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I was born in Southern California, raised in Northern California, and currently reside in Central California’s San Francisco Bay Area. At a young age, I took an interest in music, computers, cooking, and Japanese language and culture. These interests have stayed with me to this day.
I went to several high schools, leaving during my junior year to continue my education at Sacramento City College, studying music, composition, sound design, psychology, and theater. I competed in several piano competitions, performed recitals, and produced two musicals while there.
After my first year, I started to pursue a cosmetology license. Yes, cosmetology. It provided the creative freedom I wanted and I was good at it — winning a few competitions. But, with less than 400 hours of lab time left before taking the State Board examines, I decided to change direction — I needed to figure out what I wanted to do. I had started working in restaurants during high school, as a host, server, and eventually manager to pay for school and bills, and this had become a full-time job. At this point, I was 18 years old.
When I was turning 19 years old, I moved to San Francisco, taking on a managerial role at the largest Blockbuster nationwide. This was a fun time and allowed me to live my life, enjoying my freedom. But I was finding that this was not the path I need to take. I wanted a more substantial challenge — something to help me learn more about myself and to grow as a person. It was time for a change.
I started a position at Macy’s working as an admin to a small group of buyers. I became adept in the processes and quickly became a manager with the MIS department, developing tools, standards, and training staff on purchasing, logistics, and reporting. However, H.R. Macy’s & Co. had problems of their own and would be sold to Federated Corp., laying off thousands of Macy’s employees — I was one of the many casualties. I was given a generous severance package and took some time to reflect and decide what I was going to do next.
As fate would have it, I was offered a position managing Top Copy and South Park Digital. I accepted the position on the condition I would be provided 24-hour access to the studios and use of all media and equipment. They agreed. This is where I discovered what would become my professional career path — and a new chapter of the story of my life had just begun.
In addition to my managerial duties, I took it upon myself to learn tools and process of every position along the digital-to-print production workflow: from scanning and digital photography to color correction, digital manipulation, and composition, to RIP setting, plate making, and digital and traditional printing — including the use of an offset press.
I spent my free time with each of the employees and designers, watching, asking questions, learning the process, and then, in turn, doing the work myself. This led to my first axiom — you cannot begin to teach a thing if you do not fully understand a thing. This knowledge and understanding of the holistic approach to the design process became the foundation of my craft.
I would come in late in the evening and spend hours mastering all of the applications our studios and desktop publishing services center had to offer. This started with Photoshop 2.5, Illustrator 1, Aldus PageMaker, Quark Express, RayDream, Kai’s PowerTools, and many, many other apps and utility apps. I also worked with flatbed and drum scanners, digital camera backs, imagesetters, and various digital printing hardware. This became the core of my UX vocabulary, providing key insight to application interface, user interaction systems, and user workflows.
I reviewed and proofed artwork coming through from top production firms, design houses, individual designers, and magazine publications, such as Riviera Van Biers, Isabelle Ison, Rex Ray, Red Herring, and Wired Magazine. Not only did I catch errors in the production pipeline, but I was also sampling huge amounts of work created by these incredibly talented designers. This became the core of my design ascetic — to understand what was working or trending in the design world, why it was happening, and what might happen next.
I started teaching these same designers about the latest software features, and how they could leverage them in their design workflows. During this process, I was able to sit with these world-class designers and learn from them as to how they work and design the way they do. This became the core of my production methodology — to find solutions to problems, the desire to teach, to share, to learn, and to explore, as an individual or part of a collective, with equal enthusiasm.
These experiences culminated in my becoming a respected digital media producer, designer, and instructor for hire. After a personal rebranding, Bomberry Design was born and another chapter in my life began.
Since then, I have spent the past 25 years in design and technology and co-founded a few companies, which has allowed me time to perfect my craft and expand my skill-set. I have worked with amazing companies and people along the way as a designer, photographer, producer, business developer, manager, and systems workflow consultant. Each experience has taught me new lessons, and I keep my eye on emerging technologies and trends in both design and computer science. And I continue to play piano, compose music, and create digital and traditional artwork.
I have developed business, operational, and management skills, including sitting as a board member of the MIT/Stanford Venture Lab for more than 5 years. I have produced 30-second commercials and four hour DVDs. I have created web applications from pencil and paper sketches to e-commerce and content management solutions. I have crafted brands, experiences, user interfaces, written standards, articles, and electronic magazines, and I have had the best time doing it all. This has been as rewarding as it has been educational, and reinforces that I love what I am doing.
For the better part of the past 10 years, I have worked with Adobe. Initially, I created the 3D materials for Photoshop. A year later I was offered a consulting position as the lead designer of 3D in Photoshop. This was a great responsibility, and one I was ready for.
I worked directly with engineering, research, and management, and helped plot the course for the future of Adobe’s 3D offerings. Some of my main contributions to Photoshop included the complete redesign of 3D in Photoshop — moving from a modal dialog, much like a filter, to a fully integrated tool. This had to be built from the bottom-up from an engineering standpoint and top-down from a UX/UI and user workflow point of view.
This redesign would include new panels, real-time controls, and a new on-canvas interaction system — including the development of the 3D Cage. I developed the solution for 3D printing, and built a 3D printer in spare time with a couple of friends, just to understand the technology and process — again, bottom-up and top-down. I instituted the Properties Panel in Photoshop — a personal victory. In addition to Photoshop work, I was tasked to helped develop new teams, conduct research, provide guidance, lead product design efforts, and have had a significant impact on a wide range of global products and initiatives. This was extremely fulfilling work, and I am proud of all that was accomplished.
Now, I am starting a new chapter. We’re closing down the small business, leaving the consulting gigs, and I am putting myself back on the corporate job market.
I am looking for an opportunity to leverage my wealth of skills, and to have a meaningful impact in a position that excites me as much as it challenges me. To find a place that has a good path for leadership growth — a place where I can spend the next 5 to 10 years. A place that I can become an invaluable contributor, team player, and a solid leader and work with great teams and people.
After all, your co-workers are like a family, and it is important to know you belong — that you are trusted, that you have trust in them — and to do the best work you can do.
This is an exciting time and I look forward to what the future has to offer as my story continues.