Shadow The Pros Experience

Hello everyone my name is Damian Flores, I was a participant in the 2015 Shadow the Pros program held by E4 Youth. This opportunity came to me at a time where I needed it the most, a time where I needed to believe that I have a chance to be someone, that my passion and skills are of value, and that I could be a part of a creative community. I can’t express enough the abundance of knowledge I received and the experiences I got to live because of this program.


I was able to visit several ad agencies around Austin like Sanders\Wingo to GSD& M, as well as shadow professional creative individuals like Derek Bishop an art director from McGarrah Jessee and graphic designer Claudia Aparicio from Sanders\Wingo. Talented individuals like Claudia, Derek and many more gave us invaluable wisdom, and guidance towards a path that can lead to Success in the creative industry.

Together with the shadowing we were also assigned to uncover a hidden agenda focused on east central Austin, Gentrification. Part of the assignment was to create a solution towards the preservation of east Austin’s historical monuments, community and identity. We broke up in groups tackling the negative side effects of gentrification. Each group came up with several ideas from organizing concerts and community events, to amplifying the digital presence of local east side businesses, that are in danger of losing their historical importance. We presented them to our supporters like the Austin’s African American Cultural Heritage District. We were met with constructive and positive reviews, and have been honored to present at Austin’s own RAS Day this coming Saturday, August the 29th.

Short film we produced on gentrification in East Austin.

I’m saddened to say that the program came to an end this past week. I only wish it could keep going all year long as it proves to be effective in the creative growth of its participants. It provides an opening for students to work and learn alongside professionals in the media arts industry, something that’s lacking in today’s public educational system.

Thanks to E4 Youth, I was able to sharpen my skills and create a professional portfolio/resume. Because of this I was fortunate enough to be selected for a scholarship to Austin’s Creative Department founded by Will Chau. I’ve already started this week and I can tell you it’s amazing!!

Some of my video work. A spot that never got picked up for Milagro.

Thank you to everyone that gave their time and dedication to us, our mentors. Moses Munoz, Vanessa Alvarado, Alex Sifuentez , Bob Pothier, Humberto Perez, David Robb, and Melissa Huisman.

Thank you so much Tone Visuals for letting us use their software and time.

Thank you to the incredible companies who provided an unforgettable learning experience. GSD& M, McGarrah Jessee, Liaison Resources, Sanders\Wingo, Dell, HCB Health, Sherry Matthews Advocacy Marketing, Mando Rayo+ Collective and Dub Academy.

And of course, Carl Settles who made this all possible!!!

Here’s a link to more of my work.


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