I am a curious designer with a unique perspective and relentless drive. I lead in design and in life with a focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. When not creating beautiful things I can be found hiking with my partner and our 2 doggoes.
Read on for the story of how I've gotten to where I am now on the journey of life. Or if you're here strictly for business, download my resume and continue with your day.
I have always traveled off of the beaten path. I grew up in a small town in North Dakota where most people don't stray too far away...from home or from the ideals with which they were raised.
This is the story of how I've made it to where I am today in my career, and in life. Please do enjoy!
I started working when I was 13 (before it was legal) in my school's greenhouse. I was getting paid in cash and saving up so I could afford gas when I got my car for my 14th birthday.
My cherry red 1987 Honda Prelude was a $2,000 sale from an older cousin. In order to retrieve it, I'd need to learn how to drive all 5 manual speeds of it in the steep mountains and deep valleys of Spokane, WA.
One time, early in this process, I was stopped at a red light on a hill that should have existed in San Fran, not Spokane.
As I rolled to a stop, my knuckles gripped the wheel, my throat went dry, and sweat dripped from my brow. A truck pulled up within inches of my back bumper, and I hoped neither of us would regret that.
When the light turned green, my stepmom screamed at me, "Give it gaaaaas!" I obeyed diligently and the motor screamed as I rolled backwards. The screaming continued, I tried again and again. The motor wailed, thumped, and died as I killed it for the first time.
This went on until the light turned red again and my bumper rested on the truck behind me. A group of teens pulled up in the car next to me and laughed.
I gathered my thoughts, tuned everything out, and thought through the steps. Clutch, gas, slowly lift clu....ooooh, I had given it plenty of gas, but in my panic, forgot the all-important step of putting it in gear.
Learning to drive a stick-shift, as with learning anything new, takes patience, forgiveness, and perseverance. I'm glad I learned this lesson young as I've applied it countless times throughout my journey.
Alex has recently been diagnosed with ADHD and wants to see if his anger is a symptom. If so, he'd like to learn coping mechanisms.
In 2017, I made a conscious decision to begin the long journey of a mid-career shift. I was introduced to UX when my company at the time created a department, and after a long and successful career in sales, I decided to explore my creative side and make moves to bring more creativity into my work.
Fast forward to 2022 and I am a successful writing & design freelancer, and about to graduate with a Master's Degree in Interaction & UX/UI Design. I have also nearly achieved a life-long student goal to graduate with honors as I currently carry a 3.711 (Magna Cum Laude) with only one semester left to go.
It's safe to say, when I put my mind to something, I make it happen (let me take a moment to acknowledge my privilege here and thank my supportive network). This journey started with and continues to include hours upon hours of self-teaching and continual research and skill building. I find this empowering and exciting, and understand that my curiosity and drive is a strength within the UX/UI discipline.
ma, Interaction & ui/ux design
Academy of Art University
San Francisco, CA (Remote)
2020 - 2022
Ba, criminal justice with emphasis in psychology
Minnesota State University, Moorhead
2006 - 2009
Young & Hungry Creative Agency - San Francisco, CA (Remote)
August 2021 - December 2021
As an intern with Young & Hungry, I collaborated with art directors and multiple teams to develop creative brand assets and strategies that exceeded our client’s expectations. I stretched my creative skillset to include VR Design, Illustration, Motion Design, Game Design, Creative Strategizing, and Project Management.
Patshwork Creative - San Diego
April 2018 - Present
As a small business owner, I have learned an endless amount of skills around design, organization, communication, and responsibility. I produce excellent design work for my clients which, in turn,produces excellent results for them and their customers. My focus is in graphic, motion, and UX/UIdesign as well as research and writing.
sales & marketing communications manager
WorkOutLoud - Minneapolis, MN
October 2017 - March 2018 (Contract)
As a contractor with a small, 5-person startup, I got my start in creative work. We completed a startup accelerator program where we refined the business model and strategized future growth. I did market research and competitive analyses and developed and implemented sales and marketing strategies. I designed all creative assets including graphics, illustrations, and ads, as well as wrote the company blog and assisted with social media management.