Lucky for me, I knew I wanted to be some sort of an artist since second grade. People said I was good! Looking at those stick figures now – I am not so sure. I do think, though, the positive reinforcement I received early on helped build my confidence for a future in this industry. I also believe the city I grew up in (Lake Worth, Florida) has allowed me to appreciate diversity.
Originally, I wanted to do drafting for architecture. I quickly learned I needed to step outside the rigid, precise lines required for this field of work. The math was tough too. Not until I learned to code did I realize those dang numbers could be so much fun.
Back in 1996, while in 11th grade, I was able to split my day and attend a Technical School to learn Graphic Design. Here I found my passion. My instructor, who became my mentor, insisted we first learn to mock up ads manually. This was done by using rubylith, amberlith and setting type by hand. Once we achieved this we were finally able to touch a computer. He taught us by following his rules, we will have creative freedom. We learned at our own pace, and completed projects we found most interesting. My instructor became one of the most significant people who has guided me along my path to a successful career.
During this period I spent most of my free time either working or applying my skills to an aerosol form of artistic expression. Large scale murals. We took pride in our work and spent countless hours perfecting our craft. We formed a “fellowship” of artists from Orlando to Miami. This form of art taught me how to sketch ideas. I learned color theory, alignment and typography.
In late 1997, I moved south and attended the International Fine Arts College of Miami (now Miami International University of Art & Design). The time spent there allowed me to further expand my skills and education in all areas of design. Web, print, video, photography, etc.
In early 1999, I jumped right into the “real” world. One of my first design jobs was at an Agency on South Beach. This was a great experience on juggling projects, working under pressure and having my ideas presented in front of actual clients. Presenting to a client is still nerve wracking for me. I guess that means I care about my work!
My journey has allowed me to bring my creativity to various places & industries. From Miami to Tampa; New York City to Palm Beach Gardens. I have been fortunate. As the years go by, I keep learning. Keep honing my design skills. I am passionate about what I do. I remain dedicated to bringing thoughts to life. I bring to the table a strong work ethic. I listen. I envision.
Most importantly, though, I have learned to run spell check.
Time I Get Up: Around 4:45am.
Worst Habit: Not getting enough sleep; Too much caffeine.
Best Habit: I find solutions.
Most Productive Time: Early in the morning.
How I Handle Stress: Exercise!
Mantra: Mistakes are an opportunity to learn.
My Purpose: Take care of my family.
Time I Go to Bed: Usually between 10:00pm – 10:30pm.