Who: Jeffrey Salazar
What: Art director for Las Vegas Nightlife Group and partner in Kuma Snow Cream
I graduated in the Philippines with … a major in fine arts and advertising arts. There was minimal computer work, and everything was usually done by hand. In ’99, I moved to Juneau. Eventually I was able to pick up a sign maker’s job for a local shop in Alaska.
One day … my brother moved to Las Vegas to go to college, and I was like, you know what, I’m going to move to Vegas, too. During my first week I picked up a job at a sign shop that did all the designs for Celine Dion and the Fashion Show mall—the pictures of people there, I helped put that together—among others.
I’m very influenced by … late ’80s and early ’90s skateboard design, like Powell Peralta, Santa Cruz, Dogtown and Alva. I like things edgy, sometimes funny with a message. I’m also really inspired by heavy metal like Iron Maiden.
For Kuma … I came up with the name, the look, the color scheme, basically the entire branding. As for our logo, the bear, I made him out of nothing. It’s just a plump bear thing that I drew up in less than 20 minutes. He doesn’t even have arms or legs. The most rewarding part is I see families and children coming back and saying they love the bear.