What motivates you to mentor creatives?
What’s your current role and origin story as a creative?
I’ve always been creative and have loved making things. When I was very young, I spent hours and hours in my room playing with Legos. I can vividly remember taking apart the official kits I had built from the instructions and creating all sorts of new creations from my imagination and through trial and error.
Also, my father is a cabinetmaker and I pretty much spent summers as a young adult helping him build and install cabinets. Cabinetmaking teaches you great lessons in design and problem solving because it teaches you to think ten steps ahead of yourself and to work within constraints that have ever-changing variables.
That childhood drive towards being creative brought me to study industrial design at RIT in Rochester, New York, where I received a four-year BFA and graduated with honors.
After graduation, I got a job locally in NJ for a small consulting firm designing retail store fixtures, packaging, and point of purchase displays for the luxury watch and jewelry industries. After four years there, I went out on my own freelancing doing much the same type of work moved to Denver, CO for a few years and the rest is history!
What creative work(s) are you the proudest of?
This was a side project I had worked on five or six years ago when I was learning how to model complex curves in the CAD software SolidWorks. I’ve always loved the art deco style, so I decided to design and model an art deco-styled single-seater speedboat.
What’s your current “creative studio”/desk setup like?
One of the things I’ve gotten really obsessed with over the years is productivity in my design workflows. The two pieces of gear on the lower left (Razer Tartarus / far left) and Loupedeck Live (next to the lower screen at left) are my favorite pieces of gear! I spend some upfront time building out lots of key shortcuts and custom macros across all of the software that I use so I really can get into a flow when I am designing or doing lots of repetitive tasks.
Where do you go to get inspired?
The number one place I go to get inspired is anywhere outdoors. Nature is the ultimate problem solver if you stop and pay attention. When I lived in Denver, there was something I loved about taking my bike out into the desert and just riding. Whenever I needed a reset or to shift my thinking in some way, getting out on a ride always helped clear the cobwebs and helped me shift my perspective.
Do you have a ritual, or time of day that unleashes your creative powers?
I would say that ten-plus years of doing design work have taught me that truly creative insights require both intense focus as well as knowing when to take a break and let the subconscious go to work. One of my favorite authors Steven Pressfield author of the influential book The War of Art puts it like this. “Act, reflect. Act, reflect. NEVER act and reflect at the same time.” I try to work this balancing act into my everyday work schedule.
What’s an album that changed your life?
Hands down…. Tool’s Lateralus album was life-altering for me… Twenty-some-odd years later, its the only thing I’ve ever listened to that consistently gives me chills. The title track on a pair of good headphones is otherworldly.