Working With Me

Current Work Experience

I just started a new job in November of 2016 as a Frontend Web Developer at Brio Solutions. My favorite part is being able to focus my skills on the tasks I genuinely enjoy doing. I love working with a team of awesome developers and thinkers to create websites and apps which not only work well, but look great doing it!

My goal at Brio is to become the styling guru: by learning more advanced CSS techniques, teaching myself more javascript, jquery, and angular tricks, and becoming fluent in skinning a new CMS for me: DNN. I’ll also hone and sharpen my design and user experience skills as well, which is equally exciting to me.

What does this mean for this website? I’m not actively looking for work anymore (and thus not posting a lot of my professional work). Instead, I’ll post blogs about my love for WordPress, fine art, and other projects I’m doing on the side. You can also look forward to my CodePen pens, which I’ll begin posting here as I come up with something awesome.

Want to see the skills I’ve developed over the years? View my skills and services page.

Previous Work Experience

I worked at 321 Creative, Inc as a photographer, designer and web developer from October of 2012 to November of 2016. I enjoyed many aspects of that job, especially the variety of projects, constant need for self-education and the relationships I nurtured over the years with the clients.

In the far distant past, I worked as a Creative Staff member at deviantART in my professional artist days. There, I designed and developed company public announcements and newsletters, designed UX elements and icons, designed tee shirts, and did flash animation ads (when those were more popular). It was a fun job and I still participate in the community on my own personal deviantArt page as “mynti“.

Volunteering

I like to give back to my community by volunteering for projects based on my personal interests. It helps keep me grounded and provides me with additional outlets for professional and personal work. Here’s my favorite projects so far:

WordCamp US 2015

WCUS-Site-Badge-VolunteerScreen Shot 2015-11-13 at 11.38.41 AM

At WordCamp, I helped by being a room manager during the presentations. This involved making sure the speakers were there, present, and that everything was working and running smoothly. It was a fun job and allowed me the opportunity to meet some of the movers and shakers in the WordPress community. Participating and attending in this event was inspiring, educational, exciting, and exhausting. I look forward to next year!

Mural for the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County

The look on some of the kid’s faces when we installed the mural was incredible. Here’s a photo of myself and Christina (far lower right) with the Board on the day it was being installed:
mural-installed

It was designed by Christina Conti, who initiated the project at the Trattoria San Nicola in Paoli and provided the intial canvas and materials to get started. The mural originally began as a group project, with several dozen individuals working on it over the course of one 8 hour period. I stayed throughout the day and realized the mural needed much, much more work.

Being inspired by the cause and Christina’s passion for the project, I volunteered to take it home and complete it with my own materials over the span of 3 months. It measures 12′ x 12′ and has 125 symbols and words hidden within it as a game for the kids. Here’s a photo of the day it was celebrated with a party at the San Nicola:
mural-celebration
Above. Kim Cooley, Emily Rafferty, Laura Rafferty, Mark DeLuca, Christina Conti in front of the mural at the Trattoria San Nicola in Paoli.

Teaching Workshops and Private Classes

I enjoy teaching others how to love art in new ways. I’ve held workshops, which are fun, but a lot of work to prepare for. I’ve also taught private classes, which I really enjoyed doing.

Workshops and Demos

My favorite workshop was held at Merion Art and Repro in Ardmore, PA. There, I taught my own newly-learned skills: encaustic wax painting. I had only a few months experience with the medium before teaching the workshop – but it was clear that I had lots of good information to offer. The demo went really well and I was able to answer all the questions asked.

encaustic-wax-workshop-sm

Private Classes

I love teaching private classes in small groups and one-on-one. These have been enriching, rewarding, and challenging. Each time, it’s been a privilege – and a humbling experience – to remember my roots and how I started out.

My goal with any student is to aid in enjoyment of draftsmanship skill building and to help through frustrations and stumbling blocks. It wasn’t easy for me as a kid learning art – even though I had good teachers, for a long time, I felt a little lost.

To counter that “lost” feeling – I determine the individual’s unique goals and stylistic tendencies, and then apply my lessons towards that end. I believe this helps an artist feel “found”: letting their own artistic vision guide my lesson plans means that the student is learning exactly what they want to learn – and establishes a confidence that general art lessons can’t give.

For each class, I take the time to prepare my own handouts and reference guides with my own writing and drawings. I do this for many reasons. I feel that this gets me in the perfect mindset to teach what I’ve just relearned, because it’s fresh in my mind. My lessons directly connect with my papers and reinforce the key parts of the class. Each student has different needs – this personal touch is important to me: art is a personal journey and differs for each individual artist.

Teaching Handouts

I have found teaching to be rewarding for me as a lifelong student too! Each subject I cover, I learn more just by speaking out loud how it’s done. It internalizes the process for me in a way that just doing never does.

I am so thankful and lucky for such wonderful students, especially dear Sarae, who was my single longest private student.