We had the good fortune of connecting with William Simmons and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi William, what’s your definition for success?
Success for me is having creative freedom with as little restrictions as possible. I define success in this way, because having this level of creative freedom implies respect of and trust in one’s abilities, and the ability to execute an idea to its full potential is my biggest passion. These factors make creative freedom my long-term career success metric.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Art is my first love. I started drawing as a kid, like most other people, but fortunately for me, I never stopped. My art has evolved over the years, but the skill I have worked on and developed that sets me apart is my focus on creative strategy. Insights-driven design and illustration helps me orient my work, helps clients better understand processes and decisions, and has proven to be more effective in achieving client goals. This focus has helped me get where I am today, but it has not been easy. I turned to drawing growing up, because I was very shy and didn’t put myself out there… I was scared of embarrassing myself all of the time. My neighbor growing up, who was three years older than me, introduced me to skating, where I found a community of people who encouraged you to be yourself… it helped the skating to not be scared. Although I was never good at skating, I fell in love with the skateboard graphics and tees I saw, and I started to create my own. That love of skating culture introduced me to brand design, where I work today. Art has introduced me to new tribes of people, helped me grow personally, and is my greatest life passion.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Straight from the airport, the first place I would take a friend visiting Arizona is Four Peaks Brewing Company in Tempe. I may be a bit biased, because I work here as a Designer, but I am convinced Four Peaks is the best brewery in the state and their food is fantastic (you have to try the 8th St. Chicken Strips… trust me on this one).

From there, I think there are a few main things every visitor needs to see the landscapes in Arizona–they are second to none. I recommend all visitors take the trip to Sedona, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, or any other AZ staple. Those trips are always worth the trek, they’re really awe-inspiring (You can also stop at the Rock Springs Cafe on your way to Sedona).

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people that have seen potential in me, lifted me up, and supported me to help me get where I am. – My Mom is the standout, because she provided me with the tools to succeed and continues to show unconditional support in all my endeavors.

– Ron Smeele helped set me up for success and supported not just me, but my entire family.

– Doug Owczarczak, my former boss at Arizona State University, showed me my potential, took me under his wing, and coached me to be as successful as possible as a student.

Website: https://wsimmons717.editorx.io/williamsimm-ns

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/williamsimmons.art/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/william-simmons-b64021174/

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.