What inspired you to choose this profession, and what makes you stay in it?
My godfather used to own and operate a print shop in Stratford. He allowed me to apprentice with him for a couple of summers (when I was 14 and 15) and taught me how to use Photoshop. From there, I tried learning as much as I could about different programs. In high school, I got a few freelance gigs for family friends (thanks, mom and dad). Then I went to SASD (Shintaro Akatsu School of Design at the University of Bridgeport) where I got to meet a ton of great people and learn what design was really about.
What makes me stay? The fact that there is always more to learn. And learning is fun!
What is your career highlight so far — project, portfolio piece, other?
I’ve worked on some cool projects, but my favorite was and is easily my senior thesis project: “Practice makes better.“. I built a website to motivate unmotivated designers to practice their craft if they wanted to get better. One half of the website features encouraging interviews from working professionals about the importance of practice. Alongside each interview is a slideshow that showcases the interviewee’s early and current work to illustrate the results of practice and perseverance. The other half focuses on presenting users with various design challenges.
I have learned a lot through this project. I also got to meet and work with a ton of talented people to make it happen. And, once I find a modicum of time, I’ll continue to work on growing this project to reach and motivate as many people as possible.
Also, winning some awards at this past CADC award show was a pretty memorable experience.
What do you want to accomplish before you retire?
• I would like to take on a project that requires me to leave the country.
• I would like to become a professor.
• Winning the lottery is a hope, but not an expectation.
What do you think you could teach your boss(es)?
Who/What are your biggest influences?
Anyone and anything is a potential influence; nothing is off limits.
What do I know now that I didn’t know then? Get used to taking risks.
Who are the best creatives you’ve worked with?
The always insightful Brian Miller, my fellow SASD alum, Vaughn Fender, Emily Larned, Gary Munch and many more.
What cause means the most to you?
Mental health issues can affect anyone. But, because of the persistant stigma that is typically aimed at people with a mental illness, many fail to speak up or seek help and subsequently suffer in silence. This is something I care very much about, but I admit that I can be doing a lot more to educate others.
What are your loves/passions outside of this field?
Pizza and other foods, varied genres of music, funny TV shows, and tech news.
What do you know now that you didn’t know then?
Get used to taking risks.