Board Member of the Month: Cameron Brooks
After attending almost every school the Central Texas and the greater San Antonio area, Cameron Brooks graduated from UIW with a degree in Computer Graphic Arts, creating websites along the way to help pay for his tuition. From there he bounced around a few local agencies before starting his own award winning firm. When’s he’s not creating killer websites you can find Cameron on the slopes in Colorado, playing with his two young kids, or attending a variety of comic cons and toy shows.
AAF: Cameron, thanks you for being our Board Member of the Month and congratulations on the great show Backyard Studios produced at this year’s American Advertising Awards.
Cameron: Thank you. We had a blast dressing up as our favorite heroes while we showcased the best work San Antonio had to offer.
AAF: How did you get involved in Advertising?
Cameron: In college, I created websites to help pay for tuition. My actual degree was in Interactive CD-ROMS. With about a year to go, my degree plan was cancelled, and a specialization in Web was offered in its place. I figured the new degree would work out, considering I already knew how to make websites.
AAF: You were already creating websites in college. Did you start your own business right away or work at other agencies first?
Cameron: After college, I worked at various studios and found that I didn’t like many of the work environments. I always thought I wanted to build something different, and my experiences really only helped to fuel that fire. From this, I founded Backyard Studios and we’ve been going strong for almost 14 years.
AAF: That’s great. Being a small business owner can be challenging. What are your responsibilities?
Cameron: I’m responsible for numerous tasks, ranging from account management to creative direction to being the designated spider-killer. Here at Backyard Studios, we wear lots of hats so that we all grow creatively and professionally. Our industry constantly changes and we need to adapt at any given time. The best way to do it is to jump right in. At the end of the day, we are all problem solvers working towards a common goal.
AAF: What do you find rewarding and challenging about what you do?
Cameron: Since the beginning, we have prided ourselves in “work hard to play hard”. The focus of our business has never been about money. We have always focused on the creativity we can offer to our clients and how we can solve their problems. This philosophy has led us to winning a variety of awards, including numerous American Advertising Awards.
AAF: Have you reached or celebrated any work-related milestones recently?
Cameron: This past year, Backyard Studios won the most web-related awards of all the agencies in San Antonio. One of our biggest accomplishments this year was being able to create and produce the 2016 American Advertising Awards show. Our superhero theme, We Are Heroes, has become one of the most talked-about shows in recent years. Many of the props from the show were taken and have found their new homes at the other agencies in town. I think that is the best compliment we could’ve gotten, and we’re incredibly proud of the love our work has received.
AAF: Sounds you’ve accomplished the “Work Hard” part of your philosophy. How do you “Play Hard” when you’re not working?
Cameron: I’m a lifetime soccer player who still plays on the field every Sunday, and I have the injuries to prove it. I love hanging out and playing with my two young children. I try to get to the mountains in Colorado for snowboarding once a year, and I may have an extreme collection of toys and action figures. So… I attend a variety of comic-cons and toy shows to continue my addiction.
AAF: Oh. You’re a comic book junky. So that explains the WE ARE HEROES theme you developed for the American Advertising Awards! How did you get involved with the AAF?
Cameron: Years back, we used to only pay for our AAF membership to get the discounts for the ADDY entries. I was approached 4 years ago to see if I would be interested in a board position. After much thought, I agreed to the position, with the goal of making an impact on the board.
AAF: What do you hope to accomplish while serving on the board?
Cameron: I wanted, and still want, to involve more people, especially the students from the universities in the area. I hope to support these students through events and scholarships. I’d like to express to these students that amazing work is being done locally, and that they can find a job here in San Antonio in their chosen industry. I’d also like to diversify the club with fresh faces from different agencies, backgrounds, and experiences. The town is changing and we should too.