lucy-topOnce upon a time, this young man discovered a part-time job. The coolest part-time job on earth — at a radio station. In a high school experience filled with cars, girls, sports, music, and so on, he worked, too. And it was good.

Our fella goes off to college. He finds more fun in radio, learns a bit about TV and more about journalism, and emerges with a Communications degree. The reality of the working world soon teaches him that long hours and low pay eventually drain the fun from the party to which he had become accustomed. Having been properly raised by parents who were career military and educators, he understands that continuing education and being a lifelong learner make one flexible and adaptable; the only ingredient needed after that is heaping helpings of hard work.

So, he heads into the world of newspaper publishing and advertising sales. The creative part and the mainframe and personal computer systems facets are very appealing; being a not-so-very-good salesperson proves somewhat problematic, however.

His next transition into yearbook publishing comes quite naturally. Here is a chance to use time-tested mechanical publishing skills and mesh them with newer digital techniques. Within a couple short years, it seems the sky is the limit: tracing paper and colored pencils are primitive tools next to a Mac and a color printer. And the customers and the salesforce were very well pleased, all throughout the Southeast. Life on the road, even for a graphic design and illustration rock star (well, indie cult favorite) takes its toll. With a baby on the way, our young father looks to come off the road.

The regional marketing division for the Mercantile Company (Gayfers; JB White stores) beckons. Business intelligence is not a catchphrase yet in 1998, but we were doing it anyway. Sadly, the owners were looking to divest the entire chain and sold out to Dillards. Our marketing office positions all went poof… well, slower than that, think of smoke drifting in the wind after a fireworks show, leaving an unpleasant odor… you get the picture.

Our hero landed at the Montgomery Advertiser, leading the PM shift of advertising artists. After the Tuscaloosa News, where the trains always ran on time, this experience was more akin to scenes from Animal House, or even Apocalypse Now. Lack of sleep, a new baby in the house, and overall stress led to a collision with the dreaded creative wall.

And then I went full-geek and headlong into IT. Before too long things circled back around to web development and creative and technology worlds re-combined.

Short version: I can do it, whatever you need. If not, I know someone who can.