I've done a lot of things in my path to becoming a designer. I didn't grow up knowing I wanted to be a designer or an artist. I stumbled into this work. But over the past decade, I've learned what it takes to make great digital products. I grew from a photographer to a graphic design student, and from web design I learned UX and UI. And I drew upon all of those past experiences to inform how I design.
Teaching myself along the way, I've had the opportunity to work for startups, agencies, and big tech companies. Along the way, I've designed for a wide variety of clients: nutrition apps, fitness gurus, nuclear hydraulics technicians, and data security engineers just to name a few.
Before dropping out and just having a killer portfolio was enough to land a great job, I taught myself how to design, how to learn, and how to get hired.
I design for ads and advertisersI design for ads and advertisersI design for ads and advertisers
I designed for small startups and large companies at this Kansas City based product design agency.
Working as a web designer for this drupal shop's many clients, I also lead the design of their bespoke CMS platform for YMCAs around the country.
Designing the packaging, marketing collateral, website, and other materials, and running research sessions for this internet TV startup.
Designing for students and recent grads looking for their next part-time job, a lucrative internship, or their first job out of school.
Helping high school and college students show off their educational and extra curricular portfolio through a social media platform.
What started as a way for a designer and a few developers to have some fun on the side has grown into a vehicle for continued learning, exploring new ideas, and working with interesting clients. We've been able to help non-profits reach more people, train up freelancers learning the industry, and explore other creative outlets like apparel design and videography.
I started bartending in college. When I started designing full time, I missed being behind the bar slinging drinks. Instead of going back to that, I started teaching my friends how to make their own drinks. And then their friends. Before I knew it, I was teaching the city how to drink.
One thing I’ve learned through my career is that you don’t grow by doing what you know, you grow by doing new things. I’ve always been a fan of the motto: “always be improving”. I’ve taken to that and created an archive of my writings, the conferences I’ve been to, and the places and people online that continue to inspire me to this day.
Adapted from a commencement speech I gave to my alma mater in 2016. I shared about how we can learn from our failures and figure out what we should be doing.
Being a designer on a cross-functional team can be stressful. The power dynamics at play coupled with the pressures of doing your job well can leave a designer feeling like they can’t contribute. There’s a better way.
Growing a product is important, but you won’t do it right if you aren’t aware of the different ways to grow a product. Do you invest in functionality or sell what you already have? My learnings from attempting this at Facebook.
A collection of facts about me.
Ever since my introductory lesson in 2018, I've been looking forward to flying again. In the near future, I'll be beginning my flight training.
Growing up in Minnesota and Missouri has left an indelible mark on me. It's one of the reasons I named my company Midwestern Originals.
From Sandwich Specialist for 2 hours, to delivery driver, to bartender, cleaning apartments, and even masonry, I've had a lot of odd jobs growing up.
Throughout high school, my scene was theater. I went to college for a year to get a degree in Theater Tech, which is set designing, construction, electrician, and light and sound work all rolled into one.
Even though we're in the middle of a pandemic, I'm (thankfully) still working full-time, devoting time to other projects, and spending quality time with my family. I will be working on this over time. If you're interested in seeing things as they progress, sign up below and I'll do my best to keep you updated.