Personal Reflection

Personal Reflection

In this short story about my life, It might be convenient to highlight my successes, but that would only provide a boring exercise in self adulation and a back slapping “at-a-boys!”. It’s said people like an underdog, but I can’t say that I fit that either, being a white male in this American culture and getting my share of breaks.

I was born in 1965 in Green Bay, WI. My upbringing was from economically lower middle class households (my Dad and Mom divorced when I was five). I was always a shy child and my Stepfather was a bit overbearing, but such is life. About the only REALLY major childhood disruptor was a serious medical condition at the age of eleven that nearly killed me...literally hours from cashing it in. Ouch.

Graduating from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 1989 with a BFA in Graphic Communications, I then spent about three years as a professional graphic artist. Opportunity presented to me a job in information technology(one of my other talents). I married and raised a family (two wonderful Sons) whom I’m very proud of!

In 2017 I took a life changing work trip to India for three weeks. This was the game changer. It opened my eyes to the broader world, global environmental and sustainability issues. I knew after that trip I needed to make changes in my life. Consequently, in 2019, I left my 30 year profession in IT. 

So let me share a secret with you; I am a dreamer. I love a good story, with heroes and quests and big idealistic ideas, tragedies and redemption. I’ve always been this way! If I can use my imagination, creativity and hard work to change the world with the same idealism, then what was I waiting for? And what better way to pursue this dream than to embrace the arts and design I was originally trained to do and give something back to the world. Tally ho!

I entered the MFA in Design program at the University of Wisconsin Stout in 2019, and have been happy ever since! The program is teaching me how to use design to resume exploring my own creativity and put meaning and form to my actions making the world a better place. I want to inspire and challenge the status quo, create and contribute meaningful and sustainable design and educational experiences that connect people to the natural world, each other, and themselves.

My design thesis should allow me to focus my efforts on things that excite me most and the knowledge and skill areas I will use to become a design practitioner, educator and sometimes hero. I have strong opinions on the connection between humankind and nature. Form and function. Dreams and action! Of the cultural underpinnings of local lore, and the disconnect we’ve experienced in the post-modern, globalized world between material culture and pride in workmanship.

My design practice will allow me to pursue beauty and function in our material culture, and give back to people, young and old, educational experiences to enable their own journey’s in design, the arts and life!

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