Get to Know Paul, HMG’s New Visual Designer


This month, HMG welcomed our newest team member, Paul Capetola – visual designer and creative extraordinaire. Paul brings tremendous talent to our team with over 8 years of design and development experience, and we’re thrilled to have him on board. Per usual with new HMGers, we asked a few “get-to-know-you” questions so we could all learn a little more about him. Here’s what he had to say:

I’ve spent most of my life in the northeast, where I grew up outside of Philadelphia, then went to college in Baltimore at the Maryland Institute College of Art. I graduated with an art degree and after college began working for a small non-profit arts organization where I started doing some design and marketing work for them.

Eventually, I moved to Baton Rouge for a girl (now my wife) and worked a couple of design jobs there. I kind of learned front-end code and development on the job and fell in love with the combination of both designing and building websites. After working a few years, my wife and I decided to quit our jobs and travel, in what some family and friends dubbed a ‘quarter-life crisis.’ It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

We had a blast traveling through Europe for a few months and then across America for another couple of months in our tiny teardrop camper before coming back to the real world, moving to Austin, and getting back to work. We’ve been in Austin for about 4 years, and we love it here. We bought a house a little over a year ago and are here to stay!

In my free time I really love art, camping, hiking, watching bad movies, and eating good food. If you have any suggestions for places to eat in Austin, be sure to send them my way, and I’ll let you know what the latest terrible movie I’ve seen is!

Where’s your favorite place in the world?

That’s a hard one – I really love to travel, and there have been so many great trips. I don’t think I’ve been to many places more beautiful than Italy’s Cinque Terre, but also fell in love with Munich when we went. Beyond that, my wife and I also love to go camping, and no one has anything like America’s National Parks. If I had to pick just one place, considering everything, I would probably end up going with Yellowstone National park. It’s so huge, beautiful, and to anyone who hasn’t been – it’s the top place I would suggest visiting. Whether you like the outdoors or not, I think Yellowstone would give anyone an appreciation for nature.

What books, podcasts, tv shows or documentaries are you into lately?

I read (or listen to) a lot of epic fantasy books. Right now, I’m reading The Fifth Season, but Words of Radiance and The Name of The Wind are some of my favorites.

What are you most passionate about?

Art. I come from a fine arts background, and it’s what initially spurred my interest in design. In college I was a fine arts major and also studied art history and curatorial studies. I really love minimalism and abstract expressionism, and I think there’s a lot of design inspiration you can get from looking at the shapes and colors in those styles of art.

At HMG our furry friends are part of the fam. What pets are you bringing into the fold?

I have two miniature Schnauzers, Java and Bear. My dog are the most rambunctious little dogs ever, and like every dog owner, I also think they’re the cutest dogs ever. Bear is actually Java’s puppy, and the two of them are inseparable.

What do you like most about Austin? What’s your favorite thing to do here?

There are so many great things about Austin, but most weekends my wife and I find ourselves trying out a new place to eat around town, grabbing a movie from I Luv Video, or hiking with our dogs.

Favorite Austin taco spot?

The only breakfast taco for me is a bacon, potato, egg, and cheese from Tacodeli (those mashed potatoes are so good!). Other than that, I probably go to Tyson’s Tacos most often.

What do you think is the most exciting new technology?

Just seeing how much technology changes and shapes the world around it. I there is a lot of creativity in how a completely unexpected new technology can change how people think or interact with the world.

Why did you choose to work at HMG?

I really like working with a smaller team, because I feel like you really get to know your co-workers better and it gives you more room to learn and stretch your skills. This role was perfect for me because I really like designing for the web and dipping my toes into front-end development. I get to use both sides of my brain, designing and then coding something. Coming from an arts background, I also have an inherent need to create. Being able to not only design a website or landing page but to also actually build it yourself fills that need, in a way that handing an image off to a developer wouldn’t.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Teleportation. Because I love to travel, but I get motion sick, which isn’t the best combination. Also, Austin traffic…

What’s your favorite movie?

The Fly (1986) starring the incredible Jeff Goldblum.