I have an aunt who lives near the Dosewallips River in Brinnon, Washington, and my mom’s business partner moved to Bainbridge, so I’m familiar. I have a feeling that the area is brimming with creatives. I love that your upbringing fostered those outlets.
There are so many creative types out there. There’s an annual tour where you can visit everyone’s studios across the island. I think it was a great place to grow up and I felt tremendously supported in whatever endeavor it might have been.
There was always something for everybody. With my dad being an architect, I remember him going to projects and always coming back and bringing something exciting. We would always hang out in the model shop or the supply room or play with the Copic markers. I felt immersed in this industry at a young age, but he always told me never to become an architect.
So, I didn’t become one. He didn’t specify enough to say don’t work in an architecture studio. Right [laughs].
I’m interested in how you chose to pursue graphic design; how did you veer into signage, wayfinding, and, more specifically, graphics centered around the built environment?
I feel like it was a bit of kismet, so to speak. I went to school and studied creative advertising. My background is rooted mainly in strategy, connecting with audiences and users, and understanding how to connect with people regarding a brand.
When I graduated from college, a friend and I had made a pact that whoever got a job first was where we would move. So, I applied to advertising and creative agencies on the coasts and thought that was where I would land. My roommate applied to four jobs, one being at ASU, so I thought, okay, here we go.
Growing up, my dad had a project in Arizona, and we would piggyback off some of his work trips and make it into an extended stay, so I was familiar. When I arrived in Arizona, I didn’t have a job and applied to traditional ad agencies. But, I was also looking for graphic design positions and found an opening at Gould Evans that supported the marketing department. I knew about architecture from my upbringing, and with my advertising background, I thought I’ll give it a go. It was my first interview, and there were about, not kidding, 12 people in the room that all sat in and asked questions, and I ended up getting the job. I believe it was the stars aligning.