Armando Villa Avila, Mya Digital
Q1. What is your education and training?
I am a computer engineer graduate from the University of Guadalajara in Mexico. After graduated, I received an opportunity to work for an IT Consulting Company in Monterrey in the north of Mexico, so I moved there and I started working as an IT consultant where later I became the main PreSales Engineer for Oracle Hardware and Symantec Data Protection Solutions.
As PreSales Engineer I was always working with a passion for client service, acting as a conduit between sales and engineering teams providing technical consulting. Always challenging conventional thinking while translating customers’ business requirements and strategy, offering unique perspectives and conceiving innovative solutions that drive comprehensive and long-term resolution for the customers.
I developed and implemented frequent product presentations, demonstrations, business proposals, RFP, RFI, proof of concepts, technical documentation, technical diagrams, and technical training sessions for customers. During those years I learned who to use different applications and tools to improve my presentations and the technical diagrams, creating and renewing all the look and feel of the company documents.
In 2014 I decided to go back to University and obtain a Masters Degree. My Girlfriend and I moved to Canada where I recently graduated with a Master degree for Administrative Science specialized in Global Technology Administration where I learned technical aspects of project management planning, execution methods, decision making, personnel administration, leadership, ethics, and finance administration, skills that are critical for successful projects or to manage your own business.
During these two years I have been providing my services as graphic designer helping my clients to achieve business growth goals through effective presentations that clearly convey their messages. I have the knowledge, experience, and creativity to develop engaging and innovative presentation designs for my clients.
Q2. How did you start your own business?
I started my business six months after arriving in Canada, I was working on my Masters degree and as a way of having an extra income, I decided to start offering my services to people who might need help improving their presentations (Pitch Decks, Sales Presentations, Company Trainings, Explainer Decks). One project lead to another and I was working with all kind of projects going from the creation and design of e-books, posters, social media banners, photography as well as any stationary or branding design needs.
I started with an Ad on Craigslist and after a couple of months the majority of my new customers were coming from customer referrals, that really gave me the motivation to follow that path and continue with my business. I have my website design.myadigital.ca that allows me to showcase my portfolio and during the last year I have started moving forward and I have been doing workshops focused on giving people a few but really important tips to create better presentations or designs since the tips I share with them could be applied with not just their presentations.
Q3. Who are your customers, and who is your ideal client?
Well, I have worked with public speakers, entrepreneurs, professionals and business owners that have seen the great results of professional presentations, but during the last year I have started to offer new services and that has allowed me to reach new a broader market.
Q4. What keeps you passionate?
The idea of learning new tools and techniques, we live in an age where we can learn whatever we want, the Internet has open the door to endless possibilities, new opportunities to be what you want to be and cultivate yourself, I am always passionate to learn new techniques of designing, new tools and about different artist around the world. I recommend the readers to check out these websites for tutorials and courses youtube.com, coursera.org, edx.org and lynda.com.
Q5. What books are on your night stand?
Right now I’m reading a book titled The Power of Now From Eckhart Tolle, the book has helped me to discover how to live the present, the now. The main purpose of the author is to teach you how to achieve a state of being in the Now, with a series of questions and answers coming from his experience during his journey of learning to master and embrace the power of Now. One of the quotes that I really like and I would like to share with the SBC readers is "Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the Now. Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now"
Q6. Favourite musicians or artists?
I do not have a favourite one, I really like to listen to the Billboard Hot 100 playlist on youtube, they update the playlist every week and allows me to always listen to new artists and songs. But when I want to really concentrate and work I like to hear classical music, I really like the Cello Suite No.1 of J.S. Bach.
Q7. What is your life's purpose?
My life’s purpose is to have a family, not too big since I believe nowadays it is a little bit harder to give your kids a good education, I’m 31 Years old and I have started to feel this feeling of having babies, My Dad and my Mom were 34 when I was born and I always remember my dad telling me that He would have loved to have kids when he was younger and he always recommend me to do it.
Q8. If you had won the lottery today, what would you be doing?
I would definitely continue working on what I’m doing right now, I really love to work designing but I would like to take a little bit of time off to start experimenting with new ways of creative expressions, last year I went to Whistler where I was blown away by this amazing painting in an art gallery. The image was the face of a bear with all the little details of the face, but everything was created with little pieces of newspaper, each one of the small pieces of newspaper was stained forming the big picture of the face of the bear, since I saw that many many different ideas of new pieces came to my mind, I have been thinking about doing it as a project, ideas like that has come to me during the last year and I think that if I had won the lottery today, I would be definitely doing something creative.
Q9. Who is your celebrity crush?
Interesting question, I don’t know… I must say that that I have a crush for Olivia Wilde since I saw her on her role as "Thirteen" on the TV Show House, M.D. and I must said that my first celebrity crush was with Gwyneth Paltrow since I saw her on the movie Great Expectations from 1998 and I believe She still being an attractive women.
Q10. Any design tips for our SBC readers?
Take care always of the colour palette for your designs, there is a psychology behind the colours we choose for our designs, every color sends an specific message, Big Brands really take care of this before selecting their colours.
Always look for inspiration on Pinterest, since it is an image based search tools allows you to find that inspiration that sometimes you need in order to start with your design.
Q11. What are some simple things small business owners can do to improve their brand image and add value to their customers?
Take care of you branding image, make sure is consistent going from your website, your email signature, your posters, postcards, your business cards and every business related document. A good brand is built over time and requires thought, strategy and consistent implementation. Consistency is a crucial step towards brand success.
Q12. Any life wisdom you'd like to share with our members?
Well… there is a phrase from Alan Watts that said “It's better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing, than a long life spent in a miserable way.”
This is really true, I could say for my experience that I was living a life were I had a good job, an economic stability, a job in the IT Industry where I was growing a lot, but the job was stressful most of the time, it came with a lot of responsibility and also because the kind of job, you will see this very often if you work in something related with IT where the pay in most of the jobs is good but it comes with stress and you have to be available 24 x 7 even if you are on vacations, I remember carrying my laptop and cellphone everywhere and always on alert about to have an Internet Connection wherever I went.
The experience of coming to Canada gave me a life lesson, it gave me more time to focused on other things, I had time to find myself and start doing that I really love and what my passion is, it really makes a huge difference in your way of perceiving life and to appreciate what you have. Never be afraid of do what you love, always follow your passion and Thanks again for the opportunity!
Contact Armando Villa Avila at Tel: 604 446-2067, email:
Above are some samples of his work, below is the Small Business Social Media Guide Book that he has designed for me! Please enjoy. I really enjoyed working with Armando, he's quick, professional and very customer service oriented. My clients simply love his stunning work, from poster, to e-book, to power point and website. One of the most recent website we co-created together was for my client Hila Russ's business http://www.heartjourney.life