In my early childhood years I began to draw pictures. My dad taught drafting in a technical college and showed me how to use drafting tools. I was the only kid in my school that knew about precision drawing tools like graph paper and protractors and such. And while I was fascinated with the ability to draw precisely, I spent much of my time sketching. I drew cars, guitars, and comic style hippies. Usually the hippies had some kind of super power… and a perm. Hey; I was a kid.
By the time I was in fifth or sixth grade I discovered perspective and shading and my drawings really began to shape up. It was at this time that I also began to use typography as a design element. Of course; I didn't call it that. It was just words that were part of the picture. One example of this would be to draw a 1969 Road Runner and have the word HEMI in block letters behind the car that was an integral part of the image. And now that I was listening to rock n roll I would write band names on everything. Ted Nugent was on pretty much everything I owned.
It was in the middle school to high school era that I began to find a market for my skills. I had a cheap Badger airbrush that I began to use on t-shirts that I would sell to other kids. In high school I did caricatures of other kids cars on shirts and posters and gained a little knowledge of business at the same time. I said a little knowledge.
A friend of mine had a dark room and I discovered photography. He was only set up to do black and white so my interest in photography began in monochromatic tones. I enjoyed playing with the camera settings and making adjustments in the darkroom, but was never really sure what I was doing. The expense was much greater than I could afford, so I was only able to shoot with an instamatic or a borrowed SLR.
Love for Typography
I also realized that what set me apart from other kids doing art was that my text looked a little better. This revelation led me to experiment more and find outlets where I could use text.
Love for the Internet
It was at about this same time that the internet began to explode into the world-changing entity it has become. In my computer science program I had an HTML and CSS module that really had me fired up. To think that I could write a page and have it display exactly the way I wanted on someone else's browser half a world away filled me with awe and inspired me to learn this new language. I learned HTML and CSS, I learned Flash animation and some Action Script. I began to use the internet to earn an income.
Graphic and Web Design
Some years later I was still using my computer to create and using the internet to reach out to the world beyond and I realized I was still not where I wanted to be. I had about three years of college that I had acquired over the years but no formal degree. I decided to wrap what I had up into a package and see what I needed to get a design degree. It turned out I would still need quite a bit. Rather than pursue a liberal arts degree, because of my previous computer science certification I chose the science degree route and decided upon a bachelor of science in visual communication. For samples of my design and web design work please visit Advanced Creative Group, Inc and Xcite Website Design.
My; how things have changed. My computer is now my darkroom and I can do things to images I would have never thought possible before. Prior to the digital age I would let rolls of film pile up before I would take them in for developing. I would get back images I did not remember taking (which was kind of cool). Each roll would contain 12 or 24 images and some would not turn out for one reason or another. Now I fire off 200 shots without even thinking about it, and view them on the computer as soon as I want to. No more wasted prints; I just delete bad shots from the computer and print the shots I want to display. I even have a 42" printer now and I can print an image more than three times the size I would have thought possible when I first began to explore photography.