The New York Weekly

Juan Beras: Standing Up to Mental Illness with Creativity

To this day, the stigma surrounding the topic of mental health continues to exist. Sometimes stigma can even escalate to discrimination. For Juan Beras, CEO of The BR Lab, mental health should no longer be overlooked.

Beras suffers from two mental illnesses, Bipolar Depression and Schizophrenia. And instead of not talking about them, he wants mental disorders to be appropriately addressed. He also hopes for people to understand that you can channel these unhealthy thoughts into something fun or productive. More often than not, people with mental illnesses have to suffer from both the difficulties brought about by the illness and the reaction of the people around them.

Beras coped through designing. He first discovered his talent in design as he was having fun editing MySpace layouts. He taught himself basic codings like HTML and CSS. Over time, this talent flourished into something bigger and became an opportunity for unlimited creativity.

Currently, Beras is managing his company. The BR Lab, which offers a variety of services in the design industry, aims to turn the clients’ concepts vividly into life.

The BR Lab is primarily known for its branding and design services. A product or the company brand should correctly reflect the firm and attract possible consumers at the same time. The BR Lab works hard to give the client’s business an identity that will set it apart from its competitors.

When the branding is finally done, some clients tend to go for establishing an online presence. During this age of technology, people are quick to visit and check different websites for the goods and services they’re looking for. These possible consumers should be given a responsive and beautifully designed website, which is user friendly and easy to use at the same time. It is one of BR Lab’s most sought after services.

Juan has been working in the industry for almost two decades. His talent and experience allowed him to work with some high-profile clients such as Egypt Sherrod (HGTV), Eric Bellinger (Singer-Songwriter to Justin Bieber, Usher, and Selena Gomez), and Tokyo Stylez (Hairstylist to Kylie Jenner, Cardi B, and Beyonce).

The BR Lab became Juan’s creative space. He took his crazy thoughts and invested them in his business. Despite having a mental illness, he did not see it as a hindrance to his dreams or the things he wanted to achieve. Juan wants to emphasize the fact that a mental disorder does not define a person.

Juan also reaches out to others who are experiencing the stigma of being mentally ill, especially his fellow Latin, Brown, and Black entrepreneurs. They almost always suffer because of the stigma, discrimination, and racism, and do not get enough recognition for thriving in the business.

Juan’s company is currently the digital branding partner of Run Your State, a non-profit social advocacy organization established as a response to the racial discrimination and systemic injustices experienced by the black and brown community. The BR Lab is responsible for the design and the development of the organization’s digital platform. It aims to promote political awareness and public engagement through engaging content. And to also educate and empower youth and young adults to be seen and heard, and be supporters of change.

Aside from being an advocate for mental health awareness, Juan continues to be an expert in creativity. Recently, his company did a project involving Motion Graphic Animation and Video Production with different content creators for the website FastFWD. He was the creative director for a music video showcasing the imagery and feel of group interactions through smartphones. Creativity is limitless for Juan.

Up to this day, Juan is using his mental illness as a fuel for his passion. He encourages his fellow artists and entrepreneurs to talk more about mental health and to break the stigma. Don’t be afraid to speak out.