your life does
not get better by
Your life gets better thru
the story of a lifetime
choose where you want this adventure to begin.
Just as most decisions in life, the minute I started filling out university applications is the moment I decided to pursue a career in Graphic Arts. Why? Well, it was easy to deduce that with my struggles in math pursuing a career involving numbers would probably lead to a life full of frustration. And although blessed with an amazing ability to procrastinate and then pull off deadlines under extreme pressure, I think it is safe to say I salvaged others by steering clear of any type of career in human management.
Then there was art. I'd always drooled over a well designed font, had an obsession with color and was never content if I wasn't conceptualizing the next big idea, so when the application presented me with a selection of possible career boxes to check, Graphic Designer seemed much more plausible than say Accountant or Engineer.
Fate then granted me a favor when I chose to attend the University of Arizona. Without knowing, I found myself enrolled in a remarkable design program. While working on my degree, I also had the opportunity to intern at two award winning design studios. BOELTS BROTHERS , which was a local Tucson studio co-owned by the head of the U of A design program, Jackson Boelts and his brother, as well as TYLER BLIK DESIGN a design firm located in San Diego, California. Between Boelts Brothers and Tyler Blik, I was exposed to all sorts of challenging and fun design projects. In the winter of 1997 I graduated from the UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA with a BFA specializing in Graphic Design with two invaluable internships under my belt.
Out of the gates, I was hired by a small advertising agency called PRISCOMM , located Costa Mesa, California. At Priscomm as a Jr Art Director, I designed ads and marketing materials for companies in the tech and music industry such as Tascam. I was also tasked with responsibilities such as art directing photo shoots and completing final artwork in photoshop and illustrator for both print and publications. I spent these initial years learning the in's and outs of the advertising business as well as beefing up my Adobe program capabilities.
After a couple years in the advertising world, I decided to take a chance at carving my own path seeking work that was more fitting to my design style, and started a freelance design business called CTS DESIGN. Not even a year into this endeavor, I was presented with an opportunity to work for a talented design firm in Tustin, CA called 3 Chairs Design that I couldn't turn down.
I returned to contract work with majority of projects filtered through Brand Builders and Marketing by Design. I designed B2B marketing collateral for Dole, Mrs Fridays, 3 Day Blinds & Farmers Brothers Coffee as well as logos, ads and brochures for Lennar and KB Home who were rapidly developing communities in the growing So Cal housing market.
Although not official resume material, I feel compelled to report ALL full time jobs. In 2003, I began a demanding job that required tons of overtime, but was generously compensated in forms of butterfly kisses and handprint artwork. Over the years I've held many titles, Referee, Chef, Super Intendant, Tutor, Maid, but my favorite by far is the basic one I was given the day I started the job, Mom. Experiencing many firsts, my eyes were opened to how important it was that these fleeting moments be captured. With a budding infatuation with photography, paired with a deep understanding of editing programs and an art director background, without hesitation I felt adding digital photography to my professional repertoire seemed like a no-brainer. In late 2005, I established a photography and design studio, WITHINSIGHT.
For the past decade plus, I've been capturing individuals, families and couples in both milestone events and everyday life in what I like to refer as a "photo-journalistic" style. Through the lens, the composition of a photograph is a design layout. I am drawn to the glow of light and capturing the uniqueness of my subject and their surroundings to bring life and character that truly represents my client. While the photographer in me enjoys the moment of capturing the image, the graphic artist loves encapsulating a feeling or vision to tell the story.
In mid 2017, we made a move across the country from Southern California to North Carolina. Leaving a successful business and clients with whom I've built a solid rapport was tough, but the prospects of expanding photography horizons as well as sprinkling a bit more graphic arts, video and writing back into the mix, was exciting.
I don't think I need to explain what happened to my business in 2020 because we all experienced change. I consider myself lucky to be emerging on the other side without the terrible loss that many people around the world have experienced . With the economy bouncing back and people ready to move forward I feel a surge of energy and am excited about new endeavors and challenges. This past year of "change" gave a bit of extra time to reflect and reignite the creative juices. Change can be scary, but it is what forces us to take that unexpected detour down an unpaved dirt road which undoubtedly leads to the next big adventure.