I used to describe myself has a computer graphics teacher who does a lot of comedy when I teach. Now I call myself a standup comedian who also teaches computer graphics.
I spent almost twenty years as a creative supervior and writer in advertising. But I discovered that I was much better as a teacher of the “machine” and programs such as QuarkXPress, Illustrator, and something called LightSpeed which few people remember.
When I left advertising I started teaching art directors, designers, and production people how to use the computer to create printed projects. It didn’t take long for me to wind up writing books, articles, and instructional materials. Then I expanded my work to InDesign, FreeHand, and Acrobat.
This web site is my favorite child. I would like to think that there is more to graphic design than making it look good on the screen.
My name is Inigo Montoya … oops, wrong movie.
I’m a creative, I’ve always thought creatively. When I was six, I was going to be an artist, when I was sixteen, I was going to be a fashion designer. A year later, there was a vocational fair at the high school in Ohio, and when I found out that printing involved things like album covers, I was hooked. That was before computers, x-acto knives, rubber cement, non-repo blue pencils, T-Squares, rulers and Mars pens were still high tech. Took a year of layout and design.
My family moved to Texas, got a bindery job in a print shop, got fired. Took a detour into the semi-conductor industry. Got married, had kids. Retired from semi-conductor work when mandatory overtime interfered with getting enough sleep and nearly killed me and the kids. Some where along the line, we bought a scanner that came with Photoshop. It was so cool, it made me flash back to taking layout and design in high school. I bought every book I could find on Photoshop and packed in. Started the graphic career by trying to break into web design. I’m good at the graphic aspect of web work, the coding kicks me in the knee caps. Began acquiring other software, Illustrator, Pagemaker, and other applications. Used the books I bought and online resources to learn all I could. The day came, someone called for my husband to fix her computer, because Pagemaker wouldn’t run. I’m not sure what happened, Lyn came away from the conversation, convinced I knew everything about Pagemaker. A job opened up in town, and she told them to call PJ. I just about fell out of my chair when I got the call. My amateur skills landed me a job, replacing a kid with a degree that was only there to collect a check. After a year, I began wanting more, I took classes to polish up the skills and stepped out of doing things the way a beginner would. I look back at the files I created during that time and wonder, “Did I really do that?”
I have days where I feel invincible, other days, I feel I know nothing at all. The software is too big to know it all, but I’m going to learn all I can. I don’t have any degrees to speak of, I have a certificate that says I’m a Certified Pre-Press technician. I still don’t know it all. I have a areas that need to grow. I’m not sure I’ll benefit from trying to get a degree. When I take a class, it seems like 90% review. Someone always seems to ask, “Why are you here?” I answer, “To have my skills validated.” I don’t complain about it either, because for what I learn, it’s worth the time in class. I get warm fuzzy feelings knowing the instructors also learn from me. That’s because the software is so vast. Just because I may not seek out a degree, doesn’t mean I won’t stop learning. I’m fearless with the software, I ask questions until I get it right, and even if I don’t find the answer, my brain processes the problem, and the solution surfaces when I least expect it. I just wish it wouldn’t be while I drive my car.
I don’t get many opportunities to create files, most of my time on the job is fixing other peoples files for press. My creations are the result of play time at home. I have better toys at home than I do at work. At work, I am the art department and the pre-press department, I do many other things besides.
Michael gave us two biographies. This is the first:
I promote truth, knowledge and the PDF way !
Like the Cowboy way, the PDF way is sometimes hard – but the big stick of truth is always my weapon of choice.
Back in 1994, when I spoke at Seybold about why our Gravure prepress facility rejected ISO 12369 for Prepress digital data exchange , otherwise known as “Tag image file format for image technology” (TIFF/IT) – I was viewed as a pariah. I knew I was right, because I listened to what our catalog customers really needed, which was more time in their schedule and more control of what they could do design wise. DTP was becoming popular and the CEPS systems vendors were delusional.
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. Arthur Schopenhauer German philosopher (1788 – 1860)
So, what I do is help people understand what is possible, sometimes simply buy showing them how to use the tools in applications that already have installed.
I am a product marketing manager type – I am on retainer with a few software developers, so, well, I think it would be a bit weird for me to “promote” the clients products (since I would come off as that ‘hey, they are PAYING you to say that !”
And the second:
Many people have called me a graphic communications industry visionary, but really, I just listen and be sure to understand the problem, then go about seeing if I can solve it and build a solid business case to support the solution. I appear to be a technical and marketing expert because of that approach. I have been directly hands on in a broad range of publishing work flow applications and technologies. I have a background in sales, marketing, product development, and public relations. I can quickly understand how to deliver complex products that cross a wide variety of mediums from high-end print to interactive web content. If I have one thing going for me, it is a unique combination of creative talent and technical curiosity. I have experience with international teams to accelerate product development, differentiate their product offerings, and establish market leadership during the launch and ongoing product life cycle.