Graphic Designer. Web Developer. Artist. Writer. Philologist. All-around Geek For Hire
The short and sweet:
I have a double bachelors in Classical Philology and Studio Art
My first design gig was in 1989 while still in middle school and I've been doing it ever since
I started in print and moved into web design and development in 1998
In addition to corporate work, I've been doing freelance design and illustration since the early 90s, everything from invitations for a United States Post Office employee dinner, to album covers and inserts, to creating websites for small businesses
I was born in a midwestern capital in the mid-seventies to a pair of musicians and then spent many of my formative years traveling around the country with them. I was graced with a family full of creatives who encouraged me from the start to explore and expand on my own passions and projects. Some of my earliest memories are of my grandfather expounding on design principles while he let me "help" him design displays for the store where he was employed.
Fast-forward forty-odd years to today. I live in the East Bay near San Francisco, California, practically in the shadow of Mt. Diablo. I've worked corporate, I've worked freelance, and I finally settled into working for myself. Today I am a full-time visual artist and author and I also make art and gaming videos for Youtube.
Like Frank Lloyd Wright, I start from the axiom that form and function are one. Focusing on the function and letting the form follow as an afterthought frequently ends with a mess of incomprehensibile unusability. In my own work, I prefer to treat them as equals. It doesn't matter how well the program behind the screen works if users can't figure out what to do with it, and at the same time, it doesn't matter how inviting the form is if it doesn't meet the needs of the user. BOTH must be in balance.
Design should yield something that makes you want to touch, hold, or otherwise experience and interact with it.
Design should form organically as a conversation between function and reader/user, even if the final appearance isn't "organic."
And most importantly, all designs should communicate solutions, not obscure them. That means, for example, logos should be comprehensible, screens should help users complete their tasks, ads should convey a clear call to action.