to act on these shared  ideals and their own skill sets and turn them into solutions to current problems affecting the community locally, nationally and/or globally. Our latest event was a Hackathon hosted in NYC and Toronto that addressed the design challenges of Typhoon Relief in the Philippines and Education in the Philippines. RVA Card Richmond VirginiaOn the local side of things, I’ve been lead designer for RVA Card, a community-based discount card for the Richmond, VA area, for about two years. Teaming up with an old Da Vinci Center teammate and some of the most hardworking, dedicated business folks I’ve ever met, we provide a free marketing tool for Richmond businesses while giving back to local charities. Purchase an RVA Card for $10 and two of those dollars goes to a local charity. On the business side, think of us as a Living Social or Groupon without the business having to pay us part of their profits for making sales through RVA Card.

 Bonus facts

  • The first half of my first name comes from my Dad, [Ces]ar and the second half from my Mom, Shir[ley].
  • I graduated from VCUarts’ Graphic Design department, 2012.
  • I’ve been doing art since I was a wee kid but Neopets is what initally got me into Web Design/Graphic Design. (Not even lying…)
  • I almost didn’t go to art school. I was an academic in MS/HS and lived a double-life; Nerd by day, artist by night.
  • I am a foodie. I am especially obsessed with sushi and would consider myself a sushi purist.
  • Photography is one of my hobbies but in the past few years I’ve been really into shooting bboys/bboy events.

To learn more about me or see some of my design work outside of KWC, check out my website at cesleymusngi.com.