Hello, and welcome to Ground Up Digital, LLC

  My name is Colin, and in February of 2013, on a cold dark winter in Chicago, I founded Ground Up Digital, LLC in the kitchen nook of the apartment I shared with my brother.  

"The Dij" - short for Ground Up Digital, LLC - is truly a company built from a passion for media production, and a passion to enhance others.  The greatest joy I get from doing what I do is watching a big brand release a new brand video we worked tirelessly on to raving, viral reviews, or a public figure updating their facebook picture with a photograph from one of our sessions and watching it explode on social media.  This is what drives myself and my team at Ground Up Digital, LLC

  I often say at Ground Up Digital, LLC, "we're good at making others great."

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After years of producing video for fun as a kid, I took my first real step toward media production my freshman year of high school at New Trier High School in the north suburbs of Chicago.  It was a flash animation course and I was riveted by the ability to put a massive moon behind a gleaming city background and other artistic, animated ventures.  I'm now a masters-level Adobe Creative Cloud producer doing video production, photography, and both static and motion graphic design.

My come up happened in the city of Chicago, from 2011 through 2015, where I worked primarily at Fleet Feet Sports - Chicago full-time and eventually ascended to become the digital marketing manager and graphic designer for the booming 7-store run specialty retail operation.  My hours were spent graphic designing e-blasts, shooting race photography and videography, managing and developing social media accounts, web design, and so much more.  I loved every second of it.  

At the same time, I began taking my skill-set outside of Fleet Feet Sports - Chicago as more and more requests for photography and videography work emerged.  I developed a fun, rewarding, and lucrative side hustle with it, and my network began to blossom through Chicago.  That side-hustle today is officially Ground Up Digital LLC.

Finally, at the end of 2014, I left Fleet Feet Sports Chicago to pursue Ground Up Digital, LLC full-time.  2015 was a rip roaring year of entrepreneurial stress, success, travel and hard exhilarating work.  I completed 40+ intensive creative media projects for various clients.  I also grew to know many faces and businesses throughout Chicago during the process, and my career their in entirety, and still maintain those connections.  I love traveling home to Chicago these days from San Diego.  It has that sense of magic where you know something "began".  It feels almost a transport to my past, and an original well of creativity I can access.  Plus, it's a beautiful city filled with great people, great transit, and so much to do.  I love Chicago.

At the end of 2015, and with my newfound entrepreneurial freedom, I decided to take things to the beach.  I was traveling through Europe in November of 2015, and had been prospecting the idea of moving to Southern California for some time.  While in Are, Sweden, I received a call from my roommate in Chicago saying she and her boyfriend were moving to San Diego, and they had an extra room to rent - I took a few minutes to ponder the proposition under the beautifully dark swedish sky, and moments later I called back and said yes, I'm in.

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I return from Europe to what would then be my final month in Chicago.  I gathered up my life, my business, my loose-ends, and on January 4th, 2016, landed at LAX, and haven't looked back.

  Enter San Diego.  Where Ground Up Digital, LLC is currently in full operation.  It's been nearly two years since I've been here, and I love shooting and producing in the majestic Southern California landscapes.  I love the ocean, and surfing, and the beautiful weather, and it's a blessing to be living out here conducting my business from the beach.  We like to refer to San Diego as "The Tip of the Spear."  The phrase has profound meaning for us, but I'll let you make of it what you will.  Cheers to art and design.

  If you'd like to know more or get in touch, I'm on instagram (@cr9gaze), Twitter (@CRGaze) and Linkedin here.  Please feel free to reach out.

-Colin

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