Ned Gonzalez B.S. ’13, M.A.'19
Founder/Creative Director of Nerdcore Studio
November 17, 2020
For most students, finding their dream job after graduation is a logical next step. But what do you do when the predictable path doesn’t lead where you hoped? Well, if you’re a UBalt grad, you could always just forge your own and make the business of your dreams a reality.
Ned Gonzalez, B.S.'13, M.A.'19 did just that. It was not an easy or short road to get to where he is now. His initial interest in UBalt was the Simulation and Digital Entertainment program, which attracted both Ned and his twin brother Neil Gonzalez (B.S.’14). “I was excited to learn about creating my own video games, but unfortunately, I didn’t excel at development and programming. Instead, I realized that I had a strong passion for graphic design. When I heard about the Corporate Communications program, I decided to transfer, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made”.
“After I had obtained my undergraduate degree, I wanted to tackle the real world and search for opportunities as a graphic designer. I had spent a year on my job search, but I had no luck,” he recalls. “Then, a friend and colleague convinced me to go back to school and pursue my master’s degree. I decided to return to UBalt and enroll in their Integrated Design program.”
And 10 years after starting this journey, Nerdcore Studio was born. Ned had assembled a team of fellow “supportive nerds,” registered his business as an LLC and acquired studio space in Hampden. When asked about how his UBalt experience prepared him for opening his own multimedia studio, Ned said it came down to his “outstanding professors, colleagues and friends” who taught him about himself as a designer and a person.
In Ned’s own words Nerdcore Studio is a “multimedia studio that focuses on storytelling and education through the powers of design, photography, gaming, animation and videography.” He didn’t want Nerdcore to become a “typical, boring, robotic, stressful” workplace—he wanted variety and diversity. He wants it to be a flexible place to work, where the team can get together and generate ideas, grab a bite to eat together, and then get down to business when they have clients and projects to work on.
When asked about what advice he would give to current students interested in pursuing a career like his, he has a lot of wisdom to impart based on his own experiences, and focused on two categories: Technical and Spiritual.
1. Draw. “We have the habit to jump on the computer right away, but it is important to start with pencil and paper to flesh out your ideas.”
2. Review. “We are not perfect so do not commit to your first draft of your work.”
3. Practice. “You should always polish and sharpen your skills every day.”
1. Confidence. “If you have an idea, believe in your idea.”
2. Perseverance. “Don’t give up! There were times when I felt like I wasn’t good enough and started to doubt my capabilities.”
3. Stay Enlightened. “I’ve realized that I don’t claim to be a professional in my craft. I want to be ignorant, yet humble and eager to learn.”
At the end of the day, Ned recognizes he has a lot of people to thank for supporting his journey and accomplishments, starting with his brother Neil, who is the co-founder of Nerdcore and has invested a lot of time and energy into making this dream a reality. Most importantly, Ned recognizes that the success of Nerdcore Studio is truly a group effort, and he owes a lot to the colleagues who not only followed his vision, but brought their own creativity and drive to the team.
If you're interested in learning more about Nerdcore Studio, please visit https://www.facebook.com/nerdcorestdo/.