How did you get into design?
I’ve always wanted to be artist since I was a kid, but people kept telling me I would not make money, nor be successful at it. I ignored them. I studied Commercial Art at college. I grew there in terms of creative process, design knowledge, and artistic techniques. I’m grateful to have had professors that wanted me to succeed and would not allow me to slack off.
How long have you been designing?
I have been designing for print for over 20 years and for web for almost 10 years. I started onejdesigns in 2006 as a way to be creative/artistic outside of work.
Where have you worked?
My first design job came a 1 1/2 after I graduated college; I worked as photo retouch-er at a photography studio. At the time, the studio was THE studio for high school photos, photos were retouched using Kodak paint cakes, I was able to use all of my formal art training.
From there I worked at the Gazette Telegraph, I learned a lot about pre-production for a newspaper. It took me a while to become a graphic artist, it was there that I knew I wanted to get into designing more.
I moved to Denver and began work at The Denver Post for 14 years. I learned everything about print – print production, preparing files for CMYK print, outputting pages for newspaper etc. One of my favorite things I loved doing while at The Denver Post was creating spec campaigns for account executive to pitch to major brands like, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Target and Dillards. Since, I’ve branched out with onejdesigns to web design, social media graphics and e-marketing.
Today, I stay creative as a digital designer with the marketing team at American Furniture Warehouse. I still find time to go to different places and space for ideas and inspiration. My guess room is my design studio. My dining room has become my creative space where I can paint, draw and be crafty. Sometimes you’ll find me at coffee shops or libraries working on design projects, blogging or relaxing with coloring pages. I love gallery openings & 1st Fridays here in Denver, CO. When the weather is warm I’ll visit and at times participate in festivals of all sorts throughout Colorado. Creatively, this career has been a lot more adventurous.
What was a defining moment in your design career?
There has not been one but several.
HOW Design Conference 2008. There’s nothing like being surrounded by 3000+ designers. The highlight was the closing presentation by Bill Strickland. There is no way I could sum up his speech, It was a defining moment for me; if he could overcome obstacles, so can I.
I highly recommend his book: Make the Impossible Possible.
I was honored when asked to design a logo for a local event planning company here in Denver, seeing their client list was an awe moment.
Whenever, I get a phone call or an email to consult about design work from well-established organization or business, I pinch myself and say
“did that just happen”,
then realize my thoughts, ideas, and opinions matter and are valuable.
One Sunday morning I received a tweet from a colleague of mine, congratulating me for making the paper. When I saw the article in The Denver Post, I was surprised to see part of The True Colors Collection featured in article for a local wine & bistro – it still surprises me.
Another, was being chosen as one of 7 artist to have a piece represented on a massive banner along side a Colorado art organization, in the heart of downtown Denver.
I had my collection on display at a local gallery along side artists Ed Dwight and Edward Clay Wright. Both accomplished and successful international artists. It was a bit intimidating at first, but the gallery owner had a way making you feel just as accomplished.
I’m always humbled when I get invited to be a part of Chalk Festival in the U.S. Those moments become my defining moments, having your work validate you and experiences that change you.
What grabs your heart?
Organizations that care about our young people and want to see them succeed. I began Celebration Of Children with my family and friends a few years ago. Celebration Of Children encourages people of all ages to pursue their talents in the arts, host outreaches and provide classes to help develop artistic skills, which include Culinary Arts.
As the Creative Director, I’m responsible for maintaining the website, social media content, developing all print & digital material, recruiting artists and to come up with creative ways to bring in revenue and or goods for organizations.