“Art is pattern informed by sensibility.”
– Herbert Read, poet, and art critic
This quote couldn’t better describe the work produced by PreGel’s Creative Design Team – a super talented group of visual artists whose unique conceptions spawn from sensibility. Utilizing their knowledge of PreGel products, the specific goals they set for each artistic initiative they take on, and their desire to capture the undivided attention of their audience, this team of visionaries aims to please. Blending their artistic passion with all the right ingredients, including photography, videography, digital design, and free-hand sketching to create inspiring results is only part of how this team produces visual magic. Their secret weapon? Personality. And each of these charismatic artisans provides us with a bit more color as they offer a deeper look into their imaginative worlds.
Ladies first …
Creative: Hayley “Haylo” Helmstetler
What: Graphic Designer I
Eye-catching and modern; clean and organized.
Helmstetler is the only lady in PreGel’s group of creative comrades, and when it comes to her art, she seeks the same results – to stand out. “I want my designs to catch someone’s eye and stop them in their tracks,” says the zealous designer. “With so many visual distractions in this world, I think you have a successful design if someone stops and actually pays attention to yours,” Helmstetler concluded.
Hailing from a creative family, Helmstetler describes herself as naturally artistic and draws inspiration from a myriad of sources. “I can find inspiration in almost anything. From nature, to packaging, to TV commercials, we’re constantly being exposed to visual inspiration,” the observant artist proclaims, adding “Social media platforms such as Instagram are also becoming great sources of inspiration.”
A modest, yet confident artist, the passion and excitement Helmstetler feels about her field of work is evident. “Design can have a powerful voice,” Helmstetler begins. “It can inform, inspire, and initiate change. I think designers should always keep this in mind and not underestimate the effect design can have on the world,” she concludes. And just as Helmstetler will defend her ideas and suggestions, she is equally as strong-willed to decry one major misconception about artists. “I think a lot of people think designers just make stuff ‘look pretty’ and don’t understand how much strategy is involved in design,” Helmstetler explains matter-of-factly. “We have to figure out how to get messages across in the most effective way possible using visual solutions. Making it look pretty is the easy part!”
I Second That Notion …
Creative: Daniel “The Dr.” Leonard
What: Creative Supervisor
Art Personality: I have multiple ART personalities!
As the leader of this artistically gifted squadron, Daniel Leonard seconds the notions of his team’s creative suggestions and lends guidance when necessary, all while honing his own skills to achieve a particular artistic goal. “I look to create something that is thought-provoking and has so many deeper thoughts raveled into it, like a piece of literature. You know, like the kind where in school you would spend a whole class period talking about the significance of the lines on the road,” the comedic designer explains.
Inspired by masterful designers such as Milton Glasier, and simplistic designs that say a lot with a little, Leonard’s artistry is fueled by anything that makes him think in a different way. “Design should make people think,” Leonard offers. “If your work starts a conversation or is memorable, then you have accomplished your goal.” He adds, “I always want people to look at my designs as sort of a mystery that entices them to want to know more.”
But for Leonard, art doesn’t stop at his desire for his audience to think, but to feel as well. “Art is emotion visualized, and the goal of design is to not only make people relate to an emotion, but to act on that emotion as well.”
Creative: Sebastian “Sebz” Restrepo
What: Graphic Designer II
Art Personality: Spontaneous, modern, and creatively daring
Sebastian Restrepo’s art personality accurately describes his contribution to the world of visual communication. First inspired by his mother’s passion for design and his father’s impressive skill over crafts, the personal expression of art is what fascinates this Colombian native. “We are in a very visual world full of colors, shapes, lines, and patterns,” the observant virtuoso explains. “Art is an expression of your thoughts and view of the world materialized through these very means,” Restrepo concludes.
Admittedly, “kind of a nerd” when it comes to technology, Restrepo thrives on creating his designs from the artistic marriage of typography and design, which he has always found very intriguing.
As a designer whose brain sometimes “surprises” him with ideas when he least expects it, Restrepo depends on his surroundings to jumpstart his creative thought process. “I consider myself good at observing the environment and pulling ideas from it,” shares Restrepo. This explains why his solution to the artistic equivalent of writer’s block – the time when “your brain runs out of creative juice” – is to overcome the challenge by taking a weekend trip to become inspired by new places and new experiences.
Because art is infinite like space, the direction in which it evolves is limitless, and Restrepo imagines an artistic world where visuals are dominant over text. He simply states, “We all loved picture books when we were kids, right?”
That’s All Up to Perception
Creative: Kevin “Michael” Montaño
What: Graphic Designer I
Art Personality: Contemporary with traditional roots
“I love visual art because it is a form of expression which acts as an experience that enables you to focus mainly on what you see, but then challenges how you perceive it,” says former student of architecture and freehand artist extraordinaire, Kevin Montaño, who has no definitive description for the medium he fell in love with in a middle school art class. “Art is too difficult to define for me. It takes the form of many things and I see it everywhere,” the impassioned artist verified.
Reverting to his architectural roots, Montaño’s artistic influences are draftsmen. He explains, “It’s mainly because I would like my viewers to walk their way through my designs, as an architect would with any structure they design.” Though Montaño admits his biggest challenge is sometimes not being able to create what he visualizes in his mind 100%, the art whiz continues to follow some helpful advice he once received – keep practicing.
With this in mind, Montaño continues to hone his skills by way of a personal philosophy: “Always be original and do the most I can to reflect what I want to produce as best as my creative skills will allow.”
I Couldn’t Have Said It Better
Creative: Stephen “Esteban” Kenny
Art Personality: Boundless
All art requires a springboard, and as the lone photographer, or “foodtographer” of the team, Stephen Kenny utilizes all of his creative efforts to ensure this happens with the images he captures. “I love utilizing my problem-solving skills to turn an idea into a reality,” explains Kenny. “And creating something that evokes emotion from absolutely nothing,” continues the digital archer.
Kenny realized early on that his energies would be better suited for the artistic world over administrative duties. “I’ve always been more of an arts person,” Kenny elaborates. “I’m terrible at math, but excelled in band. And I always played with my parents’ cameras, and made short films with friends. I suppose that’s where my first love for film came from,” concludes the film buff, who also records and edits all PreGel video footage for creative communications.
Passion begets excitement for sure, and Kenny is no stranger to this feeling. “When I’m really excited about a project, I’m totally immersed in my creative zone,” he says. “I will get really focused and have an energy high,” he continues. As photography trends get simpler and cleaner, Kenny continues to put his own spin on this current trend, capturing the culinary art produced by PreGel’s International Training Center in still form at appetizing angles that excites almost any “eyepetite”.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” a sentiment Kenny echoes when it comes to the conception and execution of art with a point. And though this group of creatives can pull off a “miracle piece” of collateral with the speed of a fully staffed agency, they prefer to collaborate with one another and fuse their ideas. PreGel’s Creative Team relies on one another for critique, inspiration, suggestions, and support. Offering a sprinkle, ounce or pinch of personality into the award-winning results they produce, this team will no doubt continue to impress.