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Meet Leif Olson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leif Olson. 

Hi Leif, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I was introduced to Photoshop by my dad (Chris Olson) and instantly got interested in it. I worked throughout elementary and high school to develop some skills and eventually started sharing some of my work. I never really knew what I was going to do with it but I knew I wanted to work in the creative industries and just make things every day. In high school, I designed my school yearbook and started working on some logos and t-shirt designs for friends and realized that I really loved it. 

I started making more and more stuff throughout university and just made it a habit to work on something creative every day and improve my skills a little bit every day. I studied communication and media in university and in my fourth year I applied for a job working at RE/MAX where I became the director of marketing for local real estate agents. 

I am 22 working in a dream role with creative freedom and where my skills are appreciated. I could not be happier. I also work on personal projects which I share on Los Altos Creative. Los Altos Creative has allowed me to design and sell T-shirts and stickers around the world. Last week for example I sold a sticker I designed and shipped it to Germany. Working in graphic design, photography, video, and music has been a dream and I am proud to say that I am living it. 

I still want to get better every day and I still have so much to learn. Keep your eye out I am sure you will see my work again soon. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It’s hard to explain to someone that all you want to do is “make stuff”. My desire above all else is to create. That can be hard to grasp for some people but I love it and that is what drives me. I want to stay original and innovative and continue to create and grow. Getting to this point has been a lot of hard work and learning but I am so happy with where it has taken me and I can’t wait to see where it takes me next. 

Working while finishing college was a big obstacle. Lots of sleepless nights and having to say to friends. But I knew that if I could work full time and finish my schooling that I would be set up for a great future so I just dug in and got it done. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am known for my marketing and creativity. I like to think I am a jack of all trades when it comes to creating and marketing. I use photoshop, adobe premiere, and garage band on a daily basis. I’ll make graphics, write blogs, edit videos and even produce my own music for those videos. If it can be made and shared digitally, I like to think I can do it. 

Solving problems in photoshop is one of my favorite things. How to make the image work. How to edit out a part of a photo that I want to change. I am proud of everything I create some of my ads for RE/MAX have been some of my proudest work. Working with this group has allowed me to reach out to many people and learn so much. It has been an absolute privilege. I get to create and help people find their dream home by doing so. 

I am also very proud of some of the T-Shirt designs I have done. I strive to be known as a passionate creator in all mediums. 

Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
I was always more interested in basketball than just about anything else. I wanted to be Allen Iverson. I am never going to play in the NBA but I loved Iverson for his creativity and being himself. I want to show that in my own work. I still play basketball every day. Still need to dunk every day or I just do not feel like me. 

I was always the funny kid in class. I was also always the tallest which meant I stood out but was never the most popular kid. Family has always been important and I still spend a lot of time with my family. Some things never change but I have grown up a lot in the past few years. 

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