I’d like to tell you a story about how my life got flipped, turned upside down… Wait, this isn’t Fresh Prince of Bell Air!
I want to share a little of my story about how I got sucked into this creative and beautiful world of art and design. As a kid growing up, I played some sports, nothing too crazy. I was on a local swim team for a little bit and played baseball up through high school. What sparked the creative bug in me was when our elementary school hosted auditions for Shakespeare’s Macbeth. I can’t recall what made me decide to go and audition, but I did. This first theater experience led to me holding critical roles in the next two years of Shakespeare performances my school hosted. And it didn’t stop there, instead of continuing with my long held involvement with playing baseball, when I got to high school, I made sure to audition for the fall show and every show after that.
During my time in grade school and high school, we had art classes to take. I think my initial arts classes were something like Beginning Painting and Computer Graphics or Photography. By the time Sophomore year came around, I was messing around in Photoshop into the early morning hours while simultaneously chatting away with other night owls on AIM back when it was the bees knees. Hey, a/s/l? Haha!
Back on topic. I was hooked on Photoshop, not of that PS Elements crap. The OG, The PS, Photoshop 7.0. (gasp!) haha.
I was running windows at the time, and I used Photoshop for designed album art for local bands, creating t-shirt designs and flyers for local businesses. Let me tell you; I was a big shot. I was the talk of the town; I was was raking in the Benjamins. I was – not.
This was all just for fun and helping out some friends and family. I had the idea in my mind though to start a graphic and web design studio. Junior year in high school I took AP photo and got super into photography, taking pictures and manipulating them in Photoshop. My style was all about high contrast and ridiculously saturated images. Looking back, probably a tad much, but it’s what I enjoyed creating. Some of my favorite things to photograph were rooflines, buildings, things with a lot of white space and anything that was stereotypically ugly or dirty that I could try to find a way to make beautiful.
Senior year of high school I was the teacher’s aide for the AP photo class, so I got to kick it around photography for another year. It was fun and enjoyable.
So high school for me was all about drama and theater, Photoshop and photography. I also started a screen printing business with a buddy, and we designed and printed t-shirts for local firms and bands in the area. Now when I say business, I mean expensive hobby, haha. Wish it wasn’t but it just took a lot of time, labor and the margins weren’t all that useful when you’re looking to make some money.
After high school, I ended up going to a local community college with the hopes of transferring to an Art School. I had never taken film photography classes, so I immediately enrolled in Black and White Photography 101 I think it was. It was awesome indeed. I enjoyed working in the darkroom and seeing images come to fruition right in front of my eyes.
(to be continued)