Meet Designer and Founder of Proxi Andrew Swaink

Andrew got his start editing music videos for $20 per video while in his first semester of college. He did not enjoy it so he made a change. A quick google search led to what is now called Proxi. Proxi is the result of hard work and wanting to see a change. Click the link in our bio to read more about Andrew and his journey.

1. Who are you? What do you do? Where are you from?

My name is Andrew Swaink. I’m from Kansas City, Missouri. I am the creator of Proxi, I’ve done designing, video editing, photography, animation, etc.

2. What was the turning point in your career? Where were you before that?

It was November of my 1st semester of college, I absolutely hated it. I was trying to find ways to make more money because at the time I was editing music videos to make like 20$ per video. It was a really bad time for me and one night I found the website Teepublic where you can upload designs you make and they sell them and give you a cut. I was already into graphic design that’s what I was going to school for, but with Teepublic I was actually able to create stuff that I wanted to and that got me paid so i got really into it. I think that feeling of creating something and people connecting with it was something that really stuck with me so I just kept going with it. It wasn’t until months later that I realized that if people are buying my designs on this website I could create my own brand, but the seeds were definitely planted back then that would eventually lead to me creating Proxi.

3. How has your life experience shaped you?

I spent a lot of my teens by myself I was a massive introvert and as I’ve grown up I’ve partially grown out of that but the damage had already been done. I learned the hard way the value of having friends and having people to connect with, especially during quarantine. That’s why I’ve really pushed Proxi in this direction of all these weird characters that are all friends and sharing these positive messages because that’s something I feel I now know the value of.

4. How do you practice awareness? How do you maintain your best self and manage your day-to-day experiences?

The 2 most important practices for me are routine and just writing everything down or creating a visual. They go hand and hand too. I’ll have all these thoughts in my head but if I don’t write it down ill forget in a couple of minutes. Then if I have all these things written down but if my routine isn’t good then ill likely not get it done. My whiteboard is probably my most important thing to me when it comes to the day-to-day. It essentially combines the 2 practices so I know what I need to be doing every day and I think giving my thoughts a visual like that was an absolute game-changer for me.

5. What are some important issues you’d like to shed light on? How would you do it?

This goes back to my previous answer, it is definitely trying to bring people together. For a multitude of reasons, there’s a lot of people that feel alone currently. I’m trying to create messages and communities that can connect people. I hope to create a community where simply sharing a favorite Proxi character could potentially make people become friends. Or maybe a certain character has characteristics that make people feel less alone. I try to give all the characters realistic flaws so that people can relate to them more. Like Proxi Kid he’s supposed to be an ugly little introverted kid, Zushi is a failed swordsman with a big scar, and Mako is this chunky shark with bandages all over. They’re small things but I think it’ll connect with some people and it’ll be like oh this character is just like me! These funny weird little characters could be very powerful in my opinion.