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

Hi Chris, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My mother was an artist, specifically focused on landscapes and working with oil paints. So growing up watching her work on canvas gained my attention from an early age. Spending K5-12 and later college, focused on nothing but art, I really couldn’t see myself doing anything else and truly being happy. After college I worked quite a few dead-end jobs, quickly realizing that when you work for someone else, you’re helping them achieve their goals and their dreams, not your own. So there was two major factors that kick-started things; I wanted to work for myself, and I wanted to make some cool art. Anything else just wasn’t going to cut it.

Starting out I didn’t have any graphic or web design experience, but I knew these mediums would give me the best opportunity to not only express my creative side, but also one day pay my bills. So with the help of YouTube, I learned most of Adobe Suite, WordPress and Shopify for e-commerce websites. As you can imagine, just starting out in the design world, my portfolio was far from up to par. But I’ve always said that if you’re willing to put in the work required to grow, you will.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

My primary focus is logos/brand development, packaging and labels, and web design. Occasionally I’ll pick up some illustration or sign painting gigs. I work out of my home office. Once my wife and kiddo leave the house, I’ll spend the next 6-8 hours crushing some design work and hanging with my Rottweiler Ivan.

At the end of the day, I just couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I’m a creative so I have to create. Taking a tiny idea in your head and watching it take form in the real world is a pretty amazing thing to see. With that said, I really enjoy my work, because it doesn’t feel like work ever. I get to wake up every morning and design cool stuff. I get to put a smile on my customers face, and that makes me happy. It’s a sense of validation, that the effort you put into something you truly care about and enjoy, and repeating the rewards from it, emotionally and financially.

Anything worth doing in life takes patience and determination, because nothing happens overnight. But once again, if you’re willing to put in the work required to grow, you will. I knew that if I put in the time, the quality of my work would inevitably improve.

I’m just an independent designer trying to do good work for good people. Hard work does pay off and dreams do come true, if you’re willing to put in the work.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m pretty laid back, I certainly don’t need the busy city life, the noisy cars and the flashing lights. My idea of a good time is a trip to the mountains. So I’d probably take my buddy on a drive to Aspen. Shoot up HWY 24 west to Buena Vista, hop on HWY 82 and Independence Pass. I’d stop at the little convenient store in Twin Lakes, sit outside on the lawn chairs and have a beer with my friend while we observe the lake and all it’s beauty. Head into Aspen, maybe stop a their local brewery for a bite and another beer. Then hike up in Maroon Bells and camp out under the stars. A good conversation, a sh*tty night sleep, followed by some bacon, eggs and campfire coffee in the morning.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My number one has to be my amazing mother Susan Finke. At the age of 27, she was left raising three kids on her own with nothing more than a high school diploma. She had two options, figure it out, or take the easy route and get state assistance. She not only figured it out, but pursued her dream of becoming a nurse. So while raising three kids, she put herself through college and worked two jobs. She’s now a college nursing professor at Bethel UCCS in Colorado Springs.

I learn greatly from observing others and simply doing it myself, while making plenty of mistakes along the way. It’s a great way to learn. Seeing my mom bust her butt to get what she wanted and deserved, really set the precedence of what was expected of me. Know what you want and work hard to get it. Don’t cut corners and don’t make excuses.

Website: www.hi-fivedesign.com

Instagram: @hifivedesignco

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christopher-scott-thornton-906267233/

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