The Man, The Myth, The Jedi?
I plan my work and work my plan...
Well, I was going to refer to myself in third person for SEO purposes... But that's lame, and this is a single page website after all... so, I'm AJ.
I am a visual communicator. I also have Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) a progressive neuromuscular disease, and have been wheelchair-bound since age two. My disability definitely influences who I am, but it does not define me — as an artist or an individual. I view myself as being "differently abled" rather than "disabled," and I live life to the fullest every day.
Painting with acrylics as a young'un, I developed my own impressionistic style. I started to see the world differently from that point on, using my surroundings as inspiration and appreciating the little things in life. I fully realized that art was my passion. But when I began to lose the strength in my hands as an inevitable result of my disease, I also lost my ability to create. Accepting the hard facts of life with SMA, I decided to instead pursue a career in television production or radio broadcasting, since my voice remained unaffected.
While registering for classes in high school, however, I came across a brand new elective course called Commercial Art Technology, and I thought it would be an interesting alternative to learning French or joining the volleyball team. As it turned out, the class was more than just interesting: It was a game-changer. Aided by computer software that replicates traditional painting/typesetting/layout, and fueled by my unwavering passion for all things artistic, I found I was once again able to create. I didn't have complete use of my hands, but I learned to effectively manipulate the mouse using two fingers on my left hand. That's all it took!
I went on to graduate with a BFA from Digital Media Arts College, and I currently work as a professional graphic designer in South Florida. I specialize in branding, illustration, ad layout and all forms of print design, and I also know a thing or two about Web design, CMS, SEO, UI and landing pages. Thanks to technology, today the only constraint I face is my own imagination — which means there's no limit to what can design.
In my free time, I pursue my digital painting over at Single Handed Studio, my Web-based digital art addiction. Here I can produce anything I want without having to adhere to a client brief or having an art director hovering over my shoulder. So you'll find canvas prints, metal pieces, wall mounts, posters, apparel and all sorts of satire-laced, vintage-inspired, badass designs.
I am also a huge music fan, as any sane person should be. I really enjoy old-school hip-hop, indie rock, ska, punk and basically any band beginning with "The". I'm a night owl, I absolutely must have my morning coffee, and I'm convinced there's nothing better than a nice glass of sake after a long design session.
But enough about me: let's get to know you and your projects!
I have a lot going on! Here are some quick links to my various projects. Take a look around and don't be shy... you can always hit the back button.
I have been fortunate enough to have some great exposure and accolades in my career so far. I am always excited to share my story and inspire others or just shoot the
shit breeze about Design, Industry Trends, Social Media, Life, Hustling, Comic Books, etc. If you would like to have me speak at your next event, feature my work on your blog, request a commission, or conduct an interview please get in touch and we can make it happen.
Differently Abled - Nov 2012
Meet the President - Nov 2012 Read Article
Limitations Don't Stop - Sep 2012 Read Article
American Artist - Aug 2012 Read Article
Asset Extraordinaire - Apr 2012 Read Article
The Badass Project - Apr 2012 - Read interview
Courage + Inspiration - Mar 2012 - Read Article
The Accessible Setup - Mar 2012 - Read Article
ArtiGras Spotlight - Feb 2012 - Read Article
The Power of One - Feb 2012 - Read Article
Sunshine Artist - Feb 2012 - Read Article
Florida Weekly - Jan 2012 - Read Article
Palm Beach Illustrated - Nov 2011 - Read Article
Featured in Starbucks - Oct 2011 - Read Article
One Finger to Create - Sept 2011 - Read Article
Artists Overcome - Aug 2011 - Read Article
"Single Handed" - Aug 2011 - Read Article
The Art Of Youth - Jun 2011 - Read Article
Young Emerging Artists - Jun 2011 - Read Article
Tim Tebow Signing - Mar 2011 - Read Article
WeMerge Bio - Oct 2010 - Read Article
DMAC Grad Spotlight - Dec 2009 - Read Interview
Sun Sentinel Bio - Jan 2008 - Read Article
Distinguished Alumni Award 2013
- Palm Beach County Schools : CLICK HERE
Presented Portrait to President Obama
- More Info : CLICK HERE
Canine Companions for Independence
- Featured Graduate Southeast Region
50th Annual Delray Affair 2012
- Hon. Mention in the 2D Category
ArtiGras Fine Arts Festival 2012
- Selected to Participate as an Emerging Artist
Sunshine Artist Magazine (National)
- America's Next Show Artist, First Place
- Gold: Online Campaign / Landing Page Design
- Silver: God Save The Gulf Charity T-Shirt
- Third Place in Landscape Exhibition
- Honorable Mention in Next Wave Show
DeviantArt Daily Deviation
- God Save The Gulf Charity T-shirt
Digital Media Arts College
- Distinguished Artist Award
Palm Beach County School Board
- 2006 Volunteer of the Year
- 2006 Second Place Pathfinder Award
Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)
- Former Florida Goodwill Ambassador
Well that's it! Everything you wanted to know and some things you didn't. I appreciate you taking the time to get to know me and now I would like to get to know you and your projects!
Whether you are looking for a fellow designer to bounce ideas off of, consulting, speaking engagements, design work, commissions or just to say hi... GET IN TOUCH!