Shaping a Path

Connecting the points that Would Take Me to Where I Am Today

I've had the curiosity to create things ever since I was a little kid. Some of my best memories as a child were spent filling entire Saturdays with epic GI Joe battles that I planned meticulously. More time was spent in creating the setting to the impeding battles than the actual battles themselves; I was recreating the movie in my imagination.

This creative outlet shifted from one interest to the next as I grew up. Inevitably, my primary interest growing up became computers thanks to my technologically curious father; I grew up on DOS and fell in love with Adventure games (Space Quest!). But once I discovered the internet on my 14.4k modem I knew right away this new interest was special; my creativity found its next outlet that would shape my future.

I spent countless hours learning HTML on my Geocities page. My monitor was covered in post-its with short pieces of code scribbled across them. Through persistence and patience only found through my insatiable curiosity I created my first website with animated gifs, guestbooks, and web rings. I was hooked. From that moment on, I continued to learn and practice as much as I could until it led me towards a professional career.

“The only things you learn are the things you tame” -Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry

It is important to me that I never lose that wide-ranging imagination I possessed as a kid. Every object around me had possibilities beyond its original intended use. This creative viewpoint of the world leads to exciting ideas and solutions that would have never been discovered if the road less traveled was not attempted.

I morphed all those ideas into a collaborative project with my wife who had an even more unfiltered imagination than me which gave me daily inspiration. We wanted to frame the world through the perspective of a small, unlikely, and a bit fuzzy protagonist. After some playful deliberation, Otter Rules was born.

Write-up is in the works! Feel free to follow the progress.

Otter Rules

Little otter. Big world.

Sharing a Story

Gathering all the tools needed to craft a narrative

I hold a strong interest in both the design and development aspects of the creation process. Knowledge of both spectrums allows a deeper understanding of the medium being utilized. It equips me with the skill set I need to produce ideas from start to finish. Trying to share a story on the web is unique: there's a continuous transposing of our narrative as the web evolves and matures. An effective story is achieved through authority and respect of all the parts involved.

This understanding not only helps me excel in my professional career, but also plays a vital role in my side projects which are dearly important to me. They supply my imagination an unrestricted outlet to explore, experiment, learn new techniques, and continue to grow in my development. One of these personal outlets is my small travelogue Story So Far. It was created during a trip to Romania and was inspired by the works of Pictory, Anthony Bourdain, and countless other people sharing their adventures in this world. This project has been waiting for me to revisit it since 2009 and, excitedly, I have dived head first back into it intent on continuing to nurture this personal outlet.

Learn more about Story So Far

Story So Far

The world is too fascinating to not want to go see it all, Story So Far captures the tales behind the passport stamps.

Beneath the Surface

The beauty found in the pieces within the whole

I am a self-taught designer. I sought out works that I enjoyed and asked the question "How did they achieve this, and more importantly, why?" At the time I didn't realize it, but the questions I was asking would be fundamental in my growth as a designer. I've become more enamored with the decisions and reasoning behind products than the actual products themselves. My view of the world has changed considerably, I'm always pausing to consider the decisions behind the curtain. The orientation of handles on doors will never go unnoticed by me thanks to the insights of Donald Norman.

Good design is more than its aesthetic, it is the product of many interchanging layers that build upon each other. From the original idea to the final product, to all the tiny details in-between, there are many parts that define the design as a single entity. There is as much effort that goes into structuring ideas with pencil and paper as there is constructing layouts with pixels. I had to apply these processes to the redesign of the Curse, Inc footer which presented me with the challenge of identifying problems of the old footer and planning informed solutions for the redesign of the new footer.

Learn more about the Curse, Inc Footer redesign

Curse, Inc Footer

Rethinking the Curse network footer to meet their updated standards and solving the problems of the original solution.

Art in Code

Creating harmony through logic

Much like my design background, I am a self-taught front-end developer. I began to learn how to code out of a necessity to create my early designs. With time, I began to see that coding shared an important trait with design: finding the clearest and most elegant solution to a problem. There was a beauty in how code was assembled and written.

I became engrossed by the standards movement, especially after developing during the browser wars of the late 90's. The standards movement resonated with me in another way as well: I had a deep appreciation for the idea of keeping everything free and open in a setting where anyone was allowed to voice their opinion; I would have never reached my current place in life if it wasn't for these ideals. I'm incredibly proud of my profession's willingness to teach to whomever will listen. I've begun heading down that same road of giving back with my open source project: a front-end CSS framework called Origin CSS.

Learn more about Origin CSS

Origin CSS

Front-end CSS framework inspired by everyday objects all around us and how they are created through the layering of individual parts.

The Road Less Traveled

And that has made all the difference

I'm very grateful that each point in my life has connected to form a path that lead me to where I am today: doing what I love and never running out of exciting new areas to grow within. Every project that I work on makes me better equipped at recreating my ideas, which in turn drives me to outdo my last effort. If I'm able to continue to craft the things that I enjoy and love, then I will be able to look back on my career and consider it time very well spent.

“The type of work you make is the type of work you'll get hired to do.” -Joshua Davis