Duration: One year.
Location: Dallas, Texas.
Education: BFA in communication design, University of North Texas.
Big break: UNT has a very demanding program, and students get cut if their work doesn't show promise and progression at each portfolio review—including me in my first year. I had to wait one year to reapply, but after reenlisting, I earned a place in the Student Top Portfolio awards each year and received the Dallas Society of Visual Communications Senior Top Portfolio award upon graduation. The DSVC association set me up on interviews with the top design firms in the New York and even paid for my flights. I am forever thankful! I ended up at the highly regarded Stranger & Stranger, when I learned all about design for spirits and alcohol.
Work environment: Minimal and quiet—I don't like clutter. My desk sits almost completely isolated in an open warehouse setting.
Technique: Before I start any actual design work, I dig deep into research. Past projects have prompted visits to thrift stores, museums, antique shops, cemeteries and abandoned houses—whatever it takes. Any talented designer can make something look pretty, but it is the research and conceptual thinking that makes it swoon-worthy.
Philosophy: If you aren’t excited about what you are working on, you are wasting your time.