A graphic designer's story

It all started sitting in front of my college guidance counselor. Feeling totally lost.

I didn't know what to choose for a major. It was my Sophomore year at UNC-Chapel Hill and I had to make a decision. My guidance counselor (and part-time angel) asked me, "What would you do if you didn't have to make a living? What would you do for fun?" ... I told her it would have to be something having to do with art and creativity. She said the Journalism School was #1 in the nation and had a stellar graphic design sequence.

So I made the decision that very moment to become a graphic designer.

Well, that was easy.

That's when I fell in love with graphic design.

I spent many, many hours in the basement of the Journalism School of UNC-Chapel Hill creating, learning and working out my mouse-hand, Popeye style. After I graduated from the J school, my first job was laying out ads for what amounted to collegiate yellow pages (tedious, but got me into the rhythm of creating), then I moved on up to laying out the News of Orange County newspaper (more responsibility, less inspiration), then got a job being the lead web designer and director of email marketing for an adult sex education company (ooh la la).

After I was officially tired of designing ads with naked people in them, I joined an ad agency and was responsible for working with some major clients all around the country. It wasn't too much longer before I started moonlighting taking on side clients (friends, family members) who blossomed into enough work that I just had to quit my day job and become a hired gun.

Old skool. Yes, this mac is from the era of the ones that were used in the creativity-soaked computer labs of UNC-Chapel Hill back in 2001.

From there, I never looked back.

Since I made the leap and struck out on my own back in 2003, I've had the honor and delight to work with 100+ companies, from bootstrapped entrepreneurs to huge institutions (and yes, even coming full circle to help UNC's own nursing school). I have gotten my hands and creative juices into web design, print design, logo design, email marketing, search engine optimization, and so much more. (Some have called me a "one stop shop" freelance graphic designer.)

I also became a life coach and started an online support community to help people heal from shame, including leading shame resiliency weekend workshops, an online training course and phone support groups. It currently attracts millions of yearly visitors from around the world and continues to help many.

I live in Chapel Hill, NC, with my lovely wife and our baby boy (who's growing bigger by the minute).