Spotlight on Dave Valentine, Graphic Designer for Poppy Creative Agency

Graphic designer and art director Dave Valentine is the man behind the design and layout of our magazines (check out his covers below). We’re so lucky to have him – Poppy simply wouldn’t be the same without his work – and couldn’t be more thrilled that his winding path found its way to art school and then to us. “It took me forever to get clear and finally focus on design,” he said. “I worked on a pearl farm in French Polynesia, as an event producer at Mt. Bachelor ski resort in Oregon, at a zoo…”

Where some would brush off that eclectic background as fruitless, Dave has harnessed it to inform his work – the mark of a true artist. “Having experienced so many different jobs and going though several micro-careers has given me the ability to look at my work through different lenses. I have perspectives that I wouldn’t necessarily have if I had gone straight from high school into design.”


Deep down, Dave knew he’d end up in a creative field eventually. “I was in high school in the late 80’s – at that time, the culture had such a creative spirit. My friends and I defined ourselves as surfers and skateboarders. Being around that scene and listening to punk rock and hip hop, loving the non-conformity of it all, it made it easy for me to believe I didn’t have to follow any traditional career path. It felt really natural to think that way.”

Since we always want the inside scoop from our favorite creatives, we asked Dave what he loves most about his career. “Any time I see somebody connect to my work and see it resonate with them, it’s really the best feeling in the world. By definition, my job as a graphic designer is to visually communicate messages. I try to make my work interesting enough to engage viewers to spend a bit of time looking at it, to consider something that they may just as easily pass over without a second glance.”

Dave’s advice for up-and-coming graphic designers? “Make your work honest. Don’t try to make your stuff look like something cool you saw someone else doing. We all get influenced, but you have to own your ideas. Also, grow some thick skin – you won’t always please everyone.”

Check out Dave’s website and connect with him on Instagram.

Flip through our magazines to see work from our entire team!


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