Name: Joseph Diaz
How long have you been in this profession?
More than 10 years professionally, but I grew up working in a family owned sign shop, so I was exposed to it as a child.
Why did you choose this profession?
In high school I thought I wanted to be an architect, but while attending college I worked part-time for a different sign shop located near campus and realized this is what I wanted to do.
How did you get started?
I started by sweeping the shop floors at the family business as a kid, and as I started showing interest in what my parents were doing, they began teaching me how to layout signs. Before long I was creating simple layouts, and by high school I was creating logos.
What are your most important accomplishments?
Winning the grand prize for the International CorelDRAW Design Competition ranks pretty high up there. My family also won the Citizens of the Year Award in Pontiac, Illinois for helping host the 2009 Walldog meet, where hundreds of artists were invited and painted 19 murals in four days. Our family also won the Studs Terkel Humanitarian Service Award in 2010.
Describe a special moment in your career.
Growing up in this industry, I always looked up to the men and woman who lead projects at a Walldog meet. To me, they were the cream of the crop. In 2010 both my brother Ben and I were asked to be project leaders for the first time. It was definitely a high point for both of us. We must have done a good job, because the next year we were asked to be project leaders once again.
How long have you used CorelDRAW?
How did you come across CorelDRAW?
When the family sign shop began using computers to design and produce graphics, CorelDRAW became a part of that system. We've been using it ever since.
Do you have any interesting/funny/noteworthy stories?
Believe it or not I am actually red-green colorblind.
What are your top three favorite CorelDRAW features?
The Freehand Tool, the Shape Tool, and the Powerclip Tool.
What are the CorelDRAW features that allow you to distinguish your designs/art?
I really enjoy making vector illustrations, so for me the freehand tool is fantastic. I switch between that and the shape tool and I feel like I can draw just about anything. It's flexible and intuitive, and for me has become about as natural as drawing something with a pencil or pen.
How do you feel about CorelDRAW?
You often hear people in our industry say that design software is just a tool and that creativity comes from the person behind the mouse, keyboard, or tablet. But in my opinion, it doesn't hurt to have the best tools available. And CorelDRAW without a doubt is the best design software I have ever used. Just when you think you know all the little tricks and features, you find something new.