I started doing graphic design before computers. I’d pull out my rapidograph and carefully, tediously draw a fine line border for a certificate. I would then letter it with my calligraphy pen. I loved doing commercial art that way. I loved pin-striping a car, or hand-lettering a sign, too. It was tactile and challenging and satisfying.

I was working at a newspaper when the first OCRM (optical character recognition machine) was brought online. You had to use a certain kind of typewriter for the machine to recognize what was typed. I was thrilled when I could reproduce the type with my pen, and fool the machine into thinking I was one of those typewriters.

The computer room was this cold, sealed off room where the huge computers were housed. I would scan the type, the OCRM would translate the type and the strips of programmed copy would come out to be waxed and pasted up. The graphics were taken from cutbooks and pasted up too.

Fast forward to 2009. I love taking an image I have penned, scan it into Photoshop, work it, save it, pull it into Illustrator, vector it, clean it up, save it, pick it back up in Photoshop, add layers of color and perhaps photo texture etc., maybe pop it over into Painter, add some texture, and eventually end up with a clean custom graphic. Other days, I just sit out in the yard with my watercolors and joyfully paint. There’s something about the “old world” style of hand work that just feeds my soul.