I went back to school to sharpen my computer skills and ended up with a certificate in multimedia. This helped me get a job at Hunter Business Group in Glendale. The people were top notch professional and knew their stuff regarding business to business marketing. I did print collateral and web design/development using both a Mac and a PC. We had clients like 3M, Rustoleum, Pitney Bowes, Panasonic Toughbook computers, Barnabas Business Center (the building where Hunter is housed) and more. I enjoyed the people there but after 9/11, the business suffered tremendously and there was a wave of layoffs, including me eventually.
I was offered a job as a graphic designer at the Milwaukee Jewish Federation a few months later. I’m not Jewish, but I have learned a lot about their culture and enjoy the work environment. I’ve been here 14 years, now as a senior designer. I had the fortunate opportunity to go to Israel twice as an employee — once as a volunteer, and the second time for leisure (I also traveled there as a young adult) I work on event, campaign, constituent agency collateral such as invitations, ads, flyers, programs, brochures, signs and banners, annual reports and photograph some of our events like the Women's Philanthropy and Economic Forum luncheons that feature well-known keynote speakers.
I always wanted to be a fashion illustrator and was rather tenacious about getting my first job out of college doing so. It was a middle size department store in downtown Waukesha called McCoy's. The store manager really liked my stuff and encouraged me to be creative. I illustrated women’s fashions, children’s and men’s, as well as hardlines like perfumes, accessories, housewares, home décor. I used ink in various styles, washes, crisp lines or the combination. I was there for about 1.5 years before the store was bought out. They offered me a job in Wisconsin Rapids, but I declined. I moved on to Chapman’s doing the same and eventually Kohl’s for 5 years until I couldn’t do retail design anymore and still be fresh.
I ended up working for an agriculture business that dealt with the more ‘high end’ farming businesses designing their collateral. I eventually became the art director of their magazine called “Farm Futures.” I had a blast working with all the writers, but it was a very demanding job with little pay. Because of that experience of concepting covers for the publication and managing the art direction of it, it got me my job at Western Publishing/Golden Books in Racine.
I worked in the Creative Services Department at Western and I must say it certainly was a great outlet for creative expression. I was illustrating and designing and worked my way up to senior graphic designer in a few years. Most notable projects I did that included project management: The Wisconsin Electric (now WE Energies) cookie book; PAAS face painting series of 5 books (my daughter was 3 then and she was the “doll face” model in one of the books), 101 ways to use the Dremel Tool (I never touched a drill in my life and I ended up carving into wood, glass and demonstrating handy things and got pretty good at it), Nabisco’s Oreo Kid activity book (illustrated and designed), Kraft Dinosaur Pictionary game (it won a national marketing award) and more. Western was bought out and the creative building was shut down after having been there shy of 10 years. That was sad, I loved that job!!!