During high school, I fantasized about the exotic world of automotive design. But as a Michigan State University freshman, I fell in love with science and industrialized agriculture, art and design graphics, philosophy, punk rock music, underground films, expository performance and science fiction robots. My first job out of college as commercial designer for the American Hotel & Motel Association introduced me to the exciting world of developing educational collateral for a service-oriented industry; it was intense, but fun, to travel and set up shoots at high-end hotels and resort properties all across the nation.
With a transfer to the video department, I assisted in producing training modules, creating computer generated animation when the industry was just starting (this is before Pixar!) I also spent time traveling abroad to visit the legacy of great works of art I had studied from books my whole life (Nike of Samothrace statue at the Louvre is so life-like, it’s eery!) I landed in Austin, Texas where I eagerly joined the ranks of a specialty advertising firm. That gave me the inspiration to later open my own design agency in East Lansing, Michigan where I attracted a diverse collection of clients such as Symantec Corporation, MSU, the Michigan Hospital Association and the Lansing Riverfest.
After years of chilly winters and stints of travel across various international borders, promise of warmer climates sent my partner and I on a motorcycle trek around the country where we settled on the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona. I embraced the opportunity to shoot and edit for the local FOX affiliate in Tucson; I updated my video production techniques, built studio sets and edited audio. Accepting an art director position for a national apparel company headquartered in Tucson provided experience teaching rapid layout concepting, color proofing and image manipulation; I learned to arrange for on-location fashion photography via guidance from top sources in NYC. I was able to teach my team new software skills and best practices in digital file prep to gain a competitive edge in the industry.
The University of Arizona was one of the major factors behind my decision to move to Tucson. The tutelage of the incredible professors the UA allowed me to work while earning my MFA; I built the first website ever for the UA Channel at Arizona Public Media; I enjoyed art exhibits and collaborations with downtown colleagues and became part of the greater Tucson art community. I accepted a position as Creative Services Manager in the Dean’s office for the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences. It was here that I had the privilege of creating catalogs, magazines, and proposals alongside outstanding leaders in academia. I served as judge for the student photo contest in the School of Anthropology for 6 years. I also was responsible for generating the entire branding campaign for the National Institute for Civil Discourse after the Gabby Giffords tragic shooting.
As part of service to the Tucson community, I provided pro bono design services to the Arizona International Film Festival for ten years. I was also very proud to work with UA Global (to launch their UI/UX awareness) whose mission it is to grow the world-wide reputation of the UA through international partnerships and innovative study abroad programs (now located in Cambodia, Indonesia, China, Mauritius and other locations). I am honored to claim the wonderful people of Tucson as members of my creative family.
For 2019, I am embarking on a creative endeavor to become embedded in SE Asia; after obtaining SCUBA certification, I am now ready to work with partners through art and music to spread the word about sea conservation, international education and its importance to the health of our home we call Planet Earth.