[ - A Classic Non Sequitur - ]

I started off as an artist. What was once a classroom distraction turned into a full blown obsession, one I pursued all the way through University. During my undergrad, I worked hard and learned how to paint and draw what was placed in front of me. Models, still life’s, landscapes, but at that time, if you asked me to draw or paint whatever I wanted, I blanked. That was, until I had an epiphany my Junior year.

I began sketching lines in no particular order, just letting my hand go wherever it wanted. I started to develop a composition and shapes began to emerge from the lines. I leaned back for an overview of what was in front of me and an entire scene appeared. Excitedly, I worked at developing the nascent areas of the sketch and incorporated them into the rest of the drawing. And so it went.

Soon I was sketching all the time. I found that what I drew depended largely on what I was thinking about. Was I upset about something? Nervous? Anxious? It all came out in the lines as if by stream of consciousness. Though often times I would direct the composition one way or the other based on what I saw, the end result was never planned. Small sketches turned into large projects and with my introduction to something called Aluminum Plate Lithography I was able to turn simple sketches into lithographs and was never without content again.

After earning my undergraduate degree in Studio Art with concentrations in painting, printmaking and photography, I accepted a position as a Graphic Designer with a small firm in Dover, NH. It was there that I fell in love with software. Image editing software applications to be exact. My boss, who turned out to be a great friend, insisted that I learn how to use programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, Streamline, and Quark Express by reading the manuals! Imagine that. She wouldn’t let me work on anything until I had proven to her that I had read them cover to cover and I could execute each command. I’m eternally grateful to her for that lesson.

Two years later, I decided to relocate from New England to Southern California. Once I arrived, I shifted gears and began working in the real estate industry. Somehow, ten years slipped by. One day, I realized I wasn’t truly happy with my career. I looked back at which job had made me happiest in my life and I arrived at that small Graphic Design firm in Dover, New Hampshire.

After researching the Graphic Design job market it became apparent that many employers were looking for not only graphic design skills, but web design skills as well. Terms like HTML, CSS, and Javascript were popping up everywhere and at the time, I had no idea what those were. I took an introductory online course in HTML and CSS at a local community college and I was hooked. The ability to take a blank white page and create anything you want got me excited again! Websites, portfolios, blogs, interactive info-graphics, web based applications, the possibilities are endless!

I began consuming everything I could find that had to do with design and coding. I completed hours of online tutorials to bring my old skills up to speed and learn some new techniques. I decided to formally pursue Web Design as my new career and I began preparing an application for a Master’s degree program in Web Design and New Media at Academy of Art University. This program has taught me a great deal about Web Design standards, and I’ve gotten to design and develop some really cool websites and apps.

(click the image for more info)

Although, it wasn’t until about halfway through my first programming course at AAU that I realized that I also love coding. There’s something about learning a programming language from scratch and believing in yourself that you can do it that makes creating something in the web world that much more rewarding. Each time I learn a new piece of code I want to learn more. I want to know as much as I can about how each piece interacts with the other so I’ll be free to design and develop anything I want.

Knowing that having the ability to design and develop websites would be a great asset to me and future employers, I decided to take a semester off from my Masters program and enroll in the Bloc online coding bootcamp. I expect to complete the Front-end Web Development course in June, 2017, and I will then return to finish my Masters program and my thesis project. I’ve included a mock-up below of the homepage for my thesis project website created in Adobe XD. I also created a working prototype using Fullpage.js that can be seen here: Nalu.com

The History of Surfing and Surf Photography

A Surfing Collective