As early as I could remember, I had a very creative and inquisitive personality. I was obsessed with making lego versions of cartoon characters (Voltron, Transformers) that I would watch in the afternoon after school. My parents always encouraged my passions and introduced me to everything NYC had to offer, museums, art shows, concerts. This paved my path to a standard artistic medium, and throughout middle school and high school I excelled in art and participated in various art shows throughout NYC. This is where I developed my love and admiration for graffiti.
This was the early 90’s NYC, where graffiti was seeing a resurgence as it was eradicated from subways in the 80’s. The allure of these huge unique and colorful murals masterfully created with just spray cans was enough for me to not care about it being legal or not. I was always attracted to the mural aspect of graffiti rather than the fame associated with “getting up” by having my tag all over the city. I spent most of my time with my friends going to Pearl Paint in China Town to get our markers and black books and then trading “pieces” and practicing in each other’s books by creating small scale elaborate murals on paper, before taking it to a wall.
I was naturally immersed in 90’s NYC culture. I was in the center of it all. Hip hop was a critical component, along with 90’s alt-rock that provided the soundtrack to our youth. Music, art and fashion that was born from that era was etched into my dna. From there my curiosity was asking for more. I furthered my love for music by picking up a guitar, listening to songs for hours and teaching myself how to play Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and Soundgarden songs. I was always driven by being DIY and learning things on my own. I came to the realization that my artistic passion would dictate the path in life I would pursue, so I fulfilled my educational obligation and completed my two year liberal arts degree at a local community college and then went on to seek out my next challenge, the web. At this point I’ve been in a few bands and always became the defacto leader, I needed to market our band through a new medium, the internet. I hit my local library, took out HTML for dummies (first edition) and started banging code out on the keyboard and created our first terribly designed, but functional website. This is where I learned that compromising perfection for speed to market was critical. I also learned that hands on “doing” is much better than learning from a book. Our band gained some local popularity, and we played some highly regarded NYC music institutions such as CBGB’s and Brownies. All the while unknowingly perfecting my negotiating skills with tough, hard bargaining, begrudging club promoters looking to maximize club profits without caring about local music.
After recording an album and playing the music industry game long enough, band mates moved on and I started to wanderlust about what was outside of the entire world of NYC. I wound up traveling across country by Amtrak by myself to Seattle (because of my fondness for Alt-Grunge music) and spent several months there to think about my next chapter in life. By chance, a series of events would get me hired with a local community organization in Bellevue, WA that leveraged my people skills, design and marketing abilities. This was the small spark that propelled me forward to work for some very large and well known organizations and has led me to create my own digital agency providing my expertise to clients.
Life experiences have played the biggest part of who I’ve become in my digital marketing career. I’ve learned some heavy life lessons along my journey that they don’t teach in books. Having an open mind, being continually challenged, and understanding my unique role of how it adds value to clients is what makes me tick and keeps my passion lit.
One of my hobbies is building custom guitars.
I love to nerd out and talk shop about recording studios.
My favorite food is Manti (Like Turkish ravioli).
I love snowboarding and the mountains.