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BFA in Graphic Design from Iowa State University, 2003

Software expertise
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe InDesign
Adobe Illustrator

Contractor (’12-present)
Avenue, Inc
Forward Design
Megan Licursi PR
Toddy Gear

Agency history
Sweet Design | ’09-’12

Brand Architects | ’06-’09

A photo of the exact moment you discovered your calling is a rare thing indeed. I was lucky enough to have a yearbook photographer on hand to capture the moment I wandered over to the Graphic Artist booth at the 1996 career fair at my high school.

Despite being born a fine artist, my passion has always been problem solving. There didn’t seem much to bridge the two ideas until I saw the portfolio of example work on the folding table. It was an epiphany that led me to begin my early career in design. I began to seek any excuse to use my newfound passion for combining visuals with critical thinking. From Senior editor of the yearbook to a job at the local newspaper making ads, I knew what I wanted to do.

graphic design career fair
That’s me in the green. Mom jeans with braided belts were way cool in 1996.

The man in the photo—a professor of design in Des Moines—was on hand to present me with the award for Outstanding Graphic Design Student when I won it my junior year of university.

Chicago, a city with a long tradition of producing great design, has been my adopted home since 2004. In various boutique agencies, I honed a personal philosophy that, “concept is key.” A dressed-up message without a concept is pretty for its own sake. Design is concerned with communication.

To get to that core concept, I first do extensive research to see the correlations and connections that can then be distilled into a design. This is what gives life to the design and allows it to maintain its integrity when interpreted by an audience.

Designs always begin with many words, but speak in a louder capacity than words can muster alone. This ability for design to enhance a communication and make it mean something inexpressible is what drew me in from the start.

Spontaneity and playfulness also play a key role and allow me to jumble the world just enough to see a connection, a truth, or a spark worth creating.