Born and raised in Salem, Oregon, I remember the times before internet ever existed. I remember the sound of dial-up internet connections and using Netscape for browsing the web. I remember that being a hacker was an underground art of computing and accessing private databases and networks. I remember always wanting to be a hacker, but just couldn’t cut it. So instead, TurboPascal became my first programming language and soon HTML followed. In the 6th grade I was creating simple HTML pages and experimenting with values and tags. There was no help in school since HTML was too new for anyone to teach.
While I was still using old techniques to create web pages, all the great web developers and major companies were coming out with amazing websites. All of it was too much for a kid in high school to learn on my own, but eventually, the web site creation industry found me in college.
I almost graduated with an Associates Degree in Visual Communications from Chemeketa Community College. The main reason I decided to jump headfirst into Graphic Design was to learn Photoshop. The courses at Chemeketa were more than learning programs. Design itself was exactly for me. Black and white photography course taught me how to process my own film, burn my own 8x10s, and respect the art of photography. Art course opened my eyes to how many amazing colors are found in everyday life. Design taught me that form follows function and less really is more. I didn’t just learn new web design techniques, I learned how to create newspapers, posters, brochures, catalogs, book covers, corporate identification, catalogs, and how to make all of these properly and quickly.
Live Show Photography
The reason I shot so many live shows in Salem was to have more visual content on my online Salem, Oregon music resource website, redcrownreview.com. The site has been down for many years. The point of the site was to provide an online resource for local music. The majority of the traffic was from bands using my photography for their Myspace profiles. Since then, I made a photo book using my favorite shots entitled We Are Rock Stars. The book is a 110-page, full-color, full-bleed, 8×10 published by blurb.com, my only physical record of my live show photography.
The key behind shooting a lot of these photos was shooting with the night setting and getting as close as I could to my subject. These photos were taken using my Canon xti with the standard 18-55mm and the 50mm 1.8f. I found myself at a bit of a plateau, but will continue shooting live show photography once I purchase more equipment.
Vinyl Decal Art
I’m not the person to ask, what is art. Art could be and possibly is many different creative processes. Art could be just about anything to anyone. My art is done with vinyl decals. I use my 24″ Graphtec plotter and miscellaneous substrates (Wikipedia – materials science: the material on which a process is conducted).
Many of the graphics used in the beginning of my work were copyright free for personal use/non- commercial use only. The sites I frequented most often were freevectors.net, vecteezy.com, and freevector.com.
I stole my sisters Ziploc bag of her sticker collection then started putting stickers all over everything. Soon, I would have my own collection from rock shows, or merchandise, or friends would give me stickers they found. When Supervinyl Signs & Banners hired me, the collection turned into a major hobby. Mark Adams, owner of Supervinyl, sold me one of his old 24″ plotters. It was Summa D60 and it worked. The plotter was old and couldn’t handle a lot of data that my Macintosh was sending, which meant that the plotter would start and finish at different points in the path.
Lets say that the Summa was cutting an image of an angel. It would start with the tip of the left wing, cut about half way, then rotate the image and start cutting the legs, stop again, roll out 3-feet, finish the wing, finish the image, and roll back to the beginning of the plot. I lost a lot of vinyl and time. This was extremely frustrating for me and required me to be creative, take my time, and really commit to each design.
Eventually, the new GraphTec came into my life and all was well. I could cut finer details and send large plots with no stress. The new plotter has the technology to read crop marks and cut accordingly. With the purchase of the new plotter was the Stahls Maxx heat press. Then I started a small hobby business called Personify, making personalized/custom shirts.