We had the good fortune of connecting with Christos Joannides and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christos, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
As long as I can remember, since middle school and onward, all the way through college, I always found math, physics, economics and any other “mundane” class to be, well, mundane. As soon as I entered an art class, or a photography class later in college, or a humanities class or an art history class, it felt so much more engrossing. Learning about the chiaroscuro in a Rembrandt painting or the shadows in a Bresson photograph was so much more captivating than any mathematical theorem. So knowing that I would never be a banker or an accountant, I followed my heart and invariably pursued creative work or work that entailed some spark of creativity. That passion fueled me to start my own design firm back in 2008 and I am happy to say that I still bring the same enthusiasm to each new project we take on and I still get that adrenaline rush when we complete a project and the client is happy.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am the founder and creative director of Flat 6 Concepts, a branding agency / graphic design studio based in Los Angeles that focuses primarily on the luxury industry as well as design centric startups in addition to small and mid-size businesses. We provide visual communication solutions ranging from website design and development, brand identity, advertising and collateral, environmental signage as well as many other creative solutions to a wide array clients that share our simple, clean aesthetic. We are also slowly branching into interior design applying our design aesthetic to interior spaces. Starting a business that you are passionate about is not easy, but it can be so infinitely rewarding. When you love what you do, it does wonders to your soul! You wake up everyday looking forward to what solutions you can bring to solve your clients problems and help them in their business. The biggest challenges obviously are bringing enough revenue to pay your bills and still being able to dedicate the right amount time to each project. When I have too many clients at the same time, I feel I am not giving 100%, and I have to step back and reevaluate and say no to new business. One’s creativity is drained when you have too many clients leading to too many distractions. Add the layer of kids and life’s responsibilities, and you feel completely sapped. It’s important for me to have a somewhat decent life work balance. I think it’s my Mediterranean roots that remind me that life is to be lived and experienced, and there’s much more to it than being in front of my computer with Illustrator and Photoshop open. I personally believe success and happiness stems from simplifying your life by making choices that you as a human being feel good about. Be kind, be thoughtful, don’t be afraid to fall in love and travel! That’s my piece of life advice. Nothing inspires me more than travel and discovering new things and meeting great people. I have to remind myself to do more of that.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would start off by taking them for a hike on one of the many hiking trails we have here in LA and then drive them down to Malibu along PCH for some brunch and a little window shopping. We would hit a museum or art gallery and then dinner at home. Sunday would be a cool flea market outing like the Melrose Trading Post. I love organic farmers markets as well. I would probably take a drive up north to Big Sur and just take in the natural wonders and beauty of that part of California. Sushi and Italian are definitely part of the itinerary as well and a stop at Salt & Straw ice cream is a must for any out of towner.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to thank my mother Lia for her emotional and financial support early on, and my late twin brother Stefano for always teaching me to be resilient and following my dreams. Without my mother’s support in leaving my birthplace of Cyprus and traveling across the world to Los Angeles and supporting me throughout my college years, my life would have been quite a bit different. My brother Stefano who was so much braver than I ever was, who always encouraged me to try and try again. Failure and success both has an equal footing and the outcome mostly depends on how hard you work. Hard, consistent work beats talent every day of the week. So to all who feel, who are not good enough in their profession, work harder (and smarter) and success will inevitably follow. I also want to credit all the creatives who have inspired me over the years, as well as the current yet unknown young students of art and design who bring their fresh perspective and drive the future of things to come.
Flat 6 Concepts