FTVM | Skillshare Projects






The Origins

     Technically, I shouldn't be writing this. Yes, I'll reiterate that, I shouldn't be writing this, nor based on my origins should I even be in existence. Let me take you back to the mid sixties in a little country known as Zimbabwe. A woman by the name of Angela, my mom, was in a coma pretty much considered dead by the medical doctors. But if it hadn't been for the persistence and belief against of her mother, she would have never lived.  A few years later out of all the people in that country, she a woman who was practically dead was chosen, along with my oldest brother being a toddler at the time, was sponsored to attend college in good old sunny California.

But soon afterwards the good times didn't roll. Shortly after her sponser was unable to provide the means for my mothers scholastic sponsorship, leaving her and her son and my second older brother with nothing but the lint in their pockets and a few hopes and dreams. But determination and success were the only options left.

     1990 rolled around and I, David Nii Ofei Dodoo, was born. [Insert crap jokes here] the youngest and weirdest of the family.  Shortly afterward my father, himself being an immigrant from east Africa, left the picture. Once again my mother found herself having to create a sustainable life for her and her boys. My father would show himself here ans there making an appearance at a few ball games making due diligence, but for most of my life, he was never there.   It has been this point in my life that I would say my brand began to form. 

     Througout elementry school up until college, I began to create my brand. I experimented in life figuring out who I was morally as well as mentally. When I was 9, I found my way into skateboarding and inspired by all videos of the "fathers" of modern street skateboarding. Little did I know that for the next 10 years, I would find myself entrenched in an activity that would change the rest of my life...The graphics on all the boards and in all the magazines that I would consume with my eyes laid a foundation. That foundation with it brought travel, and interactions with individuals I would never forget. All of these interactions were little showcases how unique humans as well as brands can be, we all have that one thing that differentiates us.  

     Why might you ask, that I bring this up? Well since the get go, branding and building  has been in my genes. When the cards were in the houses favor, may family has adapted, my family has created and thrived, specifically where we weren't supposed to.  This story is the very song my genes sing everyday. The very DNA of my brand, heck the DNA of me, screams, "Eff the 'Vicious' Machine and Create!"  No matter my circumstance, no one can take this away from me, and this is what I will be know as, when my great grandkids are reminded of me.

 The Pursuit

     Today, I create under my own creative agency/identity, FTVM, using my passions for consistent defiance as fuel to design both physical and web environments for other emerging and established brands, businesses, or persons.  My purpose and goal is to learn from, create create, and inspire those around me to brand themselves or in the words of Marc Ecko, "Unlabel" themselves and unfuse their unique stories into everything they do.

The Manifesto

    The entitiy that is now known as FTVM, or on paper Fair Trade Visual Media, was not an overnight emergence. For most of my life, my desire to create manifested itself in the form of various different outlets. Birthing itself in the form of photography, I was insspired by the process of the dark room. The fact that I could manipulate film in any way that I wanted was breath taking.  The thing I loved most was the fact that I could pay attention to the details, and do to them what I chose, I could create as I saw fit  once I had learned the in's and out's of basic film developing.

     As I moved my way into digital, I began my first attempt of developing my brand. But immaturity led itself to me falling hard on my face as I tried to create my first "business". The funny thing is, there was no business model, no way of creating something that would sustain itself;something I would learn years later in another failed attempt to be the next streetwear giant.

     As my peers looked upon my ventures, I'm assuming with great laughter, there was one individual that was silently watching, an individual who would later help me understand and manifest the idea I create with today.  Over time our relationship blossomed, initially seeing him as my brother, he eventually became to me a peer.  We spent and even now spend a lot of time throwing ideas back and forth, usually ending in me learning some lesson on business or on keeping a creative focus. "The world doesn't need another marketer," He calmly stated one afternoon. As we finished our conversation, that was the only thing I could think about.

     For a month straight, I thought about this idea, I wrestled with it, but eventually realized he was right.  The world doesn't need another person who can receite the 4 p's of marketing like Paulie.  In a place where there are millions of people with marketing degrees, acing a marketing class will not add any extra value into this world.  But what the world demands, what the world needs are people who will be Consistently Defiant.  Having 20 million followers or tweets means, nothing without quality content. And quality isn't instantaneous, it practiced, it's cultivated.

     Had I not failed in so many endeavours, I don't think my manifesto, would ever have presented itself.  I needed to taste defeat, what it meant to be in the ditches, because that's what taught me to be creative. It's those moment's of confusion, utter darkness, that opportunity in the form of light presents itself.  Despite what others say I can only operate and live by one commandment:

                                                                                                                                                   Consistent Defiance.


My Work:

Web Design For The eco-Friendly Pet Brand New Age Pet.

Button/Print Design For The Fight To Stay Excited Campaign.

Poster/Print Design, Fight To Stay Excited Campaign


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