I was raised in New Jersey and lived many years as an adult in the Houston Metro Area. I now reside with my husband, son, one ancient corgi, one adopted mutt puppy, a cat and various wildlife in the wilds of North Carolina. I have always held a pencil in my hand – like a bird with a twig, it is my instinctual tool.
Computer graphic design is also my love. Adobe Creative Cloud makes storytelling easy when one is combining pictures with words. I’ve come a long way with the Mac. I attended the first Macintosh Summit in 1992 in Santa Barbara and had a class with Adobe Photoshop pioneer Russel Brown, and attended seminars by Kai Krause and David Blatner (who rolled out QuarkXPress!). I attended a seminar led by a National Geographic photographer, who discussed the ethics of tampering with photographs. I had lunch with Sesame Street creators and cartoonists. I rubbed shoulders with staff from Hallmark Cards. It was terrific!
In the late 80s, I was working my way through college as a graphics specialist for the College of Science and Mathematics at the University of Houston. I graduated cum laude with a degree in Fine Art. My paintings were included in juried shows at the Blaffer Art Gallery. My illustrations appeared in scientific journals such as Science magazine and Physical Review. On the side, I illustrated Symmetry and Chaos by Martin Golubitsky and Ian Stewart, created a painting for NASA, and cartoons for short courses for the American Chemical Society. I was a participant in the vibrant UH Dance Theatre, and my solo choreography was one of two pieces selected to represent the University at the American College Dance Festival in 1989. I also participated in a lyric performance workshop in Boulder, Colorado held by Marianne Faithful and Hal Milner, hiked all over the mountain tops while I was there and attended poetry readings by beat poets Allen Ginsburg, William Burroughs, and others.
I left the University to work at a local newspaper for a year where I learned a lot about the mysteries of the 4-color printing process. Several of my political cartoons were published. I went on to work for ADVO, Inc., a national direct mail house, and after a few years as a production artist, I was promoted to a national team of creative artists, who worked with the regional sales teams to produce spec ads for national clients such as Firestone, Pennzoil, Goodyear, Albertson’s, Curves, Nationwide Insurance, Domino’s Pizza, Academy, along with a host of clients from every advertising category you can think of, from cellular phones, carpet sales, dry cleaners, car repair, funeral homes, grocery stores, restaurants, hardware stores, you name it. My print ads could wrap around the world 5 times (and given the print distributions, probably did. I still feel a little guilty driving past landfills). I then worked a couple years as a contract graphic designer for American National Insurance company, where I designed brochures, sales incentive collateral and their annual report.
Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. Friends who evacuated stayed with us in Galveston, and we all watched on tv, horrified, as their neighborhood was slowly submerged in the storm surge. A short time later we ourselves evacuated from Hurricane Rita. We joined the exodus of millions fleeing Houston from the hurricane, fleeing at a snail’s pace. The trip to Palestine, Texas which normally took 4 hours, lengthened to 31 hours, moving at an agonizing 5 mph, stop and go, the entire way. Deciding afterwards to forego any future mass evacuations, we packed up and left Galveston for North Carolina in 2007. Good thing, too, because in 2008 Hurricane Ike made turtle soup out of Galveston. My husband had to go back there and fix up our house, which was as yet unsold. We admire (and miss) our friends who stayed and rebuilt their community from the ground up.
I worked as Art Director at the Museum of Life and Science in North Carolina for 7 years – it was a great job, working with wonderfully inventive, creative people from various departments: development, external relations, membership, education, exhibits, animal care. Numerous examples of my work from the Museum populate my portfolio.
Sang with the Choral Society of Durham and their Chamber Choir under the direction of Rodney Wynkoop for 2 years. We performed many classic and contemporary pieces, among those my favorite and most challenging piece ever: Hindemith’s exhiliarating When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d: A Requiem for Those We Love. As a volunteer, I redesigned their logo and wrote some blurbs, and created some website banners, posters, and Instapage landing pages to publicize our performances. I particularly enjoyed the excuse it gave me to research the composers and music.
Collaborated with Weller’s lively and dedicated global marketing team to produce digital and print collateral for product launches and advertising. We explored Dropbox Business and Dropbox Paper as a way to escape conventional email and to build trust and efficiency in our creative development and proofing processes, and to demolish any language or geographical barriers. No ocean could stand between us. I also learned a whole lot about the ancient art and science of soldering from Weller’s experts in the U.S. and abroad, and wrote a brief history of Weller that appears in Weller’s 68-page brand guidelines and on Weller’s website.
Why do I include doodles and dabblings in my portfolio? Because they are my breathing tubes to the outside world, bringing oxygen in from different places, refreshing my mind and giving me new perspectives.
Adobe Creative Cloud, mainly with Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Acrobat
Drupal and WordPress
Microsoft Office (Powerpoint, mainly, but can work the rest)
Dropbox Business Admin, including Dropbox Paper, plus experience with other collaborative platforms like Trello, Basecamp, Google Drive, etc.
Drawing – cartoons and pencil/pen/brush illustration
Figuring out how to do stuff