My first career was in Wildlife Biology. “Who cares!” you yell (stop yelling!) Well, here’s why you should care—a background in both the arts and science has given me a unique approach to design—it has honed my analytical thinking, and encouraged practical real-world solutions to design problems. Also I can tell you about mitosis. Kidding, I don’t remember anything about mitosis anymore.
Before going solo over five years ago, I had worked in both large and small agencies—a gamut of experience that has allowed me to wear many hats, and work with global brands, across a variety of mediums in both the analogue and digital realm.
Now I work out of my home office in Vancouver to deliver print and digital projects for clients large and small, from coast to coast.
Relevant personally, but not professionally:
When I was going to design school, one of our assignments in drawing class was to draw whatever we wanted—the only requirement was for it to be in colour. So, being a fan of animals and biology (see: that time Leigh got a Biology degree), I rendered a tree frog in coloured pencils. My instructor was underwhelmed. While he agreed the technical skills were impressive, he was disappointed that I didn’t do something crazy with it, like wrapping it King Kong style around the side of a building. He said: It’s just a frog. It will only ever be just a frog. As an animal lover with a Biology background, I didn’t really see this as a problem. I mean, have you ever SEEN a frog? They’re cool as hell!
I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was the fundamental difference between design and art. I would never be a successful artist because I always needed to have a problem to solve. There is always an objective in design, while art can be successful simply for the sake of itself. I also realized that I really liked parameters—I was actually far more successful when I had them. Simply telling me to draw whatever I wanted in colour wasn’t enough to pull the good stuff out of me. Design has an audience, an objective, constraints, considerations. This is why I’m a far better designer than I am an artist. Justafrog is a little nod to that, and a reminder that while I took a twisty road to get here (see: Leigh rides motorcycles), I ended up in the right place.