Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to W. Scott Koenig. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
W. Scott, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. We’d love to hear about a project that you’ve worked on that’s meant a lot to you.
As a creative, I’ve worked on so many meaningful projects, it’s difficult to choose. The most recent project in which I’ve been invited to participate is to co-host and co-produce a new weekly TV show called “Baja Window to the South”. I fell in love with Baja when I first moved to San Diego in the nineties, and have been actively reporting on its culture and gastronomy for a decade now. So it’s a project that’s very close to my heart. Native San Diegans will remember “Tijuana Window to the South” from the eighties. My partners at SanDiegoRed are bringing back that beloved tourism show, updated for a modern audience. The show will cover Baja California culture, cuisine, sports, entertainment, medical tourism and more and will premier on YouTube in February 2022.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
I live in two very different, yet intertwined worlds. I make my living as a graphic designer and creative director with my San Diego-based agency, Koenig Creative LLC. And I express my passion as a food and culture writer, influencer, and media personality as A Gringo in Mexico. I’ve been involved in graphic design and marketing for over 35 years. As a kid, I drew all of the time and was thrilled to learn that my desire to create could translate to a viable career as a designer. In 2001, I left my cushy corporate gig as marketing communications manager at Qualcomm and founded Koenig Creative LLC to provide advertising, marketing communications, web development, graphic design, and other creative services to clients ranging from startups to Fortune 1000 companies. It’s my job to bring their communication and promotional visions to life. I have a Midwestern work ethic and am fond of saying, “I’ll wait for my clients, but my clients will never wait for me”. I’m driven to deliver impactful design, communications, and promotions that exceed expectation. In 2012, my love affair with Baja California turned into a full-blown obsession. I founded my blog, A Gringo in Mexico, to report on food, culture, and adventure in Baja as well as wider Mexico. Since then, I’ve written dozens of blog posts and articles for various publications and authored Seven Days in the Valle, a book on Baja California’s wine country cuisine. I’m considered an influencer on the region’s gastronomy, organize and conduct culinary tours of Tijuana, Tecate, and the Valle, and will soon co-host on the new YouTube show, “Baja Window to the South”. My wife Ursula calls A Gringo in Mexico my “made-up-job”. It is that, as well as a cross-border lifestyle for our family. I always say that when you sit down at a table in Mexico with 10 strangers, you leave with 10 new friends. This has been the case for us in Baja California.
We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.
In 2012, at the age of 69, my father succumbed to a lifetime of work-related stress, a two-pack-a-day-habit, and a fatty diet. I was struck by the realization that I too am merely mortal with my own set of bad habits—and next in the line in the generational procession toward nothingness. I was still struggling with grief over Dad’s death and an overall feeling of existential dread in 2013 when my familial life began to come crashing down on me like an ancient, crumbling, booby-trapped tomb in the first Indiana Jones movie. I could sense the ominous and growing rumble of that huge, round, rolling boulder–a metaphor for past errant decisions–bearing down on and threatening to flatten me from behind, just as it nearly had Harrison Ford. I was running for my life through the dust of several unhealthy and marriage-threatening decisions and behaviors in which my wife Ursula and I had engaged. Fortunately, we found our compass and reconciled. In addition to working on our relationship and family, we needed to work on ourselves. I’d always wanted to write and travel and have loved the people, food, and culture of Mexico since I first began visiting Baja California. I decided to launch my blog–A Gringo in Mexico–and began writing in earnest about our south of the border adventures. In addition to fulfilling a strong desire I’d had to write for years, I looked forward to the opportunity to create a “Baja lifestyle” for our small family, and a chance to add to my wife’s happiness, not her headaches.
Any insights you can share with us about how you built up your social media presence?
A Gringo in Mexico has a relatively small—but intensely focused–social following. It’s always been my intent to share quality content and striving for likes, follows, and reactions a tertiary endeavor at best. I feel that by keeping it real–meaning my reviews, opinions, and intent–people who truly love Baja and Mexico will find me. My advice for budding social media influencers is to stay true to yourself, don’t sell out if you can afford not to, and don’t buy likes. That will always come back to get you in the end.