Like lots of people in the two-thousandsies, I make stuff with computers. Audio, video, UI, immersive experiences, you know, designery stuff. I push bits and bytes to the best of my ability and work with as many friends as I can while doing it. Now, I'm old enough to know that film is better than digital video (sometimes, got it) and magnetic tape is better than any hard drive (I can't tell the difference after 96k, not legitimately) but, even under the weight of my analogue youth, I still like making stuff with computers. I can't stop. Ask my wife. She's a lovely, vastly more successful person than me, and she'll tell you. I can't stop. However, I love doing it so, there's balance in the force.
I skipped college. For better or worse, and it's an open question, I just didn't do it. To make the rent, I sold Novell 3.12 networks (when those were a thing) and first generation voice over IP systems to early nineties, small town, medium sized businesses, and at night... I made records. My records, my friends' records, indie rock punks' (who'd go on to land major label deals and cut me out) records, and I ended up getting pretty good at making stuff sound cool with a computer. From that, and a little bit out of nowhere, I got a union audio gig on the road with a Broadway tour. Think, running away to join the circus, but with nice buses and an awesome new town/theater for an office every few weeks and/or months. It was a good time. And it taught me what hard work and commitment to your project and craft means in real, every day, gotta get it done, and I mean gotta, 'cause curtain's at eight, and it will not suffer your excuses so, you know, get it done. That kinda done. Theater is where "on time and under budget" has to happen to survive and the road is an education unto itself.
A good stretch later, I ended up in New York leading the audio department for an incredible producing institution. I was lucky enough to work with some of the industry's best designers and creatives where I learned what genuine collaboration looks and feels like. Generous. Challenging. Vigorous. Respectful. Always focused and thoughtful towards one end, telling the story. And not just to tell a story, but for a purpose, the education, enlightenment and entertainment of people. You know, users.
Fast forward a decade, on the road, off the road, back on the road, off the road, pattern established. During all those adventures, I learned enough digital video, visual effects and motion graphics tricks to come home for good and start freelancing around Seattle. Four years of that and I ended up at Microsoft where I've gotten to work in a bunch of great design studios and where I'm currently designing products for college students.
All of that sounds crazy to me. And I'm incredibly grateful for every minute.
My wife and I, and our two boys, live in Seattle's Beacon Hill neighborhood and try to get outside whenever it's not raining (because it rains here all the time so, don't move here. Cool.) or whenever we can pry the dudes from the iPad.