How Multi-Faceted Creative Zia Avenue Connects Brands With People
Zia Avenue is a multi-faceted creative, specializing in graphic design, photography, and videography, her passion lies with connecting brands with the people which they serve.
She is skilled in leveraging the power of blogs, online communities, and social media platforms to increase brand awareness and boost brand loyalty.
Zia shares her rise as a creative, key advice on making a name for yourself, and how she handles the pressures of social media.
Tell us a little bit about you.
I’m Zia Avenue, I’m from Jacksonville, Florida, where I was born and raised. I went to Florida A&M University where I earned a Bachelor’s in Public Relations, then I went to Florida State University where I earned a Master’s in Integrated Marketing Communication.
I picked up a camera in the Summer of 2013 and haven’t looked back. I love creating memorable eye-catching content whether it’s through my photography, graphic design, or videography. I also love all things pop culture, from music, sports, fashion, news, tech, film, etc.
How did you get into photography and graphic design?
I got into photography and graphic design my senior year of high school. Two of my friends joined the yearbook club (s/o to Gerald & Abby) and they’d always walk around school with their cameras taking pictures of everyone just being themselves and interacting. Their photos were always so natural because it got to a point where no one would even pay attention to the fact they were over there snapping away. Long story short, when I got the chance to see the photos they had taken on the computer, edited and ready to go, it inspired me to want to do it myself.
They started to let me hold their cameras and take a few pics when they were taking a break from it and I’ve just been hooked ever since. I fell in love with graphic design in 2017 after taking my friend Kaycee’s graduation pictures and she had this cool concept to make it Adidas themed because she was wearing an Adidas Track Suit with 3 stripes to signify the three degrees she earned.
I decided to see if I can take her concept to the next level by making it look like a complete editorial ad. My mission was accomplished because Adidas caught wind of it on Twitter and sent her a free pair of shoes, and I guess I’ve just been designing ever since.
How has studying public relations and marketing impacted your work with photography/graphic designs?
Studying Public Relations and Marketing impacted my work because it taught me the power of perception and getting my work seen by the right people. Most importantly my studies have taught me the importance of effective networking because as tired as the saying is… it’s true,
“It is NOT what you know, but WHO you know.”
How do photography and graphic design impact your other services (i.e Digital Marketing, Social Media Management, etc.)?
Photography and graphic design impact my other services because it gives me more control over my total ability to create content. I don’t have to worry about pre-made templates and apps to get my content to look the exact way I envision it.
Which camera do you use?
At the moment, I use a Sony A7RIV, but I started with a Canon T3i, then switched to Nikon where I used a D600 & Z7.
How would you describe your photography and design style?
I would describe my photography and graphic design style as raw and experimental. I rarely go on a photoshoot or start designing with a set plan. I normally will listen to some music and see where the vibe takes me. I find my best work comes from catching and creating content in the spur of the moment. Even when it comes to finding locations for photoshoots, they always come to me when I’m least looking for them.
What time of day do you prefer to shoot, night or day?
I’d definitely prefer a nice daytime shoot. I like being able to play with natural light and using the environments I’m in to take my photos to the next level. But, I still love a nice night time shoot every now and then, too!
The Fox Magazine is all about inspiration, what/who inspires you the most?
I’m most inspired when I see the people around me attempting and reaching their goals. I was lucky enough to have a network of friends who were all determined to not take no for an answer and strive to achieve their wildest dreams. I’ve been around people who’ve turned nothing into something and it motivates me to have the courage to do the same.
How does social media impact the quality of work for a photographer and graphic designer?
Social media is such an interesting tool when it comes to the quality of work for a creative. It can either motivate and inspire you in ways you couldn’t have imagined, or it can completely depress you and have you comparing yourself to others and doubting your work. Social media is definitely something, as creatives, we should take in doses just to give our brains some rest and allow us to recalibrate from the opinions of everyone else.
What is one of the proudest moments in your career and why?
The proudest moment of my career thus far has been moving to NYC and everything that came along with it. It was always a long-time dream of mine to live there and once I got the opportunity I made sure to take full advantage. I was able to do work I could only dream of. I was photographing sporting events, album release parties, fashion shows, behind-the-scenes content for platinum recording artists, you name it, I had access.
How do you handle comparisons between you and others that do similar work as you?
I believe there is an industry-standard when it comes to creative work. It gets to a point where the top creatives are all capable of making their work look exactly the way a client wants it and that may result in them creating something that looks similar to another artist’s work. I just like to shift my perspective and attempt to incorporate new and different elements of design in my work to continue to grow and expand as an artist.
What are some goals you have with your work and how do you plan to reach them?
Some goals of mine are to travel more and work with more artists, fashion brands, and athletes in different areas of the world. I plan on doing that by just remaining consistent in my networking and overall content creation. My grandma used to always say “Let the work I do speak for me” and that’s exactly what I intend to do. I’m just going to keep working and creating memorable content while continuing to try to solidify my name in this industry.
What’s your best advice for aspiring photographers and/or others that want to pursue a similar career as you?
The best advice I could give is to stay hungry and humble. Being creative full-time is like a roller coaster full of highs and lows but as long as you remain consistent and never give up the lows will be over before you know it.
Trial and error is something you’ll have to get used to and it’s also the best way to learn. Oh, and always remember this great quote,
“Life is like a camera. Just focus on what’s important. Capture the good times. Develop from the negatives, and if things don’t turn out just take another shot.”