Alumni Stories

Kyle Davila

Graphic & Web Design

Bachelor of Arts in Graphic & Web Design
The Art Institute of Phoenix

The Art Institute of Phoenix alumni Kyle Davila

I am an asset to the agency because I have capabilities and skills [that I learned in school] that allow us to keep jobs in-house instead of using third party vendors. In this industry, that's very important. Kyle Davila , Bachelor of Arts in Graphic & Web Design Bachelor of Arts in Graphic & Web Design, 2015 , The Art Institute of Phoenix

Art Director at SANTY

Kyle Davila is an art director at SANTY in Scottsdale, Arizona. He’s responsible for overseeing creative work for clients—everything from big campaigns to emails and web banners. “I also handle most of the in-house photography for the studio, so I have days where I spend 90% of my time away from my desk at photo shoots.”

Kyle’s coworkers inspire him with their dedication and creativity. “I am pretty fortunate to be surrounded by some really creative, passionate people that make what I do that much easier. The people I work with do some pretty impressive work. Personally, I have to be the hardest working one in the room and the minute I feel like I'm not is when I push myself to grow even more.” Kyle challenges himself by staying up late to research and further concept ideas he’s working on at SANTY.

He says that the design industry can be very challenging. “If you aren't willing to outwork everyone around you all the time, then you can't complain when you get stuck in the same spot for years and years to come.” He encourages designers to always push themselves to create something better. “I began to experience the benefits of my hard work when I started working less and less on production [and was placed] in charge of larger campaigns. It was an important shift for me because [I was now providing creative] ideas, and that's where you earn respect with the upper level directors.”

Kyle keeps an open line of communication at work, and is committed to helping the agency put out the best work possible. He cites a time when a new employee didn’t fully grasp a client’s design wishes and presented a concept that didn’t resonate with the client. Kyle made the difficult decision to talk with other art directors at the company—including senior art directors—to share his ideas on how to meet the client’s needs. “I have an immense amount of passion for what I do and the work I give to the clients. I had to take the difficult step to have a conversation with the directors and let them know it wasn't our best work and I could improve it. This was by no means easy. It took days of tough conversations that were heated at times. I was able to redo the creative and back-up everything I was saying with improvements to the campaign.”

While situations like this can be difficult, Kyle says it’s worth the challenge. He recommends that current students understand that they won’t always have the best ideas—but they need to keep pushing forward. "You might think [your idea isn’t great], but someone else could hear it and take it to the next level. The next thing you know, you're on the cover of magazines for the idea. It's funny because people think this industry is based on skill. That’s a portion of it, but a majority of it is being able to persevere through bad idea after bad idea until you land on that great one. Dedication is the name of the game.”

Kyle, who in 2015 earned a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic & Web Design from The Art Institute of Phoenix, says that his education provided networking opportunities and industry insights that have helped him in his career. “I am an asset to the agency because I have capabilities and skills that allow us to keep jobs in-house instead of using third party vendors. In this industry, that’s very important.”

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