In my sophomore year of high school I got introduced to design. My friend mentioned this forum called Bluesfear. On this forum, hobbyists and freelancers would gather to talk shop. It was here that I learned how to use Photoshop to create photo manipulations and digital art. In fact, I even entered one of the monthly competitions and won $100 dollars.
In 2008 I matriculated into the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) where I majored in Web and Multimedia Environments. At MCAD, I learned the conceptual foundations of what it meant to be an artist. Our program ingrained in us the concept of process and craft. What exactly does this mean? The "process" is the pathway that an individual takes to bring a concept to finish, and "craft" is the skill or dexterity that's required to show mastery.
To this day, nearly everyone I’ve worked for has praised me on my attention to detail, discipline and work ethic. I attribute much of this praise to the rigorous work I performed at MCAD.
After graduating from MCAD in the Spring of 2011, I struggled to break into the job market. No one was hiring, as there was an economic recession. Through hard work, I landed my first job at Thomson-Reuters as a Customer Support Tech. My job involved resolving support tickets, front-end web development, cross-browser testing and CSS.
I wasn't that thrilled about what I was working on. I began to second guess my career choices and looked for other options. This is when I started reading about "UI/UX Design", a new term that I didn't learn about in school.
I began to look into universities that offered courses in this discipline and one in particular caught my eye. The Interactive Design program at the Savannah College of Art and Design. I applied to enroll, and this initiated the start of my five-year journey in User Experience Design.
Design is important to me because it bridges my personal and professional life. Before becoming a designer, I was an artist at heart. In my free time, I enjoy hobbies such as nature walks, photography and drawing. We all know that in the absence of function there is only form. Form provides us with an aesthetic sensibility while function connects our sensual side to the pragmatic demands of reality.
Design allows me to easily slip into the "Flow State", a term coined by the Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. A state wherein people are their happiest. Without either art or design, I cannot imagine what else - besides the natural world - could provoke such an emotion.
Design allows an individual to manifest an idea from concept to reality. It's a powerful tool that can be used to make someone's dreams come true. The most powerful and influential technology companies all have design at the center of their philosophies. I have a strong desire to use my talents as a force for good by improving the industries that I’m passionate about.