J O S É  V A C A

B O R N  T O  C R E A T E

 

I am                                based in Oakland, CA.

Currently designing the future of human interactions, writing and illustrating children's books, developing visual systems, managing brands, services, and consumer experiences across multiple channels and platforms, and painting pink vabits. I have a quirk for coming up with crazy cool ideas.

a Designer

My Work

 

bēkn - Web & Mobile App 

Founder + Creative Direction + Branding + Marketing + UX/UI Development + Business Development + CEO

Bēkn is a social good tool that provides you, leaders, dreamers, and doers around the world, with the basic tools needed to create, discover, and engage your local community. It has been and continues to be one of my greatest lessons, passions, and journeys in life. What started off as a mere thought back in 2015 stemming from the desire to change the world has now become a tangible business and service on its way to do just that. Coming from an architecture background I had to use all my knowledge and experience as a designer, as well as teach myself new design methods in order to create things such as functional UX/UI frame works that my co-founder, a software engineer, could understand and replicate, branding and marketing strategies that were engaging, and entire style guides for a company as a whole.

 

Through profound research and by wearing multiple hats, I taught myself how to compete against existing competition within my companies market space. I learned how to create pitch decks and confidently speak in front of groups of potential stakeholders and people. I learned how to create, cultivate, and scale not only a business, but a team. I slowly grew into a CEO the more I learned and paved my way through the startup life with the guidance of teammates, mentors, and family. The journey continues to unfold to this day, as I build, nurture, and grow the team and the dream. I've had many failure along the way, but I am grateful for each and everyone of them for they have been lessons of areas that I needed to work on in order to create a successful business and service that will be beneficial to communities around the world.

I am committed to reimagining how mutual aid and community awareness driven by sustainable generational social good can cultivate stronger relationships among people at a local level, on a global scale.

 

I am grateful for bēkn and the tremendous growth opportunity I would have never gotten anywhere else.

Have You Thanked A Worm Today? - Children's Book

Author + Illustrator + Marketing

One day while making oatmeal I asked my self, "Have you thanked a worm today?" The question itself made me smile and I immediately knew I wanted to cultivate this seed of a thought. I spent the next 2 months writing, illustrating, and publishing my first book, an educational children's book, about an Earthworm named Sprout. Since its release, the book has been enjoyed by many people of all ages across the world. Some of which I've had the honor of reading my book to via Zoom in virtual classrooms, where I shared my passion for creativity and the planet with young scholars.

 

Since the release of this book I have written 2 more children's books, both currently being illustrated by me. I look forward to working with a traditional publisher to share my next books with the world.  

Antojitos Mamá Lupe - Catering Service

Branding + Creative Direction + Marketing

Growing up, I got to experience the magic that happened in the kitchen. I would spend hours watching my Mom cook delicious meals for family and friends. I saw and felt the amount of love she poured into this delicious art form. Now that I am older I am not only helping in the kitchen, but I am helping my sweet Madre share the magic with the rest of the world. Anotojitos Mamá Lupe isn't just a brand I have creatively directed. It is history and tradition shared through multimedia storytelling. Carefully curated moments that activate your senses and take you to a place that feels like home.

Digital Marketing & Advertising - Content Creation

Creative Direction + Marketing

As a creative, I have had the opportunity to work on my own and with teams to create digital campaigns that are fun and engaging. Below is a sample of the varied digital content I have created for large corporations such as Wish, local artist and musicians, online e-commerce sites, non-profits and fundraising events.

Architecture - Architectural Design

Design + Project Management

I studied and worked for 5 years from 2010 to 2015 to receive a Bachelors or Architecture from the California College of the Arts. While in the program, I was exposed to many design styles, methodologies, and backgrounds. I learned many different skills along the way within my field of study ranging from but not limited to 2d and 3d design, rendering and fabrication techniques, material composition, and rapid prototyping. I also picked up a couple of things while collaborating with people in other programs such as industrial design, illustration, fashion, animation, and more that I was then able to apply into my personal work allowing me to grow beyond "the box". I took those skills with me into the professional field of architecture and created work both my employers and clients were extremely happy with. I learned how design, develop, and manage projects from start to finish, working closely with fellow employees, vendors, and clients. I've been immersed in both commercial and residential work settings.

 

Below are samples of my architecture work starting with college and ending with past jobs.

Momentos - Photography & Video

Photographer + Multimedia Storyteller

I once met a man from a small village while traveling across South East Asia who called pictures memories. It was at that moment that my perspective on capturing moments completely changed.

 

As a creative, I am familiar with composition, color, light and shadow. I know how to write poetry and stories that are simple and quite abstract. The world of photography and videography exudes those familiarities I've intertwined with, however added elements such as time and sound capture details that are felt at a core level. Details that access the deepest parts of who we are, where we have been, and where we are going. That's why I love being a photographer, but even more so a multimedia storyteller. Going beyond the seeing eye and transcending memory itself.

Jo. Vabit "The Pink Furry Vandal"

Artist

I never really cared about art history. I mean, try being a Mexican kid, born on the East side of Salinas, CA, growing up in a traditional Mexican family, and then going to art school to sit and learn about all these fancy paintings of European people. Don’t get me wrong, there were many pieces of historical art I could relate to, such as “Lascaux” in southern France, the Calaveras of José Guadalupe Posada, the intrinsic paintings of Salvador Dali and Frida Kahlo, to name a few, but royal self portraits or really anything from 400 BC to the late 1800s... not my cup of Jo. A huge portion of what I was learning was completely un-relatable to my upbringing. The only real connection these historical “selfies” had in my life was the stained glass I would see in church.

 

The work I do is my way of revisiting, engaging, and connecting with foreign history that constantly surrounded me growing up and eventually forced its way into my life.

 

If you are wondering about the rabbit, let's just say he was my imaginary salvation and catalyst for creation while being stuck in a rut in a mindless vocation.

Pink is bold and fun the way - I think - life should be.