Marc A. Ebalaroza has been creating digital art since the late ‘90s.
But that wasn’t always his plan. Initially, Marc wanted to be a welder and even attended a welding trade school. At that time he was creating welded art pieces that were sold in a small art boutique on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.
Then, something happened. Marc severely injured his back. His doctor instructed him not to do any labor work. But fear not! Something good was born out of this unfortunate event. Marc decided to improve his computer skills. So he read books on web/graphic design, HTML, and Macromedia Flash. And within a year started his first design job in a small marketing agency.
Now, Marc A. Ebalaroza is an established web and graphic designer, and the owner of za.ME. And we had the pleasure to interview him about his career and all things design.
Marc also provided us with useful advice for young aspiring designers. So let’s see what he had to say.
A Self-Taught Graphic Web And Graphic Designer
We asked Marc what he would do differently if given an opportunity to press restart on his career.
Being self-taught, Marc’s knowledge in his field came from countless books and long hours of learning. Marc invested a lot of time and effort in learning to create a digital presence on the web. And through trial and error he slowly figured it out. But having someone to teach him would have surely been easier.
So his answer is: “I would get a degree in art and design and have someone teach me rather than learning it on my own.”
Recognition and Sentimental Value
We also asked Mark what project or aspect of his career he is most proud of. And he highlighted the creation of a unique landing page for a Toyota dealership in Hawaii.
“After understanding the need to increase sales of their most popular vehicle of that time – the Toyota Scion, I used Macromedia/Adobe Flash and created an area for consumers to customize their vehicles from the exterior color and wheel package, to the interior upholstery and stereo packages.”
This very project brought him the Pele Award, also known as the American Institute of Graphics Arts Award.
Although he is proud of this particular creation, he points out another one, too:
“I am most proud of a personal animation I created in 2010 using the Marvel Universe characters because I worked on that with my two sons who are huge Marvel fans”, explains Marc.
A Graphic Designer Making The World More Colorful
Since COVID changed the market situation, entrepreneurs and artists had to adapt. As Marc points out, his remote work experience has prepared him for working in the age of COVID.
“Although every agency and in-house position I held as a designer was located in the same state that I lived in, the majority of it was working remotely. Because of this, fortunately I was still able to produce work while being locked down. My plans for the future is to continue to deliver my artwork to the best of my abilities, hopefully at a larger scale beyond the State of Hawaii.”
And generally, what drives Marc is his role in making this world more colorful:
“I love the usage of color and how it can change the mood of any piece. It inspires me to make this world a more colorful space.”
Advice For Young Designers
We also asked Marc what would be his tip for young artists who are just starting out:
“I would say do not let anyone limit your imagination. Creative and Art Directors can give you direction but you are in control of what you create. Explore beyond what is required of you, and do not be afraid to take chances with your design.”
The biggest obstacle Marc had to overcome was dealing with constructive criticism and evaluation of his work:
“As a young designer I would be quite offended when someone had something negative to say about what I produced. But as I grew in the industry I overcame that by understanding there will always be someone who has more experience than you do. And listening to their advice will not only make delivery of a project smoother, but you can learn a thing or two by just listening.”
The Importance Of Online Presence For A Graphic Designer
And how important was a personal website in acquiring clients? Marc answers our question resolutely:
“It is extremely important for anyone who owns a business to have an online presence. Even with the popularity of Social Media, a personal website is imperative and shows a level of professionalism which legitimizes your product. It will definitely have a direct impact on acquiring clients over having a social media footprint”.
In his point of view, the most neglected part of a personal website is displaying products correctly:
“People visit a website to learn about your product or services. You can have a beautifully designed website, but if your product or services are not easily accessible then you will lose your audience and potentially lose clients. People should know about your product or services with absolutely no clicks and minimal scrolling.”
Why Choose The .ME Extension?
Naturally, we also had to ask him about choosing to go with the .ME domain name. Especially since it’s actually a premium domain..
“I chose the .ME extension not only because my website is a display of my personal projects but it is also the abbreviation of my full name – Marc Ebalaroza 🙂 I also needed a shorter domain name to generate easier access to my work. According to GoDaddy, the domain ZA.ME is actually a premium domain and is worth about 30k,” states Marc.
Marc’s Future Plans
Marc A. Ebalaroza is a web and graphic designer who creates digital art, print media, and web design. He recently started to learn Blender, a software for 3D art, CG graphics, and animations. His plans for the future are to deliver the best possible artwork and expand his field of action beyond the borders of his native country.
No doubt he is going to succeed. Just keep it up, Marc!