At eighteen, I enrolled Vincennes University and began taking courses in Commercial Art and Design. These were the waning days of “cut and paste” graphic design and the curriculum reflected these soon-to-be archaic methods. I spent much of my time hunched over a light table, X-Acto knife in hand, wrestling a stubborn, transparent material called Red Rubylith. It was a fascinating process requiring a high degree of craftsmanship, but it had limited value in a field rapidly becoming known as “desktop publishing”.
Upon completing my Associate Degree, I quickly transferred to Ball State University and entered the College of Fine Arts, specializing in Visual Communication (Graphic Design). I began using Macintosh computers to create artwork in Photoshop, Illustrator and other software programs I still employ today.
Being immersed in a Fine Arts Program was a defining experience. Classes in ceramics, painting, metals and lithography helped broaden my talents as a designer through constant use of shape, balance, color and other artistic fundamentals.
My first graphic design position was at Creative Dimension Group, a contractor for the U.S. Army. Based in Fort Knox, Kentucky, we designed support materials for the United States Army Recruiting Command (USAREC). These materials included everything from simple, three-fold brochures to exterior graphics for tank and helicopter simulators. Working directly with the men and women of the Recruiting Battalion, I learned firsthand how good design impacted their success.
In 1998 I went to work for the Consumer Products Division at At-A-Glance in Indianapolis (now Trends International). A leading publisher of calendars, posters and stationery, their licensed product list is diverse and impressive; Sport Illustrated, Disney, Lucasfilm, Professional Sports Leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL), Nickelodeon, Harley-Davidson and many others.
During this time the Internet was shaking things up in a big way, with companies large and small scrambling to establish an online presence. Web design firms popped up across the country to service this new market. I began learning HTML and was soon building small websites. Shortly thereafter, I was hired as a web designer by a top Indianapolis web design firm.
In addition to my full time employment, I assisted a number of freelance clients, most notably CAS-Designs/Smile!, a premier marketing company in the Orthodontics Industry. The relationship proved so successful that in 2005 I joined their team, serving as principal web and multimedia designer.
Today I work full time as a freelance artist with clients in Healthcare, Education, Performing Arts and many other industries. My work ranges from logo and print design to web development, SEO and social media consulting (Facebook, Twitter and WordPress).