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Turning the world upsideup


Advertising Design

I always knew I wanted to be an artist, starting from when I was very young, so it was no shock to anyone when I earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts (BFA) with an emphasis in design. I was fresh from the prairie of Kansas, ready to take on the business world by storm, but I was saddled with inexperience. So I headed east, where I worked at a boat-show company and then at a photo-lettering studio, and finally in the fire-alarm industry. I learned to create logo lockups and collateral materials, as well as how to use a typositor to set headline type. I also learned to use gridded Mylar, rapidograph pens, and letraset tape and to integrate Mies van der Rohe’s “less is more” philosophy.

With that experience under my belt, I moved to Denver, where I landed in the corporate environment of a marketing and promotions agency: The Integer Group. I was hired as an Assistant Studio Group Manager and later was promoted to Team Lead. Early on, I developed a passion for production. To take each piece to the next level, I integrated design, diplomacy, honesty, and realism so that all of the team members knew what they were getting, how they were getting it, and when it would hit their desk. I learned about smart quotes, spot colors, how to pay attention to details, and when to use only the “necessary” hyphens.

The agency recognized my leadership abilities, my strength as a diplomat, and my knowledge base; I was promoted to the position of Studio Supervisor. Looking to expand my reach and passion for Integer, I transferred to Integer Midwest, where I became a Design Director, a role that allowed me to blend my production talents and know-how with creative strategy and design skills. I touched several clients, including Maytag, Select Comfort, Pella, Dremel, Michelin, BFGoodrich, Ruan, Schlage, Electrolux, Scotts, Ortho, and Benjamin Moore, and I developed a versatility and understanding in our focus of home, shelter, automotive and box store client-specific materials. I have also developed the folder systems and file structures that allow Integer to have  only the highest-quality work hit the market and, over time, I have taken on the Art Buying role working with our parent company to ensure our vendors comply with our liability policies. If you'd like me to negotiate a rate for use, I will do just that. The Midwest office has had me on a trajectory to become the Director of the Production Design team. There is nothing like assembling the most kick-ass team of young designers and feeling pride in their pride, feeling the energy and enthusiasm for everything they create. It's what I live for and why I love the creative industry. 

STREET ART

One day I put a stake in the ground and declared that I wanted to be a street artist. I grabbed a couple rattle cans and headed out to the streets. With that first experience, although it was exhilarating, a dump truck load of reality came crashing down. What I created wasn’t erasable and it did not live up to my aesthetic expectations. In the same timeline I started getting into the fold of origami. I found it to be meditative and joyously blissful. This momentary sabbatical of being engrossed in folding paper allowed me to see where I needed to go, so I took a step to the side, recalibrated and up went the first installation of origami butterflies. Every installation is a heart-pounding, sweaty-palm experience that teaches me over and over the joy of producing art. But rather than mumble on, I will allow you to see for yourself what draws me to being a street artist. 

Community service

I was brought up on the idea that giving just a little can spread so much joy and create positive change.

I have worked with the Salvation Army for several years. I volunteer on the canteen twice a month serving warm meals to the homeless, hungry and those in need. I also was part of the planning committee for their Des Moines Chapter Red Kettle 5k Run. Planned, promoted and ran this race three years in a row.

Started a non-profit, Paws & Effect that provides animal assisted therapy programs for the state of Iowa and we raised and trained service dogs for Iowa veterans at no cost to the recipient. We celebrated our 10 year anniversary this year.

We hosted North American Dog Agility Council (NADAC) sanctioned dog agility trials as an out reach program for the community. We hosted several fund raising events including a 10k run, our One Heart Four Paws Gala, and Dias de los Muertos, a tribute to those humans and animals we've lost and the Tables and Tails event that coincided with the anniversary of the ADA.

Paws & Effect has over 140 volunteers across the state.

I also served on the National Pet Partner Committee out of Seattle Washington for three years and was a certified instructor and evaluator for their therapy dog programs.

 

Contact: theupside.art@gmail.com (c/o Eric Shumate)