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I have worked my entire career as an independent professional. Most of my time is spent as an Adobe Certified Training Provider offering clients customized consulting, support and training services. However, my capabilities extend much further.
Over the years, I’ve worked on a variety of interesting and unique projects. Find out more about some of my professional accomplishments.
I am CompTIA CTT+ certified and an Adobe Training Provider. I’m also one of the most widely-certified people in the history of Adobe’s ACE programme.
I helped found the InDesign User Groups in 2001, and set up three chapters in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. I’m also an active Adobe Influencer.
Three Guiding Principles
Everyone who knows me sees a different set of my sum total of skills and knowledge. When asked what I do for a living, I find it a challenging to give a simple answer. Instead, it is easier to describe the three guiding principles that govern my life – and how they shape everything that I do personally and professionally.
I am an ardent advocate of lifelong education. Learning shouldn’t be confined to the rigid constructs of a formal education; rather it is something to be embraced at all times of life. Many subjects can only be learnt outside the confines of the classroom, where trial-and-error experimentation exists as the best way to acquire knowledge and experience.
I am largely self-taught. For example, I learnt calligraphy at the age of seven, botanical taxonomy and horticulture at twelve, and taught myself non-linear editing, keyframe animation and video postproduction over a few months during 2001. In high school and at university, I pursued independent study whenever no formal instruction was available.
My passion for learning is the reason why I spend so much time teaching others. Publishing technology changes rapidly, and is prone to become redundant before formal education is made available. Consequently, much of the training that I deliver to customers is the result of personal research and experimentation.
I embrace a cross-disciplinary approach to everything that I do. Whilst studying at Caltech in the 1990s, I was one of the first undergraduate students to officially declare the graduate-level Computation & Neural Systems as my chosen major – a field that spans four of the university’s six academic divisions.
One of my specialities is bridging the perceived gulf between science and art. My profession requires me to collaborate with engineers, developers and technologists on the one hand, and designers and creatives on the other. As the world becomes to depend more on structured and semantic information, a cross-disciplinary understanding of both content and its presentation is increasingly essential. This is something that I have done for years in the rôle of a trainer and consultant.
Even my approach to individual subjects is comprehensive and multidisciplinary. For example, the field of Art and Architecture has theoretical, historical, practical, scientific, technical, religious, socio-political and critical aspects. Over the years, I have studied all of these aspects, and regularly use them in my professional life to make informed decisions.
With an ever-increasing body of human knowledge, there has been a contemporary trend towards professional specialization. The danger of this trend is that those who specialize in a particular subject risk losing perspective of everything else. Consequently, I’ve devoted my life to following the course of a generalist.
A generalist is someone who specializes in a wide variety of disciplines. Years of experience have taught me that knowledge of one subject inevitably informs another, and that two apparently unrelated things can be mutually beneficial. I spend a significant amount of time learning new disciplines and corresponding with the authorities of their respective fields – this makes me better prepared to serve my clients.
For example, single-handedly producing my professional website and printed materials required specialization in a variety of disciplines. I had to be a typeface designer, photographer, illustrator, writer, graphic designer, copy editor, retoucher, animator, layout artist, web developer, prepress specialist, user interface designer, product manager, coder, video producer, and IT professional. It made sense to learn these skills, because they represent the many job functions that my own customers perform on a daily basis.