This column is written by the Staten Island Advance/SILive.com collegiate correspondent.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Have you ever been to a party where everything is just magical? Where every detail is well-thought out and executed? Well chances are Staten Islander Gustavo Galvan had something to do with it.
Gustavo is the founder and creative director of Galvan Event Design, which is billed as an “experience design company” that pursues the creation of “bold, imaginative and spectacular concepts.”
Founded on Staten Island in October 2016, Gustavo has a mission to delight the senses of party guests through the “exploration of color, decor, lighting and customizable elements.”
*Check out some of Gustavo’s impressive creations in the gallery above*
Gustavo is originally from Dallas, Texas, where his formal art training began. He attended Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, where he was introduced to different artistic mediums that sparked his passion.
After graduating from Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y., with a Bachelors in Fine Arts and a minors in Art History and Marketing, Gustavo decided to take a leap of faith and move to New York City in 2010.
“I moved with the expectation of having a successful and creative career but no clear direction, ” Gustavo said.
He began developing more skills through his job in costume fabrication for big name celebrities for music videos, world tours, photoshoots and movies. Shortly after, Gustavo began to transition into the world of styling for print ads, commercials and even dabbled as a costume production assistant for the NBC’s Law and Order SVU.”
“I learned a lot through working at a prestigious specialty design and fabrication studio where we created costumes and props for the entertainment industry,” said Gustavo.
Afterward, Gustavo was selected for the artist residence program at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, where he had the opportunity to live on the grounds and develop a collection of 11 garments “upcycled” from paper and plastic shopping bags.
Towards the end of the residency, he also had his first experience with producing and executing his fashion show, “Shopping Intricacies,” where he showcased the eleven recyclable garments he had created. “This experience left an impression within myself to continue to explore options as a creative type,” divulged Gustavo.
Following his two-month residency, Gustavo started his position as a Visual Merchandiser for the largest retail store in the world, Macy’s at Herald Square. This gave him the opportunity to learn more about visual design within a retail setting and continue to develop his design skills in the women’s shoe store.
“During my time at Macy’s, I was introduced to the profession of event design through a friend and I began to freelance for an event designer where my eyes were opened to the completely new world of design and production,” explained Gustavo.
“I loved the fast paced atmosphere when setting up an event, the essential on-the-spot problem solving, the months of work needed for a few hour event…. its is all just so exciting! The world of events captivated my interest so much so that I decided to leave my previous employer and pursue event design as owner/founder of my own company.”
Since then, Galvan Event Design has been fortunate enough to work with Ounce Water, Macy’s Inc. Northeast region, Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, Rakuten Marketing, Staten Island Museum, New Yorkers for Parks, College of Staten Island, Solutions Journalism Network and many other clients.
Gustavo told me that his influences come to him in many shapes and forms such as music, fashion, and acts of kindness. He is often inspired by dramatic film scores that evoke emotion without words as well as good deeds because of the positive vibes they spread.
His family also plays a big part when it comes to inspiration and motivation. They all support Gustavo and his event design company and encourage him daily. “My parents, Gustavo & Celia Galvan, and sister, Polette Galvan, are a huge influence in my life. Though residing in Texas, we are in constant communication so that I don’t want to miss out on on anything,” said Gustavo.
“I am truly fortunate enough to have the opportunity to wake up and create ideas to enhance people’s lives through exciting event experiences. I am constantly challenging myself with every event that comes my way. I love connecting with people from all walks of life because I believe that everyone has some something I can learn from.”
-S.I. native Charista Mroczek is a freshman at Barnard College of Columbia University.