While at Brigham Young University, I studied equal parts of art, English, and humanities. This might be why I never settled on a major and, in the end, still haven't graduated, but it doesn't exactly explain why I'm in web development.
Learning to design and code websites was a necessity, both because I wanted to impress my older brother and because I wanted to display my art online on my terms. I'm a self-taught hobbyist, eager to learn and pleased as can be with the advances in the available technology. I've been doing this for more than ten years, and I've picked up a lot of tips, tricks, and an attitude of being able to do anything with enough google fu. Since I've installed databases and software by hand, coded entire sites in tables without any CSS, and was around when frames were the big thing, I'm not afraid of legacy code. I know just enough about PHP and other languages to know what not to touch, instead weaving streamlined classes and IDs to make functionality a thing of beauty.
Fortunately, I work for a company that embraces the latest standards in development, so the challenges of dealing with the unstable and unsupported don't come as often as they used to. Getting to work with a team of talented, like-minded people has been a thrill, allowing me a variety of experiences and accomplishments on tight deadlines.
But while I get to draw the occasional giraffe for a client at my 9-5, that's not nearly enough to satisfy my urge to draw. Seriously, if I go more than a few hours without doodling, I start to get twitchy. That's why I've always got post-it notes and pens on hand. On my own time, I do personal commissions, freelance illustrations, and a web comic called Dangerous Cute
that updates weekly. Ideally, I would do collaborative comic books part of the time, and work as an author/illustrator for the balance.
Right, yes; I write. My focus is mostly Middle-Grade and YA novels, and the occasional picture book. I run a writing group that meets weekly to critique manuscripts of varying genres, and have assisted with the annual Writing & Illustrating for Young Readers conference. I've always been an avid reader and have been trying to find the ultimate form of storytelling ever since I can remember. Is writing the answer? I'm not sure yet.
This journey of discovery is not one that I choose to go at alone, either. I'm actively involved in several different communities, online and off, and am a big fan of social media networking. Any convention that I get the chance to go to, I do. I volunteer artwork, web work, and labor to events and causes that catch my interest. I've been a guest on a couple of different podcasts, have been on staff running a free online roleplaying game for the last 10 years, and broadcast art live in an effort to help others get inspired to try.
Through collaborative projects, critiquing, sharing, and creating, I believe that we'll make something better, together.
I live in Utah, am married to the best nerd ever, and have three incredibly lazy cats. My favorite movie is the first Ninja Turtles. I love dinosaurs, ponies, playing Rock Band, and going out for sushi. If I were to start college over, I would take more vocal performance and film classes. I'd like to work at a comic book shop, as an employee or as a welcome guest to soak up nerd energy while I write/draw. Japanese curry rice is my favorite food and goes very well with a side of chilled applesauce. I don't do much real media because I hurt my arm years ago and it acts up when I try. Clay and I aren't friends but I'm dying to make puppets someday. Finally, I'm allergic to chocolate, terrified of whales, and absolutely adore Halloween.