When I was a kid, all I did was draw.
In high school they inevitably gave me that test that determines what you should pursue in college. Mine came up as “illustrator,” but I thought I’d rather be an architect.
So I went to architecture school in Rhode Island. I loved the drawing aspect of it, and to this day people tell me my printing is like a typewriter… a skill that amazes clients in meetings with those over-sized sticky notes on the wall.
I realized in the fall of 1991 that at heart I have this burning desire to create. Just not buildings.
So I switched to Art School and instead of learning structures and physics, I was obsessed with graphic design, color theory and typography. And computers.
When the internet was born I translated my design skills into digital and learned how to code.
First the idea, then technology.
To this very day I still begin the idea process with pencil and paper, to feel that raw connection I felt as a kid, that spark, without the distraction of technology. Napkin sketches over lunch are still the best.
As the idea concept moves into execution, I find ways to leverage technology to expand that idea into 360 campaigns, maximizing consumer touch points to tell a consistent brand story across many mediums. All while maintaining a beautiful aesthetic.
I like to inspire cross-functional teams to achieve their goals through great communication, adjusting their thinking to uncover new angles, and push them out of typical comfort zones. I am straightforward in my critiques. I have found that honest feedback makes everyone better and saves time.
When you have a good leader for a manager, it can make all the difference in your career and workplace happiness. They are like a school teacher that made an impact during childhood… they stand out from the rest.
My philosophy on leading is as follows:
- Hire good people with whom I can trust and empower to do the best work of their lives. Give them space to work and do not micromanage.
- Honesty through communication. I support a “radical candor’ style during feedback loops. I have found that being honest with direct reports about their work while letting them also have the leeway to challenge their manager within critiques without fear of reprisal is appreciated and well received.
- Ask the right questions. Enable direct reports to find their own solution by asking them the right questions.
- Calm, cool and confident under pressure.
I have had the opportunity to work 100% remote since January 2017 and I love it.
During that time I collaborated with a fabulous team in Islamabad for Telenor Pakistan to create an Effie award-winning app that boasts 2.5 million users in Pakistan. This was a 5 month project with twice weekly calls with a 12 hour time difference.
I am currently Design Director and working with a development team based in Brisbane, Australia. We have been coordinating efforts over the past 2.5 years with twice (or more) weekly calls, with a 14 hour time difference.
It all comes down to good communication and leveraging online project management tools like Trello, Asana, Basecamp or other to remain on the same page, track progress and stay on schedule.
Having a meet up every other month or once a quarter truly helps solidify the team as far as building relationships and creating culture.
Behind the Scenes
From art directing mustard to getting sprayed in the head by my wife, I absolutely love shoot days. A few out takes below <3.