I'm a trained studio artist, so I originally developed my design skills using traditional art media. My studio-art credentials include an MFA in painting/drawing and several years' experience teaching drawing and two-dimensional design as an adjunct professor of studio art.
Before my graduate study in studio art, I spent several years working with words in educational and academic publishing environments—as a production editor, copy editor, and proofreader. This experience kindled a latent interest in typography and made me highly aware of text as a visual element.
I started combining all of these skill sets in 2013, as the creative developer of a nonprofit community-media project for the isolated rural community of Macomb, Illinois. That project's alt-monthly print publication was my digital-design "boot camp." I am a now a versatile graphic artist working primarily in Adobe Illustrator and InDesign.
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Under revision January 2022
portfolio: selected freelance work
portfolio: Cortez Cultural Center
All images used with permission of the Cortez Cultural Center
portfolio: branding the Macopolitan
From 2013–2018 I lived in the rural Midwest, and for most of that period I worked as the creative developer and managing editor of the Macopolitan, a hyperlocal "alt-monthly" publication for the town of Macomb, Illinois, and its environs.
Published under the fiscal sponsorship of a local nonprofit organization, the Macopolitan was a rural placemaking experiment in print, with a deliberately low-fi DIY aesthetic. It was aimed at addressing Macomb's socioeconomic fragmentation and promoting its under-recognized cultural assets. Content consisted of local event listings and feature stories authored by local residents.
Below: publication design elements, marketing collateral, and graphic identity
portfolio: the Macopolitan in PDF
The Macopolitan was my "graphic-design training ground" and a creative adaptation to life circumstances necessitating professional reinvention.
It was the first time I really used my editorial/communications experience AND my design training in a single role, and my first in-depth experience designing in a digital environment. I am a much better page designer now, but I am still proud of this project and its community impact.
Click any cover image to view the entire issue in PDF format.