iMac showing the Mission2Pluto website I designed and built for Arctic Circle.

What I do

My career has primarily centered around my front-end designer/developer work. I’ve designed and built corporate websites, Flash microsites, brand identities, educational games, email marketing campaigns, digital ads, and many other things I can no longer remember. I do a lot of Rails work these days, and I’m dipping my toes in Swift to play in Apple’s garden.

MacBook Pro showing the RawData website.

Many Hats

If I am particularly good at anything, it is being polymorphous. I enjoy (most of the time) taking on entire projects from start to finish. I’ve always worked on intimate teams where everyone’s on deck for whatever needs to get done, and I appreciate the perspective gained from working that way. I’ve walked in the shoes of engineers, photographers, copywriters, 3D modelers, animators, designers, accountants, tech support, dev ops, illustrators, advertisers, and tall people who can get things down from high shelves for vertically challenged colleagues.

Story Time

Crash & Burn

Hardest Fail

An advertising pitch gone wrong. A female client looks on while two men get their asses handed to them.

Even now, the memory gives me chills. Fresh into the creative industry, I was a web designer. Our agency took the lead on an ambitious project. As we delved deeper, the thought of crafting a 30-second animated TV commercial emerged. Confident in my Flash skills and having dabbled in After Effects, I eagerly stepped up, despite lacking experience in this realm.

Every piece of art was meticulously hand-drawn, scanned, transformed into vectors, and then woven into a 2.5D animation within After Effects. To say it was overwhelming would be an understatement.

The inevitable arrived: a client review after several delays. We presented our progress, hoping for the best. As the visuals rolled, silence took over — quite literally, there was no audio yet. The client's response was a wordless exit with a "we'll be talking later" look for my boss. Deep down, I recognized the premature nature of our work. That day, a part of my spirit left my body. It remains the most brutal pitch I've experienced, a testament to my over-enthusiasm. The takeaway? Master the art of discernment and occasionally, say "no."

Think Bigger

Ferraris and Cop Cars

A yellow Ferarri racing through the woods being escorted by a police SUV

After hanging up my cleats at the University of Oregon, I transitioned to the world of football recruiting. Our team occasionally found ourselves in Beaverton, sharing updates with Phil Knight, the iconic Nike CEO at the time. Our chats revolved around our inventive strategies to attract top-tier athletes and the challenges that came with it.

A new NCAA regulation had thrown us a curveball, making it near-impossible to fly recruits straight to Eugene. The workaround? Landing in Portland, followed by a nearly two-hour drive to our campus. But here's the rub: recruit visits are designed to impress, and a lengthy car ride, regardless of riding in a flashy Hummer with color changing paint, can dull the excitement.

Hearing this, Knight's face clouded over. But, he countered with something like, “If direct flights are off the table, let’s turn heads. We'll rent Ferraris, organize police escorts, and zoom down I5 at 115 mph.” I nearly laughed until I realized he was completely serious. Constraints like budgets and safety? Minor details. Multiple recruits? Bring on a fleet of Ferraris.

That interaction left an indelible mark. It reminds me to challenge the self-imposed boundaries on my own thinking and dream big. I don’t know that I’ll ever achieve Knight’s unencumbered problem-solving, but I at least dream about those Ferraris before I return to earth and shove off on my bicycle.