I am a dungeon master
I play Dungeons & Dragons. What do you picture when you hear that phrase? Do you picture four to six nerds sitting around a table, cracking jokes and drinking Mountain Dew? Well, you wouldn't be wrong. I'd like to ask you, however, to instead imagine an ancient world. In a lot of ways this world is reminiscent of a medieval Earth. It's largely untouched by people and is ripe with perilous adventures, strange magical forces, deadly monsters, and quirky characters. This is a world where anything is possible.
In case you aren't aware, a Dungeon Master runs things in a D&D group. They are the person who has created this world, as well as everything in it. All of the plants, creatures, people, towns and dungeons. The Dungeon Master has poured hours, sometimes days, into crafting this imaginary place. In my D&D group, I am that person.
You're probably wondering: Why do I do this? Why do I spend hours of my life crafting something that isn't even real? What's the point of it all? Ultimately, my answer is this: the players. In every quest that I write, in every character that I design, I'm trying to evoke emotion. I'm trying to make an experience that will leave a mark in the player's mind. Because in the end, the experiences we share become the memories that we keep with us.
In everything I design, whether it's a game, a website, or an advertisement, I'm constantly thinking of the person on the other side.
I've worn many hats
As you've probably noticed already, I've worked on a lot of different types of projects in my short career. I've designed games, websites, logos, advertisements, banners, merchandise, social media content, videos and even a 10 foot tall metal sign of James Dean. That's because I've always found myself working in small teams of 3 - 8 people. And let me tell you, when the largest agricultural bank east of the Mississippi River has a marketing team that consists of three people, you end up wearing a lot of hats.
This means I'm a quick learner. A year and a half ago, I made my first ever print ad. Today, I've made hundreds of high quality ads, ranging from 1 x 2 in. newspaper ads to 20 ft. wide billboards. In college, I never once took a graphic design course. I've learned the art of teaching myself new tricks, and that can go a long way in a world where things are constantly changing and no two companies use the same software.
I'm always eager to take the initiative and learn a new tool or practice. In fact, it's one of the joys of this line of work. I'm constantly growing and developing my skills. I'm always finding a new hat to wear.
Which hat will I wear next? That's for you to decide.