We had the good fortune of connecting with Alex McGinness and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alex, what role has risk played in your life or career?
For me, taking risks has been how I’ve discovered my passion. I always had a feeling I was destined to do something outside of the norm, but it took a long time to figure out what. Finding my career was a long windy path. I started in college by getting a degree in human biology and quickly realized that the field wasn’t for me. Fast forward a year and I completed my 200hr yoga teacher training, where I discovered my intuition and fully connected with myself for the first time. It was because of this that I decided to leave my job at a lab and plunge myself into working at my local yoga studio. Through that experience, I re-discovered my passion for web design (I was the kid on MySpace that updated their profile every other day), discovered a new love for graphic design, and ultimately decided to go back to school for a certificate in web development and design to shift into a new career. This is not a traditional path by any means, and I knew going into it that it was a big risk to turn my back on my bachelor’s. I deeply trusted in myself though and made it a point to succeed. Through hard work, dedication and a lot more risk-taking along the way, I ended up building a boutique design studio that helps visionary clients create brands and websites that stand out and attract their dream clients.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I didn’t discover I was an artist until much later in life. I was 24 when I found my passion for art. Traditionally, artists are viewed as people who work with their hands. Sculptors, painters, people who draw. That’s what I thought of artists when I was younger. It wasn’t until I channeled the idea for an oracle deck where I discovered my passion and ability to create art. In that moment when I channeled the idea, I was in the middle of Joshua Tree National Park. It was my first time there and I connected with something divine, which sparked an idea. I knew immediately what I wanted to create and from there I set out to use the tools available to me to make it happen. I discovered how to manipulate images and photography via Photoshop to come up with a unique design for a deck. From there I channeled messages which are placed on each card of the deck. It was through the creation of this deck that I discovered a passion for digital collage art. Prior to this experience, I had no idea that art could be created digitally. Since then I have continued to create art, and have even been commissioned to create more decks for clients. I do not ever plan to stop creating art digitally or sharing my decks and ideas with the world.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My best friend and I are foodies and we love to try out new and exciting restaurants in the area. We’d most likely go to Morning Glory, because I’ve heard fabulous things about it! I am obsessed with the restaurant Q’ero in Encinitas, they have the best Peruvian food. We would definitely go there for a meal while she was visiting. We both enjoy a good cup of coffee, so, throughout the trip, we’d visit Lofty Coffee and Revolution Roasters (which is local to my neighborhood here in South Oceanside.) As far as hanging out, probably spend a day in Carlsbad Village exploring the local shops. We’d also definitely take a day trip out to Joshua Tree and visit the national park.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the love and support of my aunt. She has run her own business for over 20+ years and is a pillar of strength and grace in our family. She is my biggest role model and has shaped me into the strong, independent woman I am today. My aunt—or tia as I call her—is always there for me when I need support in my business. From venting about annoying things that clients do (yes, it happens) to being my biggest cheerleader, she’s always there. I wouldn’t be the business owner I am today without her support behind me.

Website: thecatalystudio.com

Instagram: instagram.com/thecatalystudio

Facebook: facebook.com/thecatalystudio

Image Credits
All photograpgy shot by Katie Iredale https://Instagram.com/thecaiacollective/ https://thecaiacollective.com/

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.