I was born on May 7, 1979 in Dothan, Alabama. I lived in Marianna, Florida until age 6 then moved to Cary, NC and stayed until my sophomore year in high school. I finished high school in Nelsonville, Ohio via Tri-County Vocational where I studied architectural drafting and design. Shortly after high school, I enlisted in the U.S. Army as a Combat Documentation and Production Specialist. I spent 5 months learning basic still photography at the Defense Photography School at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, and another 5 months learning video production at the Defense Information School at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. I've served in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East to include 2 twelve month tours in Afghanistan.
I was honorably discharged from the Army in 2006, then started working as a news photographer for News 14 Carolina (which is now called Spectrum News). While there, I earned my A.A.S. degree for Simulation and Game Development at Wake Technical Community College at the end of 2013. On January 2016, I started working for Johnston Community College in Smithfield, NC as an Instructional Video Producer. While at JCC, I combined my experience as a video producer with what I learned with 3D modeling and animation.
From 2018 to the present, I am a government contractor for the U.S. Army. I design 3D animations and motion graphics for use in the U.S. Army's video marketing campaigns as well as their Military Occupational Skill specific instructional videos. My work has earned The Gold Telly Award for our production of the Fort Knox Centennial Documentary.
Video games have always captivated my imagination. The creative storytelling was intriguing, but the artistry behind them was what most mesmerized me. These experiences transported me to different worlds. That trend continues to this day. My journey into motion graphic design began in my early teens. I recall spending every quarter I had at the arcade. My game of choice, was Mortal Kombat. After some time playing though this particular game, and becoming more fascinated with its dynamics, curiosity gripped me as to how it was created. So I researched it. It was not much longer before I began to draw.
They were simple doodles at first, then they progressed to more intermediate concepts. I continued to draw through my senior year in high school. Graduation was right around the corner. I had to make a decision for my future. I chose the Army. During the decade of my service as a Combat Photographer, I would still draw on occasion, but my service to America became priority. After my time in service, I became a news photographer. I enjoyed that profession for another decade. At some point during my news career, I began to feel like there was something missing in my standard workday. I discovered that missing link when I took classes for Simulation and Game Development at Wake Technical Community College. It was creative freedom.
Creative freedom is paramount to a designer. Without it, the designer is prevented from performing his job to the best of their abilities. This ultimately leads to the degradation of project quality, and employee morale alike. As a news photographer, creative freedom was severely limited. After I received my degree, I wanted to try to implement what I learned into my projects. Unfortunately, every news story had to adhere to the standards issued by the company. These standards included duration, style, and content restrictions. To say the least, my creative freedom was quite inhibited. Every project I completed felt mediocre at best. I craved the ability to supply creative influence to the stories I was trying to convey. Realizing that achieving this goal would not be possible in a news organization, it was time to turn elsewhere.
I then landed a position as an Instructional Video Producer for Johnston Community College (JCC) in Smithfield, NC. This was my first real opportunity to fully implement my creative freedom with much success, and delve deeper into the world of motion graphic design. After two years of employment at JCC, I found a new opportunity with Lynxnet, LLC at Fort Knox, Kentucky, where I am currently employed. Here my creative freedom is constantly challenged and there is a feeling of fulfillment after the completion of a project. My journey has come full circle, but it is far from complete.