(0) I was born on July 3rd and grew up on a farm. Consequently I have an inherent love of fireworks, fireflies, and wood burning stoves. I found lots of arrowheads and flints in the fields growing up. My father still finds them today. I keep them in a display box in the closet in the farmhouse I grew up in. Despite receiving blue ribbons at the county fair for watercolors, my crowning creative achievement of my youth was a different paint job: a four-color fade of flames I spray-painted on Ricky Demoss’s 1976 Gremlin for the Demolition Derby at the (100) Miami County Fair. I went to college. I designed the music section of school newspaper and played on the men’s soccer team. I graduated College. I got my first design job, and moved to Denver at age 21. My car died on my first trip to the mountains my first week there. I had to bum a ride back to town. I walked a lot. I bought a new car with my first real paycheck. 9/11 hit. The owner of the company moved it to India. I realized I didn’t know shit and this world was too big and moved (200) too fast to remain small and still, so I went to grad school. To pay for it, I taught as a graduate instructor. I designed a website for a girl I was trying to impress and won a design award from Canon for it. I went to Tokyo, Japan to accept the award. I took the girl with me. I completed grad school on the same day my sister graduated undergrad, and the same day my parents graduated together. All from the same college. I moved to New York City with a duffel bag and lived in Hell’s Kitchen. I (300) worked for MTV Networks and lived in an 800 sq. foot apartment with Off-Broadway actors in a building mostly occupied by Nigerian cab drivers. I ran around Lower Manhattan and met some of the musicians I listened to and got to work a little with them. I moved across the county to Southern California and became a faculty member at Brooks Institute of Photography. I met some of the best past, present, and future photographers in America but my favorite student was one I home-schooled, and for only once class: Jeff Bridges. The dude himself. He was also my (400) worst student. I couldn’t reconcile the tactics or principles of for-profit education. Art and business is tricky no mater the game. And California was way too easy living for me. I moved to the small Appalachian Ohio River town of Marietta and taught at its historic liberal arts College. I established photography classes and developed the design curriculum in its School of Fine Arts. The best way to learn is to teach. And I finally started really learning about what I did. I had an honest-to-god real Rembrandt drawing on my office wall. It was very small. I got in (500) pretty deep. I also kept practicing design. The latter got the best of me. Freelance work grew in big ways. I left my tenure track appointment to start my own design firm with an old friend in a vacant house on York Street in Denver Colorado. My partner and I started providing creative services and web hosting for music venues, theaters, and promoters. I started hanging out back stage, so I started photographing the musicians I met. The work grew. It led to specialization designing and branding music venue websites that were powered by our own ticketing and social media (600) platform. We hired some good people. We fired a couple good ones too. I learned about CSS, how to install servers in data centers in the middle of the night and why it requires a winter coat. I learned Quickbooks, balance sheets, valuations, and pitching for venture round investments, payroll, billing, and learned that music and art collide with business in peculiar ways. Sometimes it’s with Albertson’s plastic grocery sacks full of cash. Sometimes it’s unfriendly. Often it’s covered in whiskey. I sold out. I fell in love. I drove around the country. I swung hard the other way to (700) cleanse my palette and broaden my experience. Before I knew it, I was in places like the North American headquarters of Bristol Myers Squibb in Princeton New Jersey and Astellas Pharma in Chicago, pitching ideas to marketing directors and defending creative work to pharmaceutical legal and medical teams. It could get heavy. Trying to cure cancer is complicated. The world of Pharma taught me many lessons, including the literal and legal definition of the term ‘Quality of Life’. I decided to make my own definition. I built a tree house. I traveled with my wife, an accomplished wedding photographer, and (800) I shot and edited video for her clients. I moved to a great agency and began client work for The Sherwin-Williams Company. I helped it celebrate it’s 150th anniversary as an American manufacturing company. I built and lead a creative team to help the client do better business online, in their stores, and places in-between. But what’s more compelling, I focus on color, the most emotive part of paint. My team branded the client’s color system, and defined how to market it in the United States. The agency was bought by IBM in 2016. In less than ten years I (900) went from starting a company of 2 to working for a company of 375,000 in 170 countries. I became a Creative Director. I started restoring axes my father gave me. Vinyl is back. I continue working with musicians photographing and designing album covers. I work with tech teams and plan development sprints according to the SAFe agile framework. I spend lots of time with UX and strategy people, and plan and execute social media content with others. I helped my father start a small hops operation on my parent’s farm. Our next 1000 words will be here before we know it. (1000)