Working more or less in an art director capacity, I have delivered the fun in function for over 20 years. I enjoy collaborating and always bring a positive, solution-focused attitude to projects. As a content designer, I’m an ideation machine. As an animator, I'm fast and fluid, capable of delivering “ready-to-hang” content from my one-stop shop. As an interactive designer, I specialize in simple and engaging UI, while balancing numerous, sometimes conflicting, programming needs.
Infographics have become a valuable tool. In our jargon and acronym-heavy world simple visual explanations bridge the communication gap, often across cultural and language borders. And, in step, storytelling, as a framework for sharing information, has been embraced by countless organizations as a way to connect with people. And there's no more obvious connection point these days than online. Effective UX/UI is the wrapper that needs to be present or someone might never get to hear your great story and see your awesome images!
If you're not an engineer, it can be difficult to understand what engineers are talking about! Aimed at an internal audience, Intel’s Under the Hood video series offers a visual explanation of some of the company’s most complicated technologies.
In 2014, I became the designer, illustrator and animator of infographics for this series. These whiteboard videos are typically intercut with interviews of engineers explaining new technologies. As part of my research process, I like to interview the experts in advance of a shoot to hear their story. I can then more readily translate everything into simple ideas and images that transcend industry jargon or tech-speak. I created nearly 300 unique images for the series.
Dell’s Executive Director of Strategy needed help explaining his, uh, strategy, to numerous parties at Dell — including Michael Dell himself. Working directly with the executive, I developed a blueprint style of animation to show various technology architectures and trends. In five years, I delivered about 25 animations, whiteboard videos and interactive tools.
I was asked to reinterpret several existing animations on computer technology to be less boring. I hand drew all the elements to give them a more approachable feel — and got everything done for their original deadline. I also created reading, history, math, science and civics-based content for the organization.
Kaiser-Permanente needed new training materials for its managers. I jumped in as the lead designer on this course, which includes about a half-dozen animations translating behavioral research into compelling short stories.
Inclusion – A fanciful take on the benefits of opening up to new ideas
Continuous Improvement – A true story about discovering unknown problems
During my time at Mattel, I helped bring to life a range of interactive content, featuring characters from the company’s various brands.
Amelia’s Notebook was already a successful book series. Translating it into an interactive platform was a creative challenge. Taking the main themes and stories from the books, I crafted a single interactive story/world for users to play in.
One of the cool things about McMenamins is their honoring of the community, history and architecture of the buildings they restore. To this end, they cover almost every surface of the properties with artworks based on the location. My first project for them was for the Elks Temple in Tacoma, WA which features a hotel, music venue, multiple restaurants and bars. I designed and painted four murals, three large panels, four portraits, as well as multiple headboards and decorative patterns on walls and doors.
Tacoma has a great jazz history. Jelly Roll Morton (the "inventor" of jazz–according to him) ran a bar-cum-brothel back in the day. And Diane Schuur (singer/pianist) got her start in Tacoma as a kid at the local Holiday Inn. She has gone on to play with Count Basie and many other music legends. The number "11" appears at least eleven times in this painting.
The Elks Lodge was home to some famous handball courts as well as a pool and billiards hall. This multi-dimensional painting also serves as a map for space travelers wishing to be led to the very booth this painting hangs across from.
Tacoma also has had a thriving music scene for years. In this painting an imaginary super-grunge trio rocks out amidst various Tacoma-related musicians and bands. We have an early Elks marching band (with Frank Zappa on snare), conductor Robert Musser from Tacoma Concert Band, The Ventures, The Sonics, The Fabulous Wailers, Elks members playing music as elves, Neko Case, Junkyard Jane, Girl Trouble, and Botch.
The music venue (former ballroom) is decorated with scenes from Wagner's Ring Cycle opera acted out by Tacoma area luminaries. This mural is of Loge. Loge occupies a unique place amongst the characters in the opera. He’s essentially the God of Fire. But his stature, and role seems more like an elf. He’s a trickster, an instigator, and ultimately the key ingredient (literally) that sets Valhalla on fire bringing the reign of Gods to a close. Similarly provocative, George Francis Train (1829-1904), played a huge role in establishing Tacoma as an important city on The West Coast. His around the world trips (inspiring the Around the World in 80 days book and movie) brought him celebrity status. He in turn used this power (and his family wealth) to promote Tacoma as The City of Destiny (Just one of his many great quotes).
The ouroboros symbol has been representing life and death as an endless cycle for hundreds of years. Most commonly it’s portrayed as a single snake biting/eating its own tail. But using dragons in the role isn’t unheard of. In this mural, the dragons represent the giants Fafner and Fasolt who built Valhalla. Later, Fafner actually transforms himself into a dragon using magic. The corner treatments here are an homage to theater itself. Showing the same character (a "Ring" leader!) from the audience perspective as well as from the backstage perspective reminds us of the ever-present reality that we are at once the seer and the seen.
Behold the deadly resolution to this grand opera–Götterdämmerung. On top left we have the Norns (musicians The Gothard Sisters) skipping rope with the Rope of Destiny. On the top right we have Siegfried (musician Kurt Cobain) giving Brunhilde (musician Courtney Love) the ring while he goes off on adventures. On the left side we have Alberich (Tacoma Sheriff George V. Janovich) and Hagen (Tacoma mobster John Joseph Carbone) watch over the corpse of Siegfried as he crowd surfs into his funeral pyre. The Gibichung musicians (musicians Corky Corcoran, Kareem Kandi, and Bill Lewis) play him through. On the right side, Brunhilde wearing the ring, rides her horse into the funeral pyre to remove the curse. As this happens, Valhalla (Tacoma gambling boat Top of the Ocean) goes up in flames too. King of the gods Wotan (musician Jerry Cantrell) goes “down with the ship” while rocking out. Finally, the ring is reunited with the Rhinemaidens in the top, center ring with the drowned face of Alberich hanging over them like a hunting trophy. To wrap all this up we have in the bottom left corner a German youth from the 1960’s really getting into the first complete box set of the Ring Cycle recording by Georg Solti. And, lastly, in the bottom right we have a Tacoma dive bar as the Gibichung Hall with a Wotan Tribute Artist (artist Dale Chihuly) trying to play a glass guitar and failing.
Request from the top, "I want the elevator filled with life-size people staring at you. And, go!" This was assigned on a Monday. Design approved on Tuesday. Prepped on Wednesday. Started painting on Thursday. 95 hours later done. These people are all Elks employees and members. The trumpet player is playing the music-of-the-spheres which is manifesting itself as a DNA rainbow and finishing as a tiny salmon.
PGE is working to use more renewable resources to provide power to the Portland/northwest Oregon region — and, in turn, help their customers use less energy. To promote cost-cutting incentives and actions for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), I created several videos featuring business owners who have signed up for the PGE renewable power program. Working with a small crew and navigating Covid precautions, we filmed on location all over the northwest Oregon/Portland region.
In collaboration with a PGE host, we conducted interviews with the owners about their experiences with the program. This footage was turned into several dozen videos for use on the Portland Business Journal's site, YouTube, Instagram and internally at PGE.
Kaiser was having trouble getting the word out to its large IT department about how easy it was to create their own software applications. I came up with the concept to adapt The Schoolhouse Rock animation “I’m Just a Bill” to represent a “computer app idea” that wants to become certified. This early responsive-design course brought its own special set of challenges, but the limitations turned out to be a great guide for what to cut and what to keep.
Learning.com was looking to do something new with its lead training character Miko. I designed a whole new world for her to teach typing, aka “keyboarding.” Per the client’s suggestion, I based the look-and-feel on my painting technique of using recycled wood. Navigation and information was presented on the Sandmarines, Egg Blimps, The Good Ship Qwerty and Type Rider. I also designed Miko's adventure outfit.