After graduating from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design, it was my intention to be a print designer. However, the internet was evolving from a very crude place, design-wise, to a more sophisticated place. The opportunities as a web designer were just beginning to blossom and I was intrigued by the possibilities.
My first job out of school was at a fairly large (at the time) ad agency in Kansas City called Valentine Radford. They saw my print portfolio, and thought my skills would translate well to the world of web design. Through that initial exposure, I fell in love with the medium and have been nearly exclusively working in it since then.
I moved from Valentine Radford to Planet Alumni (currently iModules) which created student community sites for many Universities. There I discovered the art of front end development. To that point in my career, I had primarily created graphic layouts and then handed my work to a programmer to translate into HTML. I learned the value of translating my work myself, as I knew my intentions with the design, and didn't need to worry about a developer implementing things incorrectly.
During my time at VML, another large ad agency in Kansas City, the web was painfully moving away from table-based markup to the world of CSS. When I discovered how to use CSS for layout, the world changed for me, and I instantly fell in love with it. Those early days were sometimes painful, but full of discovery. I was constantly learning new tricks to correctly implement designs across browsers, and discovered that CSS really gave me control over what type of product I could deliver. I love the evolving nature of the web, and am constantly looking for new and more efficient techniques for developing for it. I often adopt new technologies such as jQuery, LESS and various frameworks which allow for a much more efficient way of developing for the web.
I have worked as an Art Director at multiple ad agencies over my career; from Valentine Radford, to VML, to MMG, to GlynnDevins. I've also worked at a few smaller companies, from Technical Velocity (3 people) to Planet Alumni. For the last 5 years, I found a niche in a software company, which is a branch of a larger printing company called Trabon. At Trabon, I was the primary resource for Web Design; I implemented our web projects from initial layout work to CMS integration and initial site contenting.