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 over 10 years. I had the fortunate opportunity to go to Israel (my second time visiting there) as a volunteer in the Tiberias area, our partner region back in November of 2008. It’s an experience I will always cherish.) As a senior graphic designer, I work on event, campaign, constituent agency collateral such as invitations, ads, flyers, programs, brochures, signs and banners, annual reports and photograph a lot of 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. 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-- 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 grand 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!!!