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By Mark Pavilons Harnessing human emotion through design is the ongoing passion of a King entrepreneur.
Designer and artist David Cortesi (Designs by David) is driven by visual impact.
“I feel that when I design something, I've brought into existence something that wasn't there before – a legacy, if you will. I try to create something unique and personalized for every customer, whether it's a wedding invitation package or a billboard for a restaurant. The impact I can create on the customer individually is something I cherish. Hopefully, in doing so, these designs are thoughtful enough to survive the test of time.”
Cortesi offers a variety of personal and commercial products, from weddings, bridal showers and religious invitations, to product posters, menus and advertisements.
Are physical invitations still vogue? They will never get old, according to Cortesi.
“I truly believe that we will always be inspired by what attracts us visually. It still seems to be the most impactful way to catch our attention, and keep it. Print may have suffered in recent years with the advancement of the digital medium, but to see a painting, photograph or something real and tangible will always effect us emotionally.”
Wedding invitations are as integral to the process today as they were decades ago. David says when dealing with a bride, he tries to take her ideas for the big day and bring them to life. This can be accomplished with something as simple as the colour palette used and can be as individualistic as implementing an heirloom from a cherished loved one's wedding and linking the generations together through a photograph or poem.
Personal occasions are always about love and sentiment.
Cortesi's talents do not stop there. He's an accomplished animator and he dreamed of working in the field since he was a child.
“I spent my free time drawing cartoon characters I loved on TV like Bugs Bunny, Droopy, etc. While I was still in Grade 12, I called the big animation studios in the U.S. to ask them where they recruited artists from.” The answer was from schools in New York, Los Angeles and also from Oakville's Sheridan College.
There, he learned the fundamentals of film making – everything from artistic interpretation to comedic timing, voice-to-picture synchronization as well as music integration. The entire 3rd year was dedicated to making their own short film.
After he graduated, he did get a dream offer, but he turned down a job in L.A. with Pixar, a “a regrettable move in hindsight.” He opted to stay in Toronto where fortunately, there was no shortage of work.
The first jobs he had included 101 Dalmatians DVD-ROM video game for Disney Studios; the original pilot for CatDog as well as countless TV commercials, then finally feature films. He was accredited for was 1998's Quest For Camelot for Warner Bros. feature animation.
After that, David admitted he felt the urge to try other artistic endeavours. He enrolled in acting schools and started working in the film industry, albeit from a different perspective than that of an animation artist.
He is still working in films in his spare time and said he “will never give that up.” However, acting will not afford enough to earn a decent income, so he literally fell into designing invitations.
I 2002, he got married, but didn't like any of the wedding invitation designs they saw.
“So I decided to do my own – my first design. It seemed to cause such a positive wave of feedback that I decided to start my own company – Designs by David (dxd.ca). With the support and encouragement of my wife Elena, I've been able to keep that design house alive with the ability to reinvent and update the designs on a frequent basis.”
David is not just an artist, but has a love of sports, particularly baseball. He dreamed of becoming a pro baseball player and during his final year of high school, he was scouted and invited to Pensacola Florida to compete in a non-roster tryout being held by the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves organizations. Unfortunately, that winter, he blew out his pitching shoulder trying too hard to get ready for it. The head of Canadian scouting for The Toronto Blue Jays told him that once he had surgery and completed rehab, he would need to play winter ball in Venezuela or the Dominican for the next three years in order not to miss my draft window.
“Needless to say, that did not happen so my dream of a pro baseball career died,” he said. “Nevertheless I'm still playing the game at the age of 50. My now 13-year-old daughter Isabella has inherited my love of the game as well as the skills to be able excel at every level she advances to. I coach her at two different levels and am now living vicariously through her, hoping one day she fulfills one of her dreams of joining a baseball/softball program at a good post-secondary school with the hope of making an Olympic team one day. Fingers crossed!”
Hitting home runs is great, but Cortesi has always come to the plate, ready to fill a need. His keen eye and passion fuel his work.
For more, visit dxd.ca
By Mark Pavilons
Harnessing human emotion through design is the ongoing passion of a King entrepreneur.
Excerpt: Harnessing human emotion through design is the ongoing passion of a King entrepreneur. Designer and artist David Cortesi (Designs by David) is driven by visual impact.
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