When Avin was still in single digits, what feels like a lifetime ago, he could be found locked away in his room drawing cover art for video games. Somewhere along the way in his little youthful spirit, Avin got bit by the creative bug.
He would either copy artwork or would go as far as creating his own.
*Notice the "PlayStation 3" and "E" logos? When Avin turned 9, I came up with the idea to literally make him a birthday card. I took his love for game cover art and turned it into a birthday card. Thankfully he still has it to this day.
For a day or so I collected a number of different images and then one night after work - during my W2 job days - I stayed late just hammering away on this. I couldn't shake the creative seizure I was suffering from. It was a blast! I modeled the game art after the notorious video game, "Grand Theft Auto Five'' ; also known as "GTA5"
Instead, I did a spin on it and called it "Good Times Avin Nine"; also known as, "GTA9"
I wanted to make it special to Avin, for Avin, about Avin... so I put a number of hidden messages within the design specific to him.
1. Good Times Avin is in the exact same font as GTA5 2. I made the Roman numeral 9 for his 9th birthday 3. Instead of rated E for everyone, it's rated A for Awesome, ages 9+ years old 4. Buried Avin's initials and birthdate within the binding 5. Details on rating specifically:
6. A brief summary on what to expect from the game:
Welcome to the spirit of Avin! Taking imagination to the next level by combining gameplay and artistry to create worlds only found in the brilliance of a child. Watch as Avin tackles some of the biggest names in gaming history. His creativity in cover art and storytelling will keep you wanting more! So totally AWESOME!
While I was in the creative throes of making our own version of Monopoly, Monopoly Black,
Avin picked up one of our game dice. It was all black with red dots on it. He would then end up adopting the brand name "BlackDice Gaming". This would become his brand, gamer tag, email address, all things external to Avin's brand was BlackDice.
Throughout his school years he was never much of the math and science kid, but he was quick to the alphabet and did pretty well in the language and English subjects. In his Freshman year of high school he wrote a creative story called "Night Dreams". There was always creativity flowing through his mind. While in middle school and high school his schedule was hinged around everything football. In light of his time, he found creativity in fashion by pushing the social bounds of finding his own kind of style... even while on the football field. Although school itself was smooth with respect to education, our biggest challenge, Avin's biggest challenge, was finding his place within the school's football culture. Over the course of these many years I've written plenty of stories about those successes and challenges. Two months from today will be one full year since Avin stopped playing football. In light of today's 110 degree temperatures, I can still feel the sting of the 20 degree Friday night in Show Low, when Avin quietly walked off the field for the last time dressed as a football player. It was truly the end of an era...
Or was it?
In the business of high school sports, it's no longer about wooing college scouts to come out and see you play to become recruited for a scholarship. In today's hyper connected world, it's all about your videos and your athletic reach within the social webs...
also known as edits.
Fast forward 9.5 years into the future, today, it wasn't until this morning did I revisit the words that I wrote to him within that special GTA9 Birthday card. In this moment of clarity, the only analogy that I can surmise to express, is that the words I wrote within that damn creative birthday card might as well have been the magic in the Snowman's hat that turned him into the icon, Frosty.
To my very special Avin, I'm sorry you had to wait so long to get your birthday card. But I'll tell you what!! It sure was worth the wait. I got the idea for this card/gift from watching you make all your pretend games. MAN! It sure is a lot of fun! I really had a blast thinking about all the neat little details in the game art. I spent a lot of time making this for you. I hope you enjoy looking at it. You have such a wonderful imagination. I hope you always have the courage to express it and have fun with it. You are so very special to me and I love you dearly. I am so proud of my creative fun loving little boy!
Stay young forever!
Happy #9 Birthday
Love you always,
Near the final weeks of 2022, Avin made this edit for his football teammate Andrew. Avin took a handful of gameplay video clips captured from different applications, merged them with his own style, sounds, intro, focus points, and stitched together his first video edit...
from his phone?!
He made such an impression he started doing this for other football players just because. This was a mix of pro players and some of his friends for playful practice. Avin even got the chance to watch a Pro Cardinals player review the edit Avin made of him, live online. From there, traction started to take! Within a short time Avin was being contacted by high school football players from across the state. These were top recruits for division one colleges throughout the country. All of them were requesting their own personalized video edits! One shared with his buddy, that friend shared with his other friend's... the requests came in, and came in. As goes with any growth a child has, soon the teddy bear or special toy collects dust tucked away high on the shelf, not forgotten, but more so retired. BlackDice Gaming has its place in our home, but it was a stepping stone for what was coming... EDITSBYAVINBRILL was making waves and the current is strong. The process is that a player reaches out to Avin to talk about wanting an edit made for them. From there the player sends Avin a lot of links to video footage or video footage itself. This video is either for actual gameplay or even bigger, when the player signs with a college for scholarship... also known as "being committed" Throughout the process Avin communicates one on one with the athlete as the edit evolves. From a high level of creativity, Avin cuts and stitches in a story of sounds, songs, video clips, all things to make a completed edit.
Follow me as I jump up on Avin's two key platforms
*I've screen recorded the content from my phone, so you're not going down the rabbit hole. ;)
Check out these top two video edits! ~ made with his phone?!
This past Friday, Avin was invited to come shoot one of the top high school football teams in Arizona, The Chandler Wolves. For perspective, the high school Avin personally attended was a small 3A division school that very few people know about. Chandler however, is a 6A nationally recognized campus. This game in particular was highlighted as one of the TOP TEN games in the country.
Chandler High School has had 12 football players make it to the NFL. When you play for Chandler, you draw the attention of many big name colleges. We live in Surprise, which is roughly 43 miles away from Chandler High School... which takes at least one full hour to get there and then one full hour to come back from. This was a commute Avin's old handyman truck isn't really designed for. Avin's always liked football, however, Avin's never shown this kind of love or deep level commitments like he has with his edits. Despite my busy workload of trying to make something happen, this was one of those parent cards I felt that I should help him out with... and man?!
I was grinning from ear to ear watching him! DAMN! :)
I found myself being lost in taking pictures of the kid taking pictures!
My face would be in my phone watching him and then I'd hear the crowd roar with excitement having missed the action. But that was okay with me. It was so neat to watch Avin be engaged and welcomed! There had been countless times watching him as a football player get unprovokingly shoved, pushed, fussed at by his own teammates while on the sidelines. Oftentimes Avin could be found just standing by himself just to avoid all the bull shit... ugh?! I don't miss those times!
Today! Here?! MAN?!
What a totally different world?! - shit! a different universe! Chandler would have annihilated Avin's former school - remember, 12 kids have gone pro from this outfit?! So considering the talent pool on the field, watching Avin be appreciated in this capacity just made my big ass dad-heart smile! It's one thing to just have a love for what you do. Watching a number of Avin's edits through the creative lens that I have - boy... this kid has something! Avin graduated high school but 4/5 months ago and as the new school year starts a handful of his former classmates are trekking off to the military or are settling in their dorm rooms. As any parent would, what are you doing next Avin? Having volunteered to be Avin's 8hour chaperone (the time commitment for Chandler's game) Unlike Chas reporting to me about Avin's first words, or Avin's first steps, I had the chance to watch Avin take his first steps as an entrepreneur!
Gosh damn holy cow! Makes my eyes well up with pride!
Here Avin takes a picture with Kennedy Urlacher, son of NFL Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher, a 12 year NFL linebacker for the Chicago Bears. Avin's been able to develop his own friendship with Kennedy. Kennedy was encouraging/pulling on Avin to make his way out to Chandler's game this past Friday.
Just recently Kennedy has committed to accepting a full ride scholarship to the Fighting Irish, Notre Dame University. The really cool thing is that through the relationship Avin created with Kennedy, Avin got to vicariously participate in the excitement of such a big step. Kennedy with his Father, Brian Urlacher.
With any entrepreneurial venture there's moments of unreal excitement with hiccups and learning lessons.. speaking from experience! Just as Brian likely feels about Kennedy, for me and Chas, it's really awesome getting to watch Avin create his own kind of brand and special experiences. :) Provided Avin keeps after this, knowing the relationships he's getting to create it's only a matter of time before someone goes bigtime and Avin will have had a hand in knowing them, before they became them. He's already talking about serving many other athletes outside of the football world - even talking about making such edits for the younger leagues - like our very own Saints Team. ;) Until bigtime happens, it's work, work, struggle, practice, fail, win, practice, scrimp, practice, win, apply... ;) Should you patron select social webs, please consider following Avin so you can check out his edits and watch what happens next. :) Instagram: @EDITSBYAVINBRILL TickTock: @EDITSBYAVINBRILL Have a grateful weekend!