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Interview with Pon Angara, Graphic Designer and Entrepreneur

Interview with Pon Angara, Graphic Designer and Entrepreneur

Pon Angara Logo

Nancy Soloman, Monster

February 04, 2009

When Philippine Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr., was assassinated in 1983, Pon Angara’s parents decided it was time to leave their ancestral home, and moved their family of five to Illinois and away from violent opposition of the autocratic rule of President Ferdinand Marcos.

Pon was 19, and when he arrived in Illinois, he enrolled in the undergraduate engineering program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, expecting to follow in his father’s engineering footsteps. However, as graduation neared, he realized he had another career goal.

The classes he had taken in industrial design as part of his course work had reawakened his passion for art. In fact, as a child, he had spent many happy hours drawing in the courtyard of his home while his friends and siblings played outside.

So, he made a deal with his parents- he would graduate with a degree in industrial engineering, but then he would go back to school to study industrial design and graphic design. Today, Mr. Angara operates his own successful branding and graphic design company, Barkada Creative.

Pon Angara & His Career

Tell us about your career. How did you discover your talent?

I’ve always enjoyed creating art pieces that were visually compelling and packed with meaning. In fact, my formal training in fine arts started during my elementary years. My college degrees are in industrial engineering, industrial design and graphic design. My background in art and science became strong assets in my design work.

How has your career unfolded?

I started as a full-time graphic designer in the in-house art department of a global manufacturer of health products. After four years, I was promoted to senior designer and, as such, served as more of a consultant to my customers. After four and a half years, I was hired as senior designer in an agency. I became a partner in the firm, spearheading business development. It was a great opportunity to learn about marketing and sales – and it inspired me to start my own company.

What do you enjoy most about your career?

I really like meeting new people, turning a prospect into a client, and getting clients excited about the creative process.

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