When I was a kid my notebooks in school read more like comic books than notes on any subject, much to my mother's dismay, even when I was actually taking notes it was in the form of sketches and what I now know are mind maps. The only subject I actually excelled in was art.
Flash forward to 1986 and a revolution broke out, I was in high school at the time and all there was between my house and the center of the people power revolution was a creek and a wall. We wanted to participate but wanted to express ourselves I took it on myself to learn how to screen print and printed revolutionary shirts for myself and some friends and took to the streets. It was a terrible design, yellow text and drawing on a white shirt but we wore them and that was my first “Design gig”
Jump forward to 1988 and I find myself in the Army, as a forward observer, one of the things we were supposed to do was sketch our range and find landmarks to use as targets and add grid coordinates for calling artillery. I, of course, saw a problem and decided I was going to come up with a solution, I kept every sketch I made and put together a book that Bob Ross would be proud of. There were happy little trees and rocks to be destroyed by artillery everywhere, and now I knew where every target was from every observation post on Base, problem solved.
Then came Desert Storm a long terrible vacation in the sands of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, where the water tasted like swimming pool, which brings me to Design gig #3, I went over there with 4 sketchbooks and a boatload of pencils so I started drawing the girlfriends, wives, fantasies (don't ask) of these soldiers for Cool-aid the only thing that made the water drinkable.
When I got back stateside I bought an Amiga 500, with a light pen and Disney’s animation studio and that was the birth of my love for computer-based design.
From there I studied classical painting and Interior design, I taught myself Photoshop, Illustrator, DreamWeaver, In Design and basically any other software that was necessary to get the job done. I learned HTML and CSS and figured out how to use Magento, Joomla, and Wordpress.
The interesting thing is that because of my love of comic books and having wanted to draw comics when it came to any project whether it was a website or a magazine ad or a package design. I storyboarded everything (wireframing) when it came to websites I would lay it out in Illustrator first to present my ideas (prototyping) and I would map out how I thought users would use the website I was making (user flows). It turns out I was a UX designer and didn't know it. So when the opportunity presented itself, I made UX design my career path and stand before you today. I truly enjoy Breaking down problems and coming up with a simple solution.