The Hobby That Turned into a Career
I would like to share a little background about myself. First off, I honestly can say I love my profession. It’s a fun way to earn money.
It sure beats digging ditches for a living (no offense to ditch diggers)!
Just a Young Buck with a Sketch Pad…
Art is my passion, and I truly felt it was my destiny to become a professional artist.
My path started at age six. I really enjoyed drawing and spent the majority of my time doodling on my sketch pad.
In elementary school, I discovered I was pretty good at drawing. My teachers, family and friends all loved my work. I was winning awards, earning good grades (in art) and my art was being published.
I knew the path of becoming a professional would be difficult. In Junior High and Senior High School, I enrolled in every Art Class I could take (including advanced courses). The awards kept rolling in. I was even more motivated.
Upon graduating from High School, I put my pursuit on pause. Lacking the funds for college (and a strong desire to serve my country), I enlisted in the U.S. Navy.
I considered my time in the Navy essential to my professional development. I learned many valuable skills including organization and teamwork (many of these skills I still use today).
After the Navy, my goal was to continue to work and earn enough money for college.
In 1996, I decided the time was right to continue my art education and enrolled at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh in the Visual Communications program.
During my enrollment I learned the essential design techniques from the finest minds in the graphic arts industry.
For the first time in my life, I felt like my dream was coming true. I was very excited and highly motivated.
Upon graduation in 1997, I earned an Associate in Specialized Technology, finishing with a 3.69 GPA, Deans List Honors and ranked 3rd in my class.
The Dream Becomes Reality
My first job was in college. I worked as typesetter at a local printer. It was pretty basic stuff. Mostly setting copy on letterheads and business cards.
Over the next 15 years, I worked in various industries and held many positions in design, project management and vendor relations. I have created designs for small business, non-profits and well-known brands including The American Legion, Arby’s, The National Football League, Major League Baseball, NCAA, and PPG Industries.
Along the way, I continued to grow as an artist and as professional, learning and crafting techniques that have brought great success. Most importantly, I have worked mostly in small business. Working in this level of business has taught me how to design efficiently, saving my employers (and clients) thousands of dollars. Additionally, I consider myself very well rounded in my craft… having the unique ability to work as a Graphic Designer, Web Designer and Illustrator.
Today, I am the Creative Director of Solomon Global Creative (SGC), a business based in Columbus, Ohio that provides Graphic Design and Web Design services. I also operate Mace Designs, a freelance creative services business located in my home town of Cleveland, Ohio.
I live in Olmsted Township, Ohio (20 miles southwest of Cleveland) with my wife Colleen, sons Collin & Jacob, and my dog Bernie. When I’m not designing, I live the good life… spending time with my wife and sons. I also enjoy sports, television, movies, traveling, history, surfing the net and hanging out with family and friends.
I consider myself blessed. I know my God-given talent has allowed to me provide a great life for me and my family.