I came at graphic design sideways.
As a kid, I always loved solving difficult problems. And making beautiful things. And telling memorable stories. I studied painting. But I also studied math. (Yup.) My left brain and my right brain happily duke it out for the driver's seat every day. The analytical side tempers the aesthetic one. Decisions about content harmonize with opinions about form. These complementary impulses are probably my greatest assets in dealing with complex design challenges.
Following my graduation from Cornell University with a BFA, I accepted an entry-level position with a "service bureau" in Manhattan. It was 1990 and I was setting type in a powerful little program called QuarkXPress. (We didn't use a version number back then because, well, it was the first version.) Cutting out the type with an X-Acto knife, I'd build traditional mechanicals on a drafting table. On that table I learned valuable skills and traditions long-forgotten. Since then I have seen the industry digitize, expanding and simplifying in equal measure. And I have kept pace.
Twenty years later in San Francisco, thriving within a community of artists and creatives of every stripe, I live and work as a graphic designer. I help clients solve their design problems with beautiful materials that tell their stories. The version numbers of the software have changed—today I wouldn't touch QuarkXPress with a ten-foot pole—but the best things have stayed the same.