I was drawn to design at a very early age; I was fascinated with optical illusions, fractals and radial symmetry. I strived to understand how objects of the same color could appear to be completely different hues when presented in different backgrounds, or how two identical shapes could seem to be different based on their context. My favorite toy growing up was a spirograph, and I would spend hours trying to puzzle out how simply changing the size of a gear or the position of my pencil tip could produce such vastly different results. When I was old enough to understand the concept of fractals, they quickly became my latest obsession. Like the spirograph, fractals produced vastly different results with very minimal changes, but as the former was limited by the tools I was using, the latter seemed boundless. By exploring recursion, I learned to see there was a larger picture, literally and figuratively. I loved being able to explore the details within the bounds of the fractal, and seeing how the positive and spaces interacted to create a unique geometric figure. Each new design was like a story waiting to be told, and I could be the one to tell them.
These early explorations into design and space continue to influence my approach to graphic design today. It was very easy and felt very natural to develop my passion for geometric exploration into a passion for graphic design. I still love to explore how using positive and negative space can affect a design by emphasizing elements of that design. I still enjoy how different color palettes and backgrounds seem to transform a design into something new. And it is always a pleasure to use my design skills to help others express explore their own passions sharing them with the world through the art of visual storytelling.
When I design, I'm a creator. When I photograph, I'm an editor. I was drawn to photography because it incorporates everything I love about design, but approaches the idea of storytelling from the opposite direction. Graphic design builds a visual story by creating new visual elements that come together to tell that story. It is about taking smaller pieces and creating a larger picture out of the individual elements of that design; each element tells a part of that big-picture story. Photography, on the other hand, is all about capturing a big-picture moment, and editing down the elements to create a point of view. It is this this limited viewpoint which allows the story to come through. Although the process is different, the end result is the same: using visual storytelling to help share one's experiences.
Music is to the ears what art is to the eyes. In the same way that reading words cannot always express emotion in the same way visual storytelling can, hearing someone speak does not always have the same effect as listening to music. I think it is because words have defined, distinct meaning, whereas colors, shapes, or music are fluid. They don't need to have a definition to exist. This is why music plays such an important role in culture: it is another medium by which to express one's feelings. A simple example is music in movies. It highlights the action without any need for speaking. It evokes emotion without telling the listener how to feel or what to feel; by its very nature, music is an emotional response to life around us, another lens to take are shared experiences and focus them to express our point of view, just like visual storytelling. Music and visual art are linked in the same way that we use all our senses to feel: we can tell different elements of our story through music than we can through visual art.
Bachelor of Arts in Art - Graphic Design Concentration
Salem State University, Salem, MA - December 2012
Minor in English
Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, etc.), Quark Express, Corel Draw and Photosuite, Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access, etc.), JIRA, Slack, Kentico, Squiz, Al Fresco, Quickbooks, Peachtree, Filemaker Pro
Daniel O'Rourke -