The first website I designed was for a band. I remember buying HTML for Dummies my freshman year of college and and deploying my site on Geocities. Before this moment, design had just existed in my life and I certainly had never thought of it as a career. A few months later I changed my major from Chemistry and graduated with a degree in Graphic Design. A few years and a few jobs later I moved to New York. I’ve been lucky to work in the music industry for the last seven years, but at the end of this month I’m leaving to pursue new opportunities.
I started working for Warner Music Group in 2005, as part of a corporate web team called Digital Properties. We were tasked with designing and building web properties for the record labels under Warner Music Group. During my 18 months in that group we built websites for all the major labels under WMG, including the first website for the first all digital record label Cordless Recordings. Just as we seemed to be hitting our stride two of the team leaders, Karen Stavisky and Paul Sinclair, decided to move to new departments within the organization. I was lucky to be invited to join Paul’s new team at Atlantic Records a few months later.
The variety of challenges at Atlantic has kept me on my toes for over 5 years. I started out as a freelance designer, was hired as a full-time creative director, became the first product development lead, and finally ended up overseeing the entire production team and nearly 100 artist websites. I hired an amazing team, was a key stakeholder in choosing a new web platform for the company, lead the design and development of mobile and responsive websites, apps, games, lead new business pitches, heled launch marketing campaigns, and was tasked with discovering and evaluating potential new partners. There are so many projects I’m proud of, I’ll definitely need a longer blog post to encapsulate everything.
And now I’ve reached the end of my journey at WMG. I move on still loving Atlantic Records and believing that my last project at the label (you’ll have to wait and see) will be my best. I feel like I’ve accomplished all of my goals in this industry, and have been dreaming about working on a product for a few years now. I’m incredibly excited to announce that I’m moving on to Behance, a startup with the goal of showcasing and improving discoverability for creative work, as Senior Product Lead. Nearly three years ago I spoke at the first ever Geekend conference with Matias Corea the Chief Designer and Co-founder at Behance. Starting next month I’ll be joining his team to focus on bringing their properties to mobile devices, and eventually other connected screens.
The people I trust most in my life have all said “this sounds perfect for you” when I explain my new gig. I’ll be able to focus on mobile and devices, while working with some of the most talented people in the industry, and getting to help build something that will empower other artists and designers. I first started reading programming books to learn how to build websites, specifically for artists, and ended up building my first product – a CMS for artist websites back in 2002. Years later I will be able to give back to this community again, in a way my 23 year old self never could have imagined. It sounds like a dream, and while I’m sad to be leaving the best team I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Posted on: 07/17/2012