Driven by Design

Andre Hudson (Photo by Lonnie C. Major)

Andre Hudson (Photo by Lonnie C. Major)

Opportunities in the design field are greater than they may appear. However, aspiring designers are often discouraged from pursuing careers in the arts because of the perception that there is no money to be made. But today, more than ever, technology has extended its influence on the design world and created a variety of career opportunities that will extend into the future. Behind everything we touch and see is a designer.

According to the 2011 Otis Report on the Creative Economy of the Los Angeles Region, the city’s creative industry is expected to grow by more than 4.3%, or 13,100 jobs, by 2015. These positions include openings in entertainment, toy design, digital media, fashion, furniture, architecture, interior design, product and industrial design, communication arts, and visual and performing arts industries. Samuel Hoi, president of Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, says, “Creativity has to be a part of our big picture … because the creative sectors are essential partners in advancing the economy, education, social health, and, of course, cultural vibrancy.”

Companies are in a constant search to hire young new talent who will bring fresh ideas and have a hunger for turning them into solutions. Through a passion for change, these five BE Nexters have been able to apply their artistic talents to shaping a new creative economy. They are the leaders, innovators, and enterprise thinkers of tomorrow. They are driven by design.

Andre Hudson, 35
Education:  Bachelor of Fine Art in Industrial Design, College for Creative Studies
Title: Design Manager, Hyundai America, Los Angeles
Creative Force: Lead designer of the 2011 Sonata

Doodling airplanes, cars, trains, and boats on his school assignments as a kid, Andre Hudson always had a passion for anything transportation related. Trips to local air shows in Colorado with his parents further sparked his interest. “My first love was planes. I loved the space shuttle, ships, and commercial planes. I really wanted to be a fighter pilot,” says Hudson, but his less-than-perfect eyesight disqualified him.

But an article in an auto magazine about a young designer who worked on the Dodge Viper concept car steered Hudson in a new direction. “I had always loved cars, but I never thought that there were actually people who designed them,” he recalls. “I thought ‘Wow, people get paid to draw and design cars. This is pretty cool.’”

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