Creative direction involves a process to reach a goal (communication, research, execution, experience and trust). I’ve built a career on ensuring goals can be met—through problem-solving, coming up with ways to convey a message on time and on budget and managing a team juggling several things at one time. I am definitely an idea person, but I get things done and motivate others.
I received a B.F.A. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, majoring in graphic design and illustration (with a minor in interior design). My background initially focused on print—particularly magazine and book publishing, identity and collateral designs, with positions in both non-profits as well as for-profit companies. I’ve done magazine redesigns and print RFP’s, worked with illustrators and photographers on a regular basis, and my tenure at a small design firm began my feet-into-the-fire exposure to client pitches and client relations. But as I’ve gotten more and more into the web/digital side of publishing I realize I have an inner geek that enjoys logic and working with code—in the past two years I led the complete overhaul of two corporate B2C websites, using WordPress and customizing in css and html. I love a challenge and I’m always ready to learn something new.
While I enjoy my career in design/communications, I continue to pursue a variety of creative outlets when I’m not in front of a computer—jewelry-making, interior design (including faux painting, re-purposing furniture and making custom accessories), singing the blues (lead vocals with a DC-area band) and handcrafting artisan soap and body care products; I launched a company called Simplí (which is Gaelic for simple and straightforward), and everything is made by hand from scratch with my own recipes. I am also really enjoying the product/marketing photography and handle all social media for the brand.
What I bring to the table:
Several years as a creative professional (designer and editor); hands-on, can-do attitude; adaptable manager and mentor who works hard and plays hard too. I am fully connected to industry professionals which include: printers, web developers, mailhouses, photographers and illustrators, copywriters and journalists. I also bring a sense of humor, a taste for good food and drink and a weakness for shoes. And purses.
Speaking of food and drink: In the fall of 2014 I launched a blog, Grate Bites, which focuses on things related to the grilling lifestyle: food; craft beer, whiskey and bourbon; blues and independent music; festivals…recreational things that I happen to take seriously (well, somewhat seriously—I’m considering a piece on the history of cornhole). The concept, website, all content and social media messaging/distribution are done by me. I had done some writing before, but didn’t realize how much I really enjoyed it. Since its launch, I’ve interviewed international blues musician Barbara Blue, Grill Girl Robyn Lindars, esteemed Virginia winemaker/wine grower Chris Pearmund, as well as the founders of Operation BBQ Relief; I have highlighted craft brewery Dog Tag Brewing, which honors fallen U.S. soldiers on each of their cans, and discovered the next renowned wine region may be growing in China. I have been gaining followers in social media and subscribers at a rate of approximately 50 to 100 per week when I have the time to work at it.