I’ve been drawing ever since I could remember. I knew one day, that’s what I’d pursue in a ‘professional’ capacity. Once immersed in that professional realm, I first illustrated for a stationery company, then added design to my portfolio working for a couple of ad agencies, large corporations and small corporations. I continued to add versatility to the range of my creative job titles… Illustrator, Designer/Illustrator, Production Artist, Senior Designer, Communications Director, and most recently, Creative Director.
Meanwhile, in the evenings and weekends, I’ve maintained a freelance ‘side gig.’ I ultimately decided that’s where my heart is, and where I want to spend my time and energy (full-time day job). I wanted my clients to have direct access to the creative thought process. I wanted to bring my passion for artwork and creative problem solving directly to them. I’ve been in multiple industries with multiple vantage points, giving me a unique vision on how to approach new creative challenges.
Building a Team
Although I like to think that I have a strong design/illustration skill set along with a strong work ethic, I am still limited in what I could offer by myself. I’m limited by my own design aesthetics, time and resources. Not wanting to limit what I could offer my clients, I knew I needed to expand. And with that, I reached out to those who I thought would be great assets to building the company’s brand. We currently have four team members. We cover the areas of design (print, e-learning and web), illustration, production and administration. If the need rises, I have a couple of other people in mind who would bring great writing and additional creative direction.
Although I tip my hat to those who believe ‘professional’ and ‘personal’ should remain divided. I do not. If you want a person who’s all business, all the time… I really am not your guy. I think that’s something totally understandable to expect and desire in your creative team… but, it simply isn’t me. As an artist, my art is an expression of how I live life. It’s not separate. However, I am fully able to ‘partition’ those things if so required. I do believe there’s a time to get personal (generally before and after the rigorous project timeline), and a time to get to business. Actually, many of my clients will probably refer to me as ‘task-oriented,’ but at the same time, they will also be able to tell you about my family members and my hobbies. Most of them know about my recent adventures and my life’s significant moments. As I do about theirs.
So, because you want to know ‘about’ me (you visited this page, after all), you could just read the headers below, and you’ll get the idea… but, feel free to read the details… they may be mildly entertaining:
- I’m a family man. Our families come first, thus our standard hours of operation (M-F 8-5). I keep weeknights and weekends open for our families.
- I’m a man of faith. I know this is a sensitive one and can lose clients and create tension, but it’s a significant enough element in my life that it was worth mentioning… I don’t judge our clients for their personal stance on this, and they have returned the same respect. I suppose it becomes relevant in our work because that’s what has inspired many of our work principles… things like integrity, strong work ethic, healthy communication, etc.
- I’m currently a farm boy. Since we’ve moved back to Arizona, we’ve actually been living on a farm (threw that one in just for fun). I even occasionally help out with the farm chores… including milking goats.
- I like to ride. I enjoy motorcycles and in the past have ridden my Honda VTX 1300R around Lake Superior with a good friend, followed by a 3,000 mile motorcycle ride with my daughter from Minnesota to Arizona, via the California coast. Most recently, my brother and I took a three-day trip up into Southern Utah and back and followed that up with a trip around Colorado with our sister.
- I enjoy craft beer. My friends back in Minnesota introduced me to craft beer and the craft beer world. Although I’m not nearly as versed in it as some of them, I do enjoy myself a good citrus-flavored IPA. I’ve also done work for both a brewery (Lupine Brewing) and a craft beer apparel company (16oz Society).
- I enjoy a good poker game. I REALLY enjoy a game of strategy. And, to me, there’s none like Texas Hold Em. Do you play the players or the cards? Do you factor the odds, or just put faith in your cards? Every hand is different, every player is different. I left a great card scene in MN, and am looking forward to starting something here in Arizona.
- I’m an ‘award-winning’ snow sculptor. Several years back, I started up a team to join me in the new adventure of sculpting out of snow. Well, as life would have it, we hit the ground running. We came in first at a local competition our first year, followed by coming in first at the state competition the second year. Our third year, we were invited to Nationals, where we came in second. The year after that, we were invited to Internationals at Breckenridge, CO, where we placed third. Now that I’ve moved to Arizona, the future of the ‘Snow Cowboys’ is up in the air.
- I’m outdoorsy (but not athletic). I was once athletic-ish (played football through college), but now, I mostly just enjoy being out in the outdoors. I spent a couple of summers as a canoe guide up in the Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota, but am happy now to just go on a motorcycle trip and camp out.