Born and raised in the cornfields of Iowa, in the time of only having three channels to watch on TV, my creativity was developed out of necessity for entertainment. Being creative became fun.
In my early school days, art classes were always my favorite because they were an opportunity to expand my creative skills. When it was time to go to college and figure out a career path, I didn’t know graphic design was an option, so I ended up choosing to study marketing and advertising. Through my classes and internships, I found a new way to use my creativity in the field…copywriting.
My first job after college was being a Marketing Communications Writer for a local online business. Soon after starting, I was given the opportunity to both write and design the marketing materials. I loved it! Unfortunately, this was the time of the dot-com bubble that eventually went bust. I got laid off.
I began doing freelance copywriting and graphic design. With the Internet booming, I learned how to build websites and built a few of those for clients as well. All of this kept me busy and using my creativity, but didn’t pay much.
A former professor of mine at DMACC contacted me about teaching at the college. I never once thought I’d become a teacher, but the offer of steady work and a paycheck pushed me to accept. To my surprise, I enjoyed it. However, after doing it for over 10 years, I was really missing the time I spent being creative with graphic design and copywriting. With my wife’s blessing, I chose to quit teaching and go back to focusing on freelance work.
I decided if I was going to do more graphic design work, I needed formal training. It was important to me to offer clients the best work I could. So, within months, I went from teaching at DMACC to becoming a student at DMACC.
While getting my Graphic Design degree, the quality of my work has greatly improved. I’ve also taken the opportunity to learn more about website design, so in the end, I’ll have a well-rounded education and be able to offer more to my clients and/or employer.