Where to begin? I have lived most of my life in the
Portland, Oregon metropolitan area.
I have always had an interest in art. I credit a
once superior school system (regrettably, it is now one of the worse in the nation) for cultivating whatever artistic talents I have today.
After high school, art as a hobby was more or less shelved, except on a few occasions at work or when left alone with pencil and paper.
The advent of PCs and awareness of graphic programs
rekindled my interests. The learning of one always impacted my experiences with the other.
Computer graphics as a profession began purely by
accident when the economy went sour and I was let go from one firm and wound up working for a temporary agency. It was on an assignment as a temp that I came to work for my current employer, Brown and Caldwell
Environmental Engineers and Consultants.
After a few years at Brown and Caldwell (www.BrownandCaldwell.com) I found they had a need for someone to edit or create graphics for their reports, presentations, and manuals. Since I was the only one around
besides our cad folks that had knowledge of graphics programs, I was given an opportunity. The rest is history.
Originally, most of my graphic tasks involved the
creation of technical illustrations used in proposals and for printed operation and maintenance manuals.
That soon changed to technical illustrations for browser based manuals. This, in part, is the basis for the "style" of my images as they need to be adaptable for large and small format print as well as for viewing in a browser or in a PowerPoint presentation. One drawing may be used for four. Currently, most of my work deals with presentation graphics and usually is not on the technical illustration side. I find Xara is perfect for business graphics because of its rendering engine, ease of use, and cost.
The illustrations included here were drawn in other
applications and imported into Xara.
Xara just does not have the sophisticated tools that I need for drawing complex isometric illustrations. A majority of the illustrations are to scale and drawn by studying orthographic CAD drawings or vendor manuals. This can be quite a tedious process. That is why I can't wait to bring my drafts into Xara and play with colors, fills and transparencies, and other special effects. It is fascinating to watch them come to life.
And how did I end up participating at TalkGraphics?
It started out with my exposure to CorelDRAW 2. That eventually led to a CorelWorld conference where I attended a demonstration/face-off between Gary Priester and David Huss, which at that time was a pretty slick and stimulating show. Soon afterwards I attended a session given by Gary. It gave me a deeper understanding of how to use vector tools and hope that better graphics were possible. Oh, and I won, as a door prize, Gary's book which he kindly autographed. From there I learned of Chris Dickman's forum. That, in turn, triggered my interest in Xara and in Gary Priester's tutorials and the beginning of a stint in beta testing a few graphic applications.
While participating in TalkGraphics forum, I had chance
to "chat" with, among others, Ross MacIntosh and Jens Benthien who helped encourage me through their own work and advise. Ross got me turned on to SketchUp and Jens to Rhino, both 3-D applications.
Although I don't use them extensively, I do use them for technical illustrations to save time and give me flexibility, they both can export to either ai, eps, dwg, or pdf file formats which can eventually be imported into Xara for rendering, labeling, etc.
All in all I'd say experience with TalkGraphics has been
a learning one. I am grateful for this resource and those who make it possible.