I spend most of my time nowadays firmly planted in desk chairs, drinking redbulls and staring at computer monitors.. I went to school for animation, then moved to traditional print design, and eventually settled to where I am now, working in UI/UX for websites/mobile.
I came into Chicago-based, local news aggregation startup, Aggrego, as a UI/UX Designer, and have since transitioned to Lead Designer. Most of my work is a collection of interfaces for for various news themes, as well as various other web.
I work alongside developer slash code-magician, Joshua "Don't call me Doctor" Beckman on various side projects. These projects, most of the time, come from joking around or seeing that there is room to create something that hasn't been done yet. I design the UI/UX, as well as illustration, and branding, and Beckman brings it all to life through front and back-end development. We decided to house all of our creations under the name, Team Josh (pantents, trademarks, t-shirts, and catchphrase pending)
I spend a great deal of time working on side/personal projects; it's a way for me to not only practice, but more importantly, stay creatively-satisfied. As a predominately UI/UX designer, both in-house and in freelance, there's not much wiggle room to be creative, unfortunately. Usually, the combination of deadlines and team voices/opinions make for a more or less cookie-cutter approach to projects: tried and true methods/design patterns, trends take precendence. This results in creating not-so original/inspiring work. I like to spend as much time as I can making sure I can explore what makes me most happy in my field, which is being bold and doing a wide variety of design, such as illustration, print, and and animation.
I began freelancing professionally after I left Power2Switch. In the beginning, I was overly eager (and admittedly desperate) for work and took anything I could get my hands on. This ultimately lead me to experiencing the highs and very lows of the job. I learned on the go how to manage clients, determine my rates, create contracts, and work within tight budgets. While I am most certainly grateful and appreciative of the experience I gained from my few months of work, I knew it wasn't for me. After a few months of freelancing, I set my eyes on full-time work.
I came into Chicago-based, Residential Energy Marketplace startup, Power2Switch, as an intern. It was my first real job after college. It was also my first real experience in web design (as I went to school for traditional graphic design) I adapted prety quickly to the new medium and moved into a full-time position as a designer/front-end developer after a month. Projects include: redesigning & developing the company website, email campaigns, business pitches, banner ads, and site/blog illustrations. I left Power2switch after it was acquired by rival energy retailer, Choose Energy, but continued to work with them in a freelance capacity.
I went to school for "Applied Media Arts," a curriculum of studio art, art history, and graphic design. I enjoyed graphic design the most. I loved how precise it was: there was rules and guidelines that you had to follow to be successful. I loved moving and organizing blocks and lines of typography in neat, structured-grids with perfect alignments. Naturally, I gravitated to print design; I studied editorial and publication layout extensively. Words like: kerning, bleeds, margins, gutters, folios, and negative-space became my fluent, second language. In addition to print design, I worked pretty heavily in coporate identity.