I didn’t always know I wanted to be a designer though. My path to finding this career looked a bit like a city highway system with a few too many exits to roads that didn’t go where I was trying to get to.
Growing up, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I loved everything to do with animals and science, and I was sure I was going to grow up to be a marine biologist. I had lots of practice for this job, helping every day to take care of a plethora of household pets. The roster included cats, dogs, macaws, snakes, rabbits, lizards, rats, ferrets, and probably a few others I forgot to mention. In addition to taking care of animals, any extra free time I had was spent drawing our pets, or drawing unicorns, or mermaids, or other fanstastical creatures that didn’t exist in real life. I was always drawing things, and I as I got older I spent more and more time focused on art. But even as I grew up I never related it to design, I didn’t really know what it meant to be a designer or how it related to me. In fact, even as an adult I was still sure I wanted to be a biologist.
When I started college, I enrolled in classes that would get me closer to that goal. I started working towards an A.A. in pre-biology which would end up being a degree in wildlife biology and animal conservation. I really enjoyed what I was learning, and was excited about the career I was working towards. While my main courses were all related to biology, or chemistry, or calculus, I still kept my electives free for drawing and art classes.
After my A.A. I was pulled in a different direction. Life happened, and I quit college for a few years in lieu of working full time and trying to pay bills, and almost 4 years after leaving school I had a son named Tristan. He was, and still is, my whole world. He was also my inspiration to go back to school and finally finish college. So when he was 6 months old I started taking classes again, but this time I didn’t head back to the biology lab, I headed for the design lab instead.
Although the path I’d taken had been winding, I had finally decided to become a designer. I went back to school and prepared for a career in graphic design. I loved the learning experience and the challenge of creating things that were both beautiful and functional. I enjoyed the freedom to be creative on a daily basis, and I was finally starting to understand how I could combine my artistic skills and creativity into something I could turn into a lifelong career. I decided to focus my education on interactive design, and took classes that would put me on a path to becoming a web designer and front-end developer.
And here I am. I’ve had over 5 years experience as a web designer, starting as a Jr. production designer and, over time, working my way up to art/creative director. On any given project I can and have taken on any number of roles, including lead designer, art director, project manager, and front-end developer. Along the way I’ve learned a lot, and I’m not done learning yet. I’m looking forward to future collaborations and partnership with an amazing company. I am excited to work with you, and I hope you feel the same way about me.