Creating otherworldly fictions, games, and artifacts here in the Arizona desert.
As a kid, drawing, reading, and writing were my entertainment. Growing up in a small dusty town (Tolleson) on the outskirts of Phoenix was a constant reminder of how much there was to see in the world.
It's crazy to think I actually got to live some of those Stranger Things vibes. (Minus the demodogs.) Nights at the arcade playing Centipede and DigDug. Seeing ET and Star Wars in the theater for the first time. Watching MTV. Sure life changes, but I'm holding on to everything that made being a kid awesome.
I always knew I'd have to grow up. But I refuse to grow up all the way.
Creativity is work at play.
As I’ve grown as a designer, I’ve made it point to cultivate an illustrative approach in my work. I enjoy exploring the possibilities and flexibility illustration offers in creative work. Here are my favorite projects to work on:
Illustration – I've cultivated a few techniques, such as hand drawn, vectorized, and a hybrid of the two. I work in different styles too – doodles, fine line drawings, and geometric constructs using positive and negative shapes. I think good illustration is not only dynamic and striking in terms of composition, but offers a sense of wonder which captures the imagination of viewers.
Design – Game design, publication design, and identity design. In general, art direction is my day job, which means managing projects, working with other designers, and partnering with external resources. I read a lot, attend local events, and stay involved with our local AIGA chapter. In my mind, design is about defining intent and working towards an objective in a creative way.
Fiction – I've been passionate about writing for a long time. I write poetry, short stories, and longer narratives too. All of the personal projects I create are grounded in storytelling. Yes, fiction is make believe, but it’s powerful in its ability to clarify our reality. And that intrigues me.
Printmaking – I'm in the earlier stages of growing a body of work in this area. I view developing new skills as experiments. I worry less about being correct and keep my focus on learning first, allowing for failures, mishaps, and "happy accidents" along the way. After that, success is all about practice!
Since 2000 I've worked as a designer and now full-time art director. Whether I'm working as part of my day job or creating my own projects, my main objective is to retain as much potential to learn as possible. No matter how much experience I gain.
Attitude determines opportunity.
While I didn’t attend the most expensive or prestigious design school in the nation, I have an extensive customer service background. I worked a lot of jobs before becoming a designer – pest control tech, house cleaning guy, customer service representative at a call center, and more.
All of these different experiences taught me important lessons about how to treat people and keep my perspective in check.
A mentor once told me:
“The customer is not always right, but they always come first.”
It's true. Turns out people, processes, and projects are complex. Being upfront and communicative about expectations and objectives is really important to me. Sometimes the unexpected happens. That's when creative problem-solving matters most.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with and learning from some great teams over the years:
Desert Schools Federal Credit Union
W.L. Gore & Associates
You and I are something special.
So far, it looks like we're alone in the universe. Yup. For miles in all directions, it's just us. Living out our little lives. We’re walking around on a dustball that’s spinning around a fireball in space. Thinking about Earth and nature inspires me. Summer monsoon storms. Insects doing their thing. A hummingbird sitting on a tree.
I try my hardest each day to live a creative and productive lifestyle. And through all the ups and downs of living, creativity is there. It's there for us to imagine things only we can. It holds the potential to add meaning in our lives and bring good into the world.
It's not always easy. But we can do it. We’re human. And that's pretty amazing.