- Musical instruments
- Logo design
- Web design
- Graphic t-shirt design
- Screen printing
- Handwriting analysis?
Everyone is good at something. This is an incomplete list of the skills I’ve picked up over the years.
If a list like this feels too boastful for you, my list of failures might be more comfortable.
Midway through high school I developed an interest in writing. I’ve deployed my writing abilities extensively throughout my career, from emails to blog posts to copywriting for clients. I’ve learned to adapt to multiple writing styles as I’ve written professionally, but my default tends towards the casual first-person (like you’re reading now).
I learned guitar at 12 and taught myself to play the piano at 13. Since then I’ve also learned the bass, organ, mandolin, violin, and cello. I’ve performed as a wedding musician several times per year for the past 10 years.
True story: one time as a kid I ran out of other reading material, so I started into a 24-volume encyclopedia set… I made it to ‘S’.
Growing up, I was a voracious reader. My reading dropped off significantly after I graduated high school, but I’m making an effort to bring it back. I keep a reading list.
After spending a year designing websites and logos for ClearSight Studio, I launched out on my own with Candid Lion. I led clients to identify their brand and designed logos to meet their needs. Candid Lion closed down, but clients continue to use their logos on t-shirts, hats, flyers, and company vehicles across the Pacific Northwest.
I hesitate to list this here because I’m not particularly excited to show off my design skills. On the other hand, I can confidently say that websites that I designed for clients have generated over $1M in revenue. Whether or not they’re featured in design galleries, it’s fair to say they work.
I’ve hand-coded a few websites for myself and others. I’m no professional and don’t ever intend to be, but I enjoy the challenge of writing clean code and establishing consistent styling. I’ve messed around in PHP and Ruby enough to get myself into trouble, but I don’t count them here.
In a completely unexpected turn of events, at one point in my life I found myself in North Dakota working at a screen-printing shop. I learned the screen-printing process, and personally screen-printed over 20,000 shirts.
Graphic t-shirt design
Completely unrelated (and prior) to the screen printing experience, in 2009 I discovered Ugmonk and developed a fascination with graphic t-shirts. I decided I would design some shirts and start my own clothing line. I spent several months learning the constraints and design principles that would later come in handy in the print shop. I had a series of designs ready to go and placed an order for 24 shirts, only to cancel it last-minute after I chickened out.
It’s a skill. I’ve been cooking and eating bacon for half of a century. I went a full year eating bacon for breakfast every day, but I didn’t document it so I’ll have to do it again for the record. My bacon skills went unnoticed until I created Bacon Proverbs. Since then, people haven’t stopped sending me bacon memes, bacon toothpicks, bacon calendars, and bacon mints. I welcome the bacon-flavored affection.