Here are milestones I'm most proud of accomplishing throughout my career. Some are acedemic or professional, while others are personal strides I've made. Here I explore lessons learned, work habits, and the overall journey through my lifes work. These accolades are listed in reverse chronological order. More to come...
3 years ago, art by eloi, Inc was founded. One of the goals that was in the back of my mind was to create a web app. And here it is. www.GoodLyfe.today is a platform where you can share and vote on stories that exemplify the best of humanity as witnessed in everyday life. Please feel free to visit and tell our story.
I've been working with photoshop for years. Since certification is essential for my students. I took the certification exam myself to better understand what I was training them for.
A colleague of mind peeked my interested in teaching. After obtaining my license, I've had the pleasure of teaching over 200 students about web development. These skills provide financial empowerment and self-sufficiency to students and its a personal joy to see their progression from the first site they build to their first web application.
As a natural evolution of my freelance career and leadership experience, I established art by eloi, Inc. and went independent. Interesting projects, establishing client relationships, and building a network of creative professionals is in keeping with the things I enjoy most about my work: growth and innovation.
On a constant journey to enhance my skills, I took on a lot with this project, namely back-end development, as well as native app development. This very simple contact form is functional as a way to keep my industry connections seperate from my personal contacts. It also served as my exploration into dynamic HTML and data presistence.
To support our sales and marketing team, our department was charged with creating a demo of the next generation of our web application to be field tested and evolved faster than our competitors could keep up. The start of which involved researching every feauture the company ever built and creating a platform where they can all work together. With daily shareholder meetings, testing, and development, this demo became the groundwork for version 1 of the WorkStride Platform.
This company was growing fast and my work and dedication was rewarded with a promotion to manager of a team of designers and front-end developers. More seasoned than my first leadership role, the team and I ran a well-oiled machine, while tackling greater and greater challenges to meet our clients demands.
Pepsico was just fun. It's another one of those projects where coolness is a factor. There was a lot of freedom and, as a result, research into Pepsico that lead to very fun and personable UI.
To meet the demands of mobile-first users, the company I worked for needed a mobile responsive framework. Unfortunately, the company still needed to support IE6+ at the time so many popular frameworks weren't available as a solution. So I made one. Once I had the CSS and JS worked out, I presented it, and I became the framework used in a lot of client work going forward. The framework would eventually evolve into the backbone of the next generation of sites the company produces for its clients.
This was a huge success for the company I worked for at the time. Samsung rebranded in time for the latest release of its tablets and phones and the site was build to handle monthly, custom promotions. Every month was a front-end developers codewar-like challenge to build whatever Samsung's marketing team thought up. From building avatars, to progress bars in the shape of snow slopes, we had the ongoing challenge of building creative, fast solutions, which resulted in really interesting UI.
This is my completist personality at it's very finest. I started this project to break into the comic industry. Right at the beginning, I landed a very good web development job, so I didn't need to continue. But since I started, my compulsion was to finish it. Over 60, 12"x18" illustrations, silk-screened book sleaves and 500 prints later, this graphic novel was a major personal accomplishment.
At the start, Amazon Studios had a series of competitions to get ideas for movies it would produce. I took a script from one of the finalist and storyboarded the movie from start to finish. It was another phase in my creative development as it was the most demanding illustration project I ever took on. It was an honor to be a semi-finalist and the winners of that competition really deserved it with their amazing work.
Here I started exploring symbolism in the form of circular patterns. It was an interesting exercise, with a well-composed series. I was much more introverted at the time, which turned me off to the opening gala experience. Since then, I learned to appreciate networking and starting conversations with strangers, so it may be time to explore fine art once again.
I had more to explore with the photo collage style I was playing with when a colleague and long-time friend invited me to exhibit at this show. It was great seeing all the interpretations of the term "City On Edge".
3 Models, Typography and photo retouching were used to create these posters for this art show. It was an awesome night of good food, good drinks, good company and new friends.
This launch was as fun as it was demanding. As the company was updating it's brand, we were designing and shifting the design to adapt. On a client visit I remember coding in the hotel lobby bar at 12 in the morning in prep the the next round of revisions we were going to get the following day.
The launch of this site was very demanding with many different parties playing a part to complete the job. The thing I'm most proud of is with all the revisions, the CSS file used to style the site was bloated, growing to over 5000 lines of code. Staying late one night, it became unsustainable to edit anything, so I printed out the code and edited, and re-edited it down to about 300 lines. I cloned the site and tested the new CSS with no issue before using the code in production, making it easier to use with faster page loads.
The work I had done at this company hadn't gone unnoticed. First, I was promoted to content manager of web applications of the company. And shortly after, to supervisor of a team of web designers and content managers. It was an eye-opening experience where I learned a lot about delegation, how to work with different personalities, and how to be a supportive leader. I made a lot of mistakes in this role at first, but adapted quickly.
The senior show was a handpicked selection of final art & design projects. There were rounds of critiques, emails and followups and technical specs on top of finals and work. The support of my instructor's were essential to be selected for this FIT tradition.
Fulltime work and school. It was the gallons of coffee and my support group that got me through it all. As I was already supporting myself, and one of the first in my family to obtain a 4-year degree, this right-of-passage was as extremely meaningful personal victory.
My thesis was a personal exploration of a few facts I knew as essential for my career development. First, I knew I my desires to continue my career as a creative. Second, I knew web, as a medium, was the future. This thesis discusses how to use the creative process and design principles while considering technical limitation of web languages and cross browser compatibility issues. Fortunately, many of the limitations have been addressed today, something I'm proud to have predicted as a natural evolution of the technology.
It took 6 months of retouching and design to complete 18 catalogs. With meetings, last minute changes, and product updates, I became the the unofficial lead to get the team of designers and printers coordinated to meet the expectations of the company owners and managers across 4 departments. My past experience of working quick, communicating with clients and working with a team all came together to get this done for deadline.
This project represented every one of my skills up to this point. Typography, photo retouching and design came together for this exhibiting marketing piece celebrating strong jewish women. I was glad to take part in it.
The printhouse I worked for went through a rebranding. It was an exciting time full of change, new equipment, new services, etc. After the owners and my supervisor finalized the logo, I was finally tapped in to create some marketing material and take aways. It was an awesome experience designing something where one of the requirements was, "make it cool". It was also a minor right-or-passage where I was tasked with something larger than anything i did before in this small team.
This job was trial by fire. When I started, the directory was 6 months late, the day-to-day consisted of constant shifts in staff, late nights and weekends, and priority changes. This job was an adrenaline-pumped setting. I had to grow up fast and learn to work smart on this one to complete the 10 designs-per-day quota. The support from staff was something to behold and when the directory was finally printed, the celebration was epic as well as neccessary. This work enviroment isn't for everyone, but I did gain a skill to be focused and quick at work, which is something that became invaluable in my career.
My experience at FIT was also very immersive. It was interesting to see how creatives feed off each other to make something new. I was constantly challenged by my peers and instructors to push past my boundries. I got to know security guards by name since I stayed more night until 2am working on projects.
During the final week of my last semester, circumstances put me in a place where I had to find a job, and a place to live immediately. In addition, I had lost my portfolio containing years of work and my final project. Fortunately I had a support system of friends that helped me get back on my feet and instructors that helped me complete my final assignments. This degree reminds me not only of the trials I faced, but the people that helped me get past it.
I had to do a lot of digging to find this. This is the very first and ugliest job I've ever done. I still had a lot to learn about type and composition, but the owners appreciated the work I put into the job. This was a starting point for me to learn about communicating with clients and the expectations of the industry. I show this to my students sometimes to let them know their careers are paths of evolution and personal growth.