My Origin Story
CreativeGene was ultimately inspired by the DIY (do-it-yourself) music scene in Chicago and the love for connecting with the people.
Born and raised in Chicago, I experienced and explored the DIY (do-it-yourself) music scene in the city from the age of 15. The DIY music community in Chicago is driven by creating spaces for people from all walks of life and encouraging them to share their art. I even gave it a try with a band of my own to contribute what I can through my artistic experience. Local artists gave their blood, sweat, and tears through their art to the community without being world-famous. There was this feeling in me that the local artists in Chicago were underappreciated.
The photo to the left is of a band playing a warehouse in Chicago, while I'm in the front of the mosh pit (2010?). The photo to the right is of me playing the bass with my bandmate, Danny White (2012?).
These photos are screenshots from my 1st and 4th interviews with Tomas Cutts and Akonixx. I started filming interviews with my iPhone 8 Plus, which I still have.
In the summer of 2017, I was motivated to start filming interviews of talented musicians and entrepreneurs that I directly knew because I thought they deserved a spotlight to showcase who they are and what they do. However, it did not lead me to fully pursue the career of being a videographer and photographer until July 2020.
But, let’s continue the story.
After graduating from Aurora University in 2015 with my Business Administration degree, I intentionally wanted to pursue a career in working in the university system. I had the wonderful experience of having great mentors, coaches, and instructors that helped mold me and I wanted to return the favor by doing the same for future collegiate students. In the fall of 2015, I would be on a flight to Boston, Massachusetts to attend my first semester at Salem State University where I would graduate with my Master’s degree in Higher Education in Student Affairs in 2017.
The photo to the left, I'm shaking the hand of President Dr. Rebecca Sherrick at Aurora University. The photo to the right, I'm with two of my brothers and father at my graduation at Salem State University.
The Defining Moment
The photo to the left is with my department at the end of the ServeAkron event at the University of Akron (2019). The photo to the right was taken extraordinary jazz musicians at Musica, a music venue in Akron, Ohio (2019). After filming a video project with Chris Coles (left), Theron Brown (right) made a special appearance.
In January 2018, after 100+ job applications, I would eventually land a position as a Scheduling & Events Coordinator at the University of Akron in Ohio. After a few months of settling into my role and a new city, I would then purchase my first real DSLR camera to record higher quality videos and photos. After work, I would spend my evenings and nights connecting to the local arts community and attending local concerts in the city of Akron and Cleveland while bringing my camera with me. Later that year, I landed my first commercial work filming three video profiles of artists that were displayed at the Akron Art Museum (Ohio) in collaboration with The Devil Strip, a now-defunct local magazine.
Okay, now we get to part where everything changes.
We all know what happened in March 2020, I was in the same boat as many people in the world re-evaluating their life and choices during the quarantine that no one knew when would end. In July 2020, I would quit my job at the University of Akron to move to Las Vegas to fully pursue my videography/photography career and form CreativeGene (based on my middle name, Eugene).
I immediately started looking for the little art events that were occurring in Vegas and I made my connections via social media to collaborate with other creators to help build my portfolio to showcase for future, paying clients and gigs.
In both photos, I am capturing behind-the-scenes videos, in iconic Vegas locations, for another local photographer named, Milla (2020).
The photo to the left is a screenshot of a Donut Challenge I filmed and edited for Cedar Mountain Candle (2021). The photo to the right, I'm with the owners of My Mother's House, Chef Mike and Laura, on my last day (2021).
After five months, I would land my first part-time job in January 2021 as the Marketing Specialist for Cedar Mountain Candle where I was able to professionally hone my skills. While working, I also set and accomplished the goal of paying off my student loans by obtaining another part-time job as a Busser at My Mother’s House Italian Restaurant to make extra money.
In June 2021, I would then exit both jobs to work for myself full-time.
The Marathon Continues...
Since the summer of 2021, I have been working for companies and productions such as ESPN, the Las Vegas Raiders, Just Egg, Xiaomi, and BallerTV. As I continue to hone my skills and experiences, I have been focusing more on creating videos that connect with people through engaging storytelling and education.
With crafting intentionality into my work, I hope that you find yourself relating to creating intention with your actions in your future.
The photo on the left, I mic'd up the talent and now clapping to sync the audio for the edit (2022). The photo on the right, was captured by Alan (Endvrs), while working the Raiders vs Packers game in the 2023-24 NFL Season.
If you feel like you relate to my story or simply want to work with me on your next project, then feel free to send a message below.