My history as a graphic designer has roots in my childhood. My mom will tell you that I always said that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. My favorite gifts at Christmas were always coloring books and that big new box of crayons. My parents even bought my first camera when I was 8. In school, I took classes where I could enjoy my creative side, such as commercial arts and hobby photography.
My career aspirations led me to the Pittsburgh Technical Institute, where I was encouraged to enroll in the Graphic Design program. I was also the recipient of the Richard S. Caliguiri Award, given to students who exhibit outstanding achievement in the areas of academic achievement, leadership, and perseverance. During an internship, I learned the fundamentals of building and designing websites, and when I graduated, started work at a downtown Pittsburgh marketing and advertising agency. One of my tasks was building the agency’s websites. Over the next 10 years, I developed their internet department, designing websites through research and constantly learning new techniques to stay on top of current trends.
I moved to full-time freelancing when expecting my first child. Although I worked mainly as a web designer, once my clients realized that my formal training was in print design, it gave me the opportunity to also offer those services. Along the way, I noticed that I had begun to pick up a lot of clients in the hospitality, tourism, and special event industries. I loved it, and began specializing in working with these markets, providing them with custom-designed marketing materials in both the print and digital worlds.
Eventually, I decided that I wanted to focus on visual presentation rather than the uber-competitive web design industry. I now partner with one of the area’s top digital marketing firms to fulfill my clients’ online needs, allowing me to work more in the print space. More recently, I have also been able to bring my life-long photography hobby to a professional level by offering these services to my current clients.
I’ve come full circle with my childhood love of all things creative, and I love building my customers’ brands and creating a vision for their design needs.