Now, if you watch an Orlando Magic basketball game during the NBA season, you'll see the magic of his artistic vision in the team's logo, merchandise and marketing materials.
“As a designer it’s exciting to see this stuff out there in the community, and it puts a big smile on your face knowing that it’s working and fans are gravitating towards our brand,” he said in a profile his alma mater wrote and published on the Full Sail website. “It’s amazing to think that I graduated in 2009, and now this is my career. I’ve been a lifelong sports fan and couldn’t be happier waking up every day and coming into work. If it wasn't for the support I received from my mom and dad, making the move from Connecticut to Florida and helping me chase my dreams, I wouldn't be where I am today."
Garand works in the Creative Services Department for the Orlando Magic as a graphic designer.
"My day to day job is to assist and create various print collateral to promote the Orlando Magic throughout the central Florida area," he wrote in an email to Patch. "This includes billboards, newspaper ads, season tickets, wallet schedules and various other collateral."
The 2005 Farmington High School graduate said that taking computer courses at the high school "ultimately helped me develop and find my passion." He freelanced for a few years after graduating, designing logos, friends' resumes and "basically anything I could find where I could learn and grow my design skills."
Then he found Full Sail University in Florida and said that he "knew it was meant to be" and "the rest is history." He graduated from the university in 2009 with an associate's degree in graphic design.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers chose him from a pool of at least 50 applicants to do a design internship, working on their NFL logos during the 2009-2010 season, according to the Full Sail website.
"I'm a huge sports fanatic and I couldn't even fathom graduating college then working in the NFL as intern with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where I started my sports design career," Garand said.
He did a design internship for the Orlando Magic NBA team in 2010-11 and then worked for the Atlanta Falcons, an NFL team, in 2011. Now, he's back in the department he interned in with the Magic.
He is grateful to his parents – longtime Lake Garda residents Michael, a George's Pizza employee, and Christina Garand, an Irving A. Robbins Middle School monitor – for supporting his dreams.
When he's not working, Garand said he spends his time with family or at the beach, a true "beach bum at heart."
Garand said that he lives by a famous Benjamin Franklin quote, "Write something worth doing... or do something worth writing."
"I view this as a great statement to live by," Garand said. "There are two things you can do in life; write something down that you want to do, or do something amazing and share it with the world. Go out and live your dreams."
The next Orlando Magic games are on Nov. 29 and Dec. 2 at 7 p.m.