Introducing the new ThinkNW talent showcase! We’ll be highlighting dynamic talent and job-seekers within the industry here on the blog. We hope you enjoy getting to know these inspiring folks as much as we have.
Meet Joshua Abreu, a creative originally hailing from Boston, MA. Learn more about Josh below.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up about 40 minutes north of Boston in a small town called Methuen. Growing up, I was able to experience a variety of landscapes ranging from beaches and farms to city skylines. I’m proud to have grown up in an environment that introduced me to different atmospheres, which helped me discover my interests and shape me to who I am today – for that, I’m thankful.
Did you attend art school or get any special, industry-specific training?
I graduated from Suffolk University in the spring of 2020, with a major in Entrepreneurship, as well as minors in both Global Business and Marketing. The timing of my graduation was not ideal to say the least, however it allowed me to sharpen myself and dive deeper into the career I want to build.
During my four years at Suffolk I rediscovered my passion for photography and graphic design. I became a self-taught artist and freelancer that has done work for the likes of RedBull and the UFC. Growing up, I was never great at drawing, but teaching myself to use Adobe CC has brought new possibilities into my photography and art.
When did you know that you wanted to work in the advertising/marketing industry?
I never saw myself as a conventional businessman. My mind is a carnival of ideas with no limits to imagination, which has always been reflected in how I present myself on a daily basis. I grew up working with my father in the construction industry. Seeing how hard he worked allowed me to always think of new products and solutions that could make his life easier. That way of thinking was etched into my brain. Being able to come up with a diverse range of creative solutions to any given problem, is a gift of mine that I do not take for granted.
What/Who inspires you?
My parents have always been a massive inspiration to me, it may be a cliché answer but it holds solid truth. They both immigrated here from Brazil at a very young age and have worked extremely hard to provide a life worth living for my two sisters and I. To this day, my father hasn’t taken more than three weeks off of work since he was 16. He’s 56 now. My mother, as well, has been a rock my entire life. Whether it was me “forgetting” my school lunches in the first grade so she would bring me McDonald’s, or her constantly encouraging me to pursue my dreams and aspirations, she was always there. A massive goal of mine is for me to be able to return the favor to them one day, by giving them anything and everything they need in order to enjoy their lives happily and comfortably.
Have you had any allies or mentors who have helped you on your journey?
The list is LONG, to say the least. My journey has definitely been blessed by being alongside my parents, my amazing sisters Ualla and Christy, my wonderful girlfriend Justina, and my best friends John, Jacob and Austin. They have all collectively taught me to believe in myself, believe in my work, and encouraged me to chase the many dreams I have. I have also been able to find mentorship in one of the best professors at Suffolk, Kim Ring, who has also been a great friend to me. Lastly, I have also been able to be mentored by Jess Forgue, who has tremendously guided me in this industry these past few months. If I have missed anyone, I apologize, but you know who you are!
The numbers vary depending on the source, but our industry is roughly 75% white. At the executive level, the number is even higher. How do you think this lack of diversity hurts the work we do?
I am hopeful. I hope to have a family one day, and hope that when my kids are my age, this problem isn’t a problem anymore. I hope they get a diverse atmosphere like I did growing up, and get to work in a place that empowers them for who they were created to be. I want to be a part of the change and be someone people can lean on when they don’t have the strength or understanding to do it themselves. What if the earth was created and everything was the same? People were all one color, everything tasted like salt, the entire earth smelled like cardboard, the sky’s colors didn’t change, and the grass was green year round. We would be immensely bored. Beauty is in diversity.
What powers you?
The year of 2020 taught me a lot. Before, it was easy to take human interaction for granted, but little did I know how much it would affect me to be without it. I love helping others, being with friends, staying active, and experiencing all the ups-and-downs life has to offer. The unknowns found in all of our lives empowers me. That is the best thing about life, it may not be easy and we don’t always know where it’s going, but we all still have it and can do our best. We are granted the ability to just breathe and take a ride on the rollercoaster of the life that comes with our humanity. Therefore I do my best to enjoy it and take it for what it is, day by day.