"Whatever your hand finds to do, do with all your might..."— the Wise King
I started designing around 2006 when I began the graphic arts program at a local community college. I fell in love with it instantly. The ability to create something that affects people in a powerful way is a pretty great challenge. Many would often say I have a very 'clean' style. I'm definitely a fan of the 'less-is-more' approach to design. There's a lot that can be conveyed with simplicity. In fact, oftentimes, more can be expressed with less, and with much more impact. That often takes a lot of critical thinking and understanding as I approach different projects.
I earned an Associate Degree of Applied Science in Graphic Arts and Interactive Multimedia from Southwest Tennessee Community College in 2009. That's all I really wanted in all honesty. I really didn't want to spend years in school. I wanted to start working and accomplishing right away. Besides, I believe you should never stop learning anyway, so why not get to it and start learning in the real world as soon as possible.
Being a fresh designer out of school, it was hard finding work. I didn't have experience, I didn't have a strong portfolio. But I didn't let that stop me. I freelanced for a couple years, creating the brand of Sleek Design to sell myself. During the time I was freelancing, I managed to get a one-man office in downtown Memphis that I worked out of. Over time I was able to build up a small client list, build up my portfolio with better, real-world work.
Through some connections, I was introduced to some people looking for a web designer at Archer>Malmo. Archer>Malmo is one of the largest full-service ad agencies in the southeast, and they've been going strong for 60 years. Joining their interactive team was a huge opportunity to work on bigger brands, bigger projects, and gain some incredible experience. Working with so many incredibly talented people was so refreshing. I certainly feel like I grew a lot as a designer during my time there.
While I was working at Archer>Malmo, I started getting a taste of the up and coming startup scene in Memphis. I came into contact with Richard Billings, who had a wild idea to tackle the self-publishing industry with a totally different pricing model. The idea intrigued me enough that I decided to offer my services in support. We became official partners in the endeavor, and began I moonlighting for him. I would spend time helping him build the idea into something more substantial. In Spring of 2012 we were accepted into a startup accelerator program to help us launch our idea into a full blown company with a working product. A year later we closed our first seed round for $330K and I quit my full-time position at Archer to work full-time on Screwpulp (now Leafless.co) as the creative lead. I worked with the team for about 2 years. I've since moved on to other projects though I continue to work with Leafless as they continue to strive to build a solid community going against the grain of the age-old publishing world.
I've managed to get involved in a couple other startups since then and am currently working with these teams to help them launch their products. Keep in touch for more info on these. I still occasionally take on freelance projects as I'm available.