I have lived in Lawrenceville for practically all my life except for two years we lived overseas for my dad's work with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Art has always been a big part of my life and I knew probably around 7th-8th grade a career in art would be in my future. Growing up I always leaned towards art & design - be it drawing my favorite superheroes to examining the masters of old art was always in my blood. My good friend James Archer (www.AnatomyBlue.com) help guide my art into something more then just mere doodles on paper and perhaps to have a career in art.
I attended the University of Georgia and enrolled in their Scientific Illustration program. It was definitely the program for as in my art tending to be very strict in nature and I like the fine details of a subject, The program was a mash up between art and science so I got a well round education while attending the University. You could say while I can appreciate a Jackson Pollack or Picasso I like to study the Renaissance masters who seem to show every detail in their imagery.
After graduating in 1996 I went straight to work in Augusta, Georgia for a well-known dental implant doctor - Dr. Douglas P. Clepper at West Augusta Dental Associates (www.westaugustadental.com). My job was to help finish illustrating Dr. Clepper's massive college level text book on implant dentistry which was going into 5th year of being written and designed. The book, once completed contains over 2500 illustrations drawn not only by myself but two other illustrators that preceded me. To think I had graduated college with having exactly 2 computer classes adn no experience in desktop publishing agave new meaning to "learning on the job"!
It was also during this time I created my first website; to help promote the book we just finished publishing. I remember using FrontPage software for the coding and generally having little clue on what it took to create a website. Looking back the website at best it was horrible, no two ways about it, simply a terrible website and I used every trick to make it stand out - bevels and shadows, gif animations and who knows what else. After two outstanding years and having seen this mammoth book not only published but to sell out and be entered in the Library of Congress I felt much satisfaction and pride.
Upon returning to Atlanta I worked for freelance talent agency called MacTemps (currently known as The Creative Group & Vitamin T) as a freelance designer. During my stay I got the chance to work with many different clients and companies. it was an excellent view into the world of freelance and what it takes to make a career as one. In the end I looked for a more stable form of employment.
That came with me being hired at Network communications (NCI), currently called New Point Media. I stayed with the company for 9 years both as a Graphic Designer and then i moved to the Corporate side of the company and became a Web Designer for all their online initiatives. Working in such a corporate atmosphere you learn a great many things - sometimes it takes you looking back to understand just how far you have come. Yes the environment could be stagnant at times and we had way too many VP's (or cooks in the kitchen as they say) but these are things one can expect from a fairly large company. Working at NCI prepared me to meet client expectations, deadlines and workloads and quickly learn to take criticism well.
My next stop was at a small company called AtHomeNet (www.athomenet.com), located in Duluth, Georgia. The produced websites for Property Management Companies & Communities using their custom built CMS system. I was hired to help in many different areas including Web Design, Graphic Design, SEO, Marketing and Development. I was able to use all my skills in one place. In that time we created over 8,000 websites, we went having almost no foothold in Google search to having over 22 #1 position keywords. For five years it was a job I wanted to go to because I knew each day might bring a new challenge or discovery all the while I was gaining even more skills and enhancing the ones I had. Some samples of my work during this time can be view here.
FoundationsFour.com was born out of necesssity in 2013 as AtHomeNet was sold to an Investment Group in 2013 and we all found ourselves without a job as the Georgia productions was shut down in favor of West coast locations. Some may ask - why the name? Well first it rolls of the tongue really well, phonetically it works well and lastly I thought of what I could offer my clients and it really broke down into four areas - design, development, marketing and SEO.
I was caught a little flat footed this websites was created to present my work, my skills and part of me. Many people ask why did I not have a website all ready and the answer was easy for me - I did not need one. I had a great job; really I have not stopped working for 20 years so having a website was not high on my list. I was perfectly willing to design everybody else's but never saw the need for myself. Even what freelance jobs I found were all word of mouth - friends of friends - but looking back (that old hindsight again) I should have created one years ago.
Well there is a need now and in building this website I have learn even more - like it's always harder to design something for yourself - especially as a designer. You have no restrictions or limitations and that can be a bad thing at times. It's funny how when you work on clients websites you give yourself criteria and goals and this tends to reel you back in from the brink. Without those borders every idea you have, every little nuance because a battle between showing off your work and creating a website that is user friendly and effective. Also learned over the past 20 years I have actually created quite a few bits of art and design I am quite proud of.
That's my story in a nutshell. I hope you enjoy your time on the first incarnation of my FoundationsFour.com website. Can't say it will stay the same for too long - you know us designers - always thinking of new ways to reinvent the web. I hope you like some of the artwork and design I have created. If you are interested in working with me, or just want to reach out to a fellow designer or move nut feel free to get in contact with me.