photo of owner Jay Hoelscher
What does chromatic” mean? For Jay Hoelscher, it means “bright, vivid, beautiful.” “It encompasses what I built as a company,” said Hoelscher, owner of Think Chromatic, a digital imagery and animation company at 3934 West River Drive in downtown Comstock Park. “We want our customers to think that of us and the results we deliver to them.”
The company creates digital imagery and animation of products and spaces for marketing and advertising needs. Photo-quality digital images are cheaper and easier to produce compared to digital photographs, said Hoelscher. “With the power of software and computers we can create anything that exists or doesn’t exist for brochures, web sites, and other advertising material,” he said, adding that he does work with photographs and photographers on occasion “marrying” computer generated images and digital photographs. Hoelscher said computer generating images (CGI) can help save on production costs, and the images can be seen quickly and easily in multiple finishes or configurations. This allows his customers to see various possibilities. Hoelscher said one of the greatest joys of his job is showing his customers those possibilities at a photo-quality level. Additionally, CGI “can help companies pre-sell product or gauge interest in their product before it’s developed,” he said.
Hoelscher, who graduated from Ferris State University with a degree in digital animation and game design in 2009, worked for a Grand Rapids CGI company for seven years. After five years there, he got the entrepreneurial urge. “I decided a lot of the things I was doing – sales, renderings, communications, customer service – were the same as running my own business,” said Hoelscher.
Hoelscher opened Think Chromatic in August 2014 and is already looking at expanding into an interior room on the second floor where his office is located in the old Comstock Park Foods building. The additional space will make room for new employees. He currently uses contractors on projects as a matter of “growth control,” but he does have immediate plans to bring some of the contractors who are heavily involved with his business to employee status with benefits so they can “grow with the company.”
Hoelscher primarily advertises through LinkedIn, his web site, cold calling, and word-of mouth. His customers are local and national, with one international client in the Netherlands, and include furniture, medical, fencing, decking, siding businesses and more.
Hoelscher is enthusiastic about his Comstock Park location. Free parking next to his building is a plus, and he finds the rent for his space affordable. Hoelscher also noted that downtown Comstock Park is “easily accessible and close to Grand Rapids.” “I live in the area and came to love Comstock Park,” he said. “It’s got everything – the (White Pine) Trail, the (Dwight Lydell) Park, great restaurants, a post office, a library – within walking distance.”
Hoelscher is originally from South Lyon, graduating from South Lyon High School. He attended Eastern Michigan University for two years, majoring in elementary education, until he learned of Ferris State University’s Annimation and Game Design degree and was immediately hooked. He currently teaches classes in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Game Texturing at the Grand Rapids campus of Ferris State University. Hoelscher said CGI is “fascinating and fast-paced” with technology continually evolving, and he likes the challenge of keeping up.
Hoelscher and his wife Jamie live in Comstock Park and have a four month old son who keeps them busy. When he’s not working or spending time with his family, Hoelscher’s interests include gaming, playing guitar, weightlifting, and he home-brews craft beer.