I was born in 1984, raised in New York and some parts of California. My creative exploration began as a child. Influenced by my father’s artistic ability to sketch and my mother’s swift handwriting, at the age of four I began drawing. This was the beginning of my creative spark.
Growing up, art became my sole passion. I channeled my artistic voice through pen and paper. I began discovering alternative mediums. My grandmother and grandfather introduced me to my first computer and I spent many late night hours learning all I could. It didn’t take me long to merge pen and ink with a scanner and Photoshop. My uncle then taught me a few tricks of the trade, and so I ran with it.
Just before high I school began studying art, photography, fine art and I was a member of Art Instruction schools for a couple years, which gave me a bit of an artistic foundation. At the same time I began to teach my self web design. It was my junior year of high school that I landed my first two paying web design clients and fell in love with the craft. I studied Advertising & Design at Orange & Ulster BOCES. It was with this school that I joined SkillsUSA and was hand-picked to compete against top students in New York state, where I took home the second place award. I’ll never forget standing at the award ceremony, next to the guy that won first place. He told me I should have won, and a couple weeks later he forfeited his chance to compete at the national level. I was asked to go and so I went. I traveled to Kansas City to compete, and I ended up taking home the second place award! This proud day would catapult me into my career. I competed against the top creatives from each state in the country, did well, and it so my creative spirit took flight.
Since 2000 I worked as a freelance web designer for a handful of clients that were also mentors in the creative industry. I designed web sites for two amazing photographers (my first clients), Dana Duke who taught me the delicate art of photo editing, and Jean Miele who taught me about collaboration. I was happy and focused on my career, until 2005 when our family experienced a house fire. This would change my life forever. We were fortunate to survive, but our material possessions were lost, which included my earliest work. Our family wasn’t well off, so we had to start from scratch.
Amidst the rubble and disorientation of such an event I met Dr. Thomas Eanelli; a man that would inspire, motivate and mentor me for years to come. He lifted me up, got me the equipment I needed and put me right to work. With him I would learn discipline, critical thinking, self reflection, compassion and much more. I joined the board of his non-profit organization CROC (Citizens Reunited to Overcome Cancer) and this position allowed me to direct the organization’s image, develop beautiful projects that directly influenced our community.
While doing my small part to serve the community, I continued to freelance for many clients along the way, all over the United States, working from my home in New York. In 2006 I found stability for a little over eight years working with RHP International, a company specializing in high-end surveillance equipment for the government and many other municipalities. This position started very small and grew to be an important role in my career. I designed brands, developed web sites, print media, animation, interactive content, trade shows, you name it, I pretty much did it. And after many years of hard work, I was evolving as a person and it was time to move on.
In 2014 during my creative awakening, I decided to incorporate my company and take a major leap of faith. I got the necessary requirements in place and formed Brokenreality Inc. The company name came from my screen name in the early days of the internet. It was all about breaking the bounds of reality in the spirit of creative exploration. Art, photography, web design, web development, creative direction, video production… all of it would become the result of many years experience in the field. And so I went on my journey to take over the world. One creative project at a time.
Along the way I met Charles Graham, Creative Director at Volum8 and I joined his elite team. I was granted the opportunity to build a front-end prototype of an amazing web application. I was given roughly two weeks to complete the task. I was excited, motivated and on fire about the potential of the project. I spent the next 48 hours or so cranking out some of my best work at the time. From there we continue to collaborate and innovate together.
In this space, is where I write gratitude powered words about the value of my experience as a creative human being. The perspective it has brought me… the relationships that have formed… the things we have created have not only allowed me to survive as a professional, they have challenged me and made me who I am today.
It is in my darkest hours and my brightest days that my creative spirit has reinforced me entirely.
Our work is the culmination of our tears and smiles all wrapped up in one.
Our work is a gift, and we should shine while we can…