In the midst of paying bills, sustaining a full time job, and getting the hang of adulthood, Elvrich Castane has managed to hold onto his inner child and develop his artistic passion. Raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Castane currently resides in Oak Harbor, Washington. During the day, he puts on his navy uniform and takes on the responsibility of being the only IT in his command. However, when he gets homes and takes off the uniform, Castane lives his life behind cameras and computer screens, pursuing a freelance career in photography and graphic design.
“I want to see my work on billboards and advertisements, maybe even in Best Buy. That’ll be enough to make me happy.”
Castane’s passion for art was birthed in the early stages of his childhood, as he created comic books online with his best friend in between trading pokemon cards eating gushers. A few years passed by and Castane decided to try his hand at Adobe Photoshop. “Experimenting with Photoshop led me become interested in music and working with actual artists.” As hip-hop has always played an influential role in his life, Castane worked with local hip-hop artists in his area and designed album covers and logos for their promotion. “My graphic design clients wanted me to take pictures of them too so I ventured into photography.” Thus, the creation Castane’s other passion.
Being an entrepreneur does not come without challenges. Since middle school, Castane has been sharpening his skills and started promoting himself by the time he reached high school. Complete with business cards and his own website, Castane used his expertise in computer technology to promote his artistic ventures. Years down the road, Castane faces the challenge of balancing his life in the military with his passion for art. “It’s hard to balance a professional career with an artistic hobby. It’s hard for people in my professional world to take me seriously sometimes.” Although his involvement in the navy has forced him to grow up and face adulthood, Castane does not use that as an excuse to let go of his childhood dreams of being an artist. “I often have to choose between doing what I want to do versus doing what gets me paid. The navy helps me to do what I love without worrying about paying my next bill.” For Castane, he chooses his passion over monetary benefits.
In the future, Castane hopes his work will be recognized on a grand scale. His IT persona hopes to eventually work for Google. His artistic alter ego wants to become an artistic director and see his work printed and displayed to the masses. “I want to see my work on billboards and advertisements, maybe even in Best Buy. That’ll be enough to make me happy.” Being young in a field that is driven by innovation, Castane provides fresh ideas and a new eye for design. Social media is a key component to implementing marketing strategies and networking with other artists. As an IT, Castane is able to supplement his artistic ventures and promote himself independently.
For other artists hoping to use the “Age of Information” to their advantage, Castane stresses the importance of remaining independent and true to their passion. “Find out what everybody else is doing and do the exact opposite.” It is easy to get caught up in the web of social media and compare your work to that of others. However, use it as motivation and a way to network instead of a source of envy. “Don’t be afraid of failure, people fail every day. The goal is to fail less.”
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