I am a creative advertising and visual communication professional, living in Chicago, Illinois with my wife, two lovely daughters (depending on what time you wake them) and one really, really stinky thai ridgeback dog.
I was born in Toronto and grew up just east of downtown in an area called cabbagetown. Anyone who has seen The Kids of Degrassi street kids will know where I grew up. Many of my classmates were in the original show.
When I was 10 when I moved to Genoa, Wisconsin. That was my first big move, since then I have lived in Port Dalhousie, St. Catharines, Toronto again, Phoenix and Chicago. When people ask me where I’m from, I tell them I’m from around the Great Lakes.
When I was young I wanted to be a teacher or a commercial artist. I started babysitting when I was 13 or 14 years old and that experience nixed the teaching career. I realized that it would be a long, long time until I would have enough patience for it. That clarified things and I set my heart on commercial art.
I started working in a screenshop hand typesetting team names with Lettraset® when I was 14. It was a part-time job after school and full-time during the summer. I moved to Toronto to finish high school at Wexford Collegiate in the Arts program. I was going to attend college but got an opportunity for a “summer job” at the in-house studio of BBDO, downtown on Bay Street. By the time September rolled around and it was time to go to school, I was pretty used to getting paid for a living and decided that if I just work my ass off, I can probably do o.k. Thanks to some great mentors and late nights, so far, so good.
I have specialized in healthcare advertising for most of my career, with a strong emphasis on branding and digital. I find the challenge of translating clinical and scientific information into compelling communication fascinating and thrilling. It’s getting even more fun now as the walls between “pharma” and “consumer” are dissolving, patients are becoming customers, things are moving so fast that doctors don’t always know best anymore, Dr. Google is the most consulted physician out there and there is an app for everything. Radical change is happening right now with things like nanotech, wearables, big data, augmented and virtual reality, and advances in genetics and biotechnology. I believe we are just about to leave the “dark ages” of medicine. I digress.
My main occupation is trying to be a good father and husband. I’m still waiting for the results.
In my free time, I enjoy trying to do too much and find myself constantly discovering new hobbies to try. My wife is not thrilled with this part of my personality. Luckily, she is very forgiving. I like to dabble in painting (canvas and walls), woodworking, welding, guitar-playing them and building them, gardening and animation. I have an unfortunate penchant for purchasing stringed instruments, especially ukuleles. If I could pick only one thing, I would have to say it’s learning. I get my kicks learning about new things.
Thanks for sticking it out to the end.