What have I done?

I have managed creative teams for several leading design firms in Texas and California.  I also served as the Creative Director for eLogic Corporation in Los Angeles and CourseTrends in Austin, Texas.  My creative efforts have been found in online marketing solutions for such notable companies as: MGM, NBC, GMAC, Microsoft XBOX, DreamWorks, Electronic Arts, Columbia Pictures, Hollywood Records, Reebok CNET, Ziff Davis, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Newsweek, Intuit, The Economist and Sony.

I’ve had people ask me what started me on the path to being a designer.

Here is the long, but not too long answer.

I fell in love with design, in particular typography when I was 5 years old. My father was the press foreman for the local newspaper in the small city where I grew up. Every day he arrived home filthy with black ink in the cracks of his hands. No matter how much he washed, it would never come clean. I admired him so much that I got a hold of a black magic marker and colored the palms of my hands solid black so I could be just like him. We weren’t well-off so instead of toys my dad would bring me home pieces of movable type from the old printers as they converted into the “new” web presses. They were heavy, made out of metal and wood. I thought they were the coolest toys ever. I would stamp with them, study them, play with them. My father also loved to draw and paint which lead me to doing the same.

All throughout elementary school and middle school, I spent my time after school with my dad in the press room. There was a giant camera that took pictures of the newspaper layouts, a film developer, a plate burner and a giant light table where I helped the mistakes in the negatives before they were burned into the plates. I also got to see all the amazing colors of ink that were available for special runs and learn about the 4 color printing process. I remember the web press was pretty amazing. It was bright red, 3 stories tall and deafening when it was running. I’m pretty sure it had been in use for quite sometime somewhere else before it was installed at the Kansas City Kansan newspaper.

At home, my dad was always drawing something and encouraged me to draw with him. I got better and better and pretty soon I was in an Academic Magnet School for talented artists – Sumner Academy. During my time at Sumner my father passed away. This weighed heavily on my soul. In turn I focused even harder on my art and design work while I was grieving. My father’s death gave me a new perspective on life and made me want to lead a life where I would actually take risks professionally and personally, and not just settle for second best. After that decision, I excelled in school and was accepted to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California straight out of high school. It was definitely an expensive adventure, but I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1998. Art Center taught me more about design, color theory, typography, and the history of it all that I ever could have imagined.

After college, I joined a technology start-up company called eLogic. With my help and their leadership we were able to grow the company from 3 to over 100 employees and saw millions of dollars in profits. In 2000 the company sold for $79 million to Reed Elsevier Publishing (Cahners) and the next few years were spent integrating the technology from one company to another. Since then I’ve enjoyed being able to be creative while working and enjoying life in the Greater Los Angeles are and now in and around Austin, Texas.