I often joke that I went to school to become and illustrator, but go to work to be a web-developer. While true this doesn’t really say much about any of my experience. Right after High School my big dream was to write novels, something I still have up there in the ranks of “wouldn’t it be cool if…” but then I looked into real careers, and decided I didn’t want to be an English Teacher.
After that I flirted with computer science, history, graphic design, and finally illustration as potential majors, but never really finished any of them. I am one of those “Some College” guys, but in my case it’s a bit more like “a lot of college, that has little to do with anything” guys. Illustration, painting, and digital art is where I am headed though, and as I get deeper into those fields as a freelance artist the idea of going back to school and finishing a degree seems better and better.
So how did I end up sitting in a pile of web-development? Well in late 2005 a buddy and I were sitting around complaining about clothing, and how not enough cool stuff was made for guys, and how we could make better stuff. So we spent the next several months doing research and collecting data to the end of opening a clothing company. In Mid-2006 that happened, and we launched Ravenhorde Studios form my garage.
Over the next 8 months we learned the hard-way, made a lot of shirts and decided it was time to go big. We moved into a business park and ran Ravenhorde Studios as a small business to business t-shirt company until 2010. Now that wasn’t the original dream, we had wanted to sell our own designs.. but due to lack of planning and lack of time, our own e-commerce website fell to the wayside as we focused on doing business to business sales.
T-shirts could not sustain us however, and along the way we also began doing marketing design, web design and development, and wide format printing as well. It was here that what had been a hobby in high school and college became a skill I realized I was good at and could market. From there I ended up realizing that there were a hundred other skills to learn and grow upon, and I saw that for a long time I had been acting as an unpaid Information Architect consultant with family and some business friends.
The Market crash was pretty hard, and left our business in the dust and in Early 2010 we had to close our doors, although I continued as a freelance web designer. A brief 9 months spent in the hell that is known as Starbucks Coffee as a Shift Supervisor, and finally I find myself where I should have been 10 years ago.
Still a freelancer in the art, design, and web-development world I have found myself being one of two developers for a Real Estate company, and the head designer for most of the same companies marketing materials. What the future holds however is yet to be seen.
- A Graphic Designer’s Field Guide, Part 1 (nhgraphicdesign.wordpress.com)
- Information Architecture 101 (xemion.com)