I started as a generalist, then I dabbled in being a specialist, now I'm happily back to being kind of a generalist.
The long version of that very confusing soundbite is that my professional life began as a creative jack of all trades.
I graduated with a degree in New Media and a focus in digital illustration. Once I realized that “cartoonist” wasn’t the most viable career option, I parlayed that skillset into being a sort of graphic design generalist.
During my various graphic designer stints, I tried on a bunch of different hats looking for a specialty that I felt comfortable settling down with. As much as I loved illustration or animation or web design, none felt like something I wanted to go all in on. I really liked doing a little of a lot of different things.
Eventually, I found myself on a project designing a touch screen interface
. That project was essentially a Product Design bootcamp, and showed me a cool new discipline where I could use all the little skills I picked up throughout my career.
Product Design, at least my experience with it, was the perfect place for someone who knew a little about a lot of things. I could speak Art Director, Developer, Product Manager, and distill all of that into something a client would understand.
Currently, I’m still doing a lot of little things. I’m Senior UX Manager at Woodruff
, an ad agency in Kansas City. I’m also on the board of UXPA-KC
where I try to help other eager little generalists like myself find their way in the world of UX.
Oh also, I still keep a foot in the world of illustration
A short list of some of the things I do day to day are: wire framing // prototyping // information architecture // user research // web design // interface design // illustration // visual design // strategy
Some select dates of importance in my professional life:
Born in Queens, NY
Graduated SUNY Purchase with a Bachelor of Arts in New Media, started freelancing, moved to Kansas City
Graphic Designer at LJS Graphics
Graphic Designer at Sizewise, first experience with the world of UX
First official UX Designer at Sizewise
Graphic Designer at Sandlot + Co.
Senior UX Manager at Woodruff
Board Member at UXPA-KC
Board Member/Director of Community at UXPA-KC