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Product Development Associate / Professional Photographer
Employer: ACI International (L.A. Gear) AND Jack Fleming Photography
Communication (Mass; IPC)
Minor: Theatre Studies
Graduation Year: 1992
Other Education: 2nd Major: Graphic Design/Art; Harlaxton College; Various continuing education in art, animation, and graphics software
Geographic Region: Los Angeles,
I grew up in Granville, Ohio and attended the University of Evansville from 1987 - 1992, graduating with two Bachelors Degrees in Advertising (Communications) and Graphic Design (Art). While at UE, I spent my first two years majoring in Technical Theatre Design, attending Harlaxton College in Spring 1989, and also spending a lot of my time in as many art studio classes as possible. I even traveled with The University Choir to Harlaxton/England in the Spring of 1988. My Harlaxton semester also included time in the former Soviet Union (Moscow and then Leningrad).
Additionally, I was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon National Fraternity, Admission Ambassadors, AAF (Advertising Club), Intramurals, and did work study in the Admission Office and Printing office.
After graduating from UE, my resume has been diverse. My professional experience has included:
*University of Evansville Office of Admission: 1992-1995
*Disney Consumer Products Licensing (Burbank): 1995-1997
*Franklin College Switzerland Admissions (L.A./Lugano, Switzerland): 1997-1999
*Disney Online (ESPN.com, NASCAR.com, Disney Auctions); North Hollywood): 1999-2001
*ARTISTdirect.com/ARTISTdirect Records (L.A.): 2001-2002
*Beyond Zebra, Inc. (Burbank); 2002-2004
*Jack Fleming Photography (L.A.): 2004-Present
*ACI International/LA Gear (L.A.): 2006-Present
Each of the above include titles and experience in Licensing, Advertising, Product Development, Marketing, Promotions, Operations, Line Production, Supply Chain Management, Counseling, Photography, Layout and Graphic Design, Art Management, Merchandising, Buying, and event entertainment production.
Currently, I reside in the North East suburban area of Los Angeles in Eagle Rock. I serve as the Media Relations Chairperson for the PGA Nissan Open each February through the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce. I spent 8 years as a Youth Leader at Pacific Christian Center in Manhattan Beach. I work with LA Gear during the day doing product development and operate my own photography business in the evenings and on weekends.
What I love about my job
I love my job because it's creative. At LA Gear, I work with product development on Licensed Shoes which include DreamWorks (Shrek, Bee Movie, Kung Fu Panda), Nickelodeon (Dora The Explorer and SpongeBob Squarepants), Mattel (Hot Wheels), NASCAR, and Leap Frog.
Regarding my photography business, I work in Fashion, Glamour, Event, Product, and Art Photography. I meet and work privately with celebrities including Christina Aguilera, Michael Rosenbaum, Shaquille O'Neal, among others, and A-List Media organizations including National Geographic, Flaunt, Hollywood Reporter, Create, Vegas, Item, and Player Magazines.
Every day is different. Every day I get to meet new people and have new experiences. No two days are the same and I get to contribute my creativity into most things I am involved.
My advice to people considering this field
When I was working in Admissions at the University of Evansville and a prospective student expressed an interest in Art as a major, I would often have Parents attempt to steer their child away from Art. They would often discourage it as not being a real major or one that would only lead to unemployment.
My advice would be to nourish and encourage this creative desire. "Someone" designed the chair you are sitting in, the pen you are using to write, the door way and the building you walked into for work in the morning, the menu you read at your favorite restaurant, the paintings on your wall in your home, the newspaper you read daily, the webpages you read at work, the phone you call from, the interior of the car you drive. Art and creativity is all around us. Find your niche and develop it. Train yourselves in the basics before you try to do the advanced!
A true animator learned to draw "well" before learning graphics software. A true photographer learned on a film camera before shooting digital. Learn the elementary requirements for developing your creativity, so that the professional "tools" are simply tools and your brain and experience drives those tools.
Finally, nothing is more valuable than professional experience around those who are doing what you want to do. It's not "what" you know, but "who" you know. Creativity is expanded and inspired when around other creative people. Submerge yourself into it all.
Contact Jack Fleming
Last updated: 4/23/2008 4:45:34 PM