Announcement: I’m Relocating to Phoenix

Image

After living in Chicago for the last four years and the midwest for my entire life, I’m moving on, I’m moving to Phoenix! It goes without saying that this is a pretty large life-changing event. That being said, I look at it as a new adventure, a new chapter to experience. Not to mention, I’m pretty tired of the Chicago Winters; man, this last one was brutal.

The love of my life is in Phoenix (she truly is the love of my life) as is a great, professional opportunity. I have accepted a position at a national advertising agency in Phoenix. These guys (which you will find out later who they are) are rockstars and are very passionate about the work. The passion that I’m talking about is the same passion that I always seek and have been a part of. I have had the opportunity, no, the honor to work with very talented and passionate people everywhere in Chicago and it will be difficult to let them go. However, this is a chance for me to open up a new chapter in my life; one with the woman I love, a chapter of new professional and digital opportunities at the agency, and a new chapter to grow digital in new forms, new clients and new work.

As I look back at my life in Chicago, I look back with a smile on my face. Chicago is the home of advertising, the home of marketing; if anyone says different (I’m looking at you NYC), they’re wrong. Chicago has taught me so much and has made me grow into digital professional I am today. The memories I have of this town, will always stay with me; especially the people. Everyone (too many to name), has made a significant impact on who I am, how I view the world, how I work and how I see the future. As I look back at my life in Chicago, I look back with a tear in my eye. I know that the experiences I have had here will always stay with me. The memories, the people and the moments have shaped me and have helped make me the person who I am today. It is sad to leave you all, leave the city that I have grown to love. However, with an end should come a new beginning; a new chapter.

Now, I can’t forget about Milwaukee… my alma mater. I keep thinking, “how did I get here?” And I know it’s because of Milwaukee. I have nothing but fond memories of Milwaukee and it will always have a special place in my heart. After all, it is the town where I met Stephanie. Milwaukee, as most of the Midwest, kept me pragmatic, humble and driven. It brought me up to the person I am today, with, what I hope, a strong moral code, work ethic and great friends that will never leave. I leave the Midwest thinking that Milwaukee was my hometown.

As I look forward, I see a bright future. A future of amazing possibilities, both personally and professionally. It is a future of exploration and adventure. I’m moving West. It’s Manifest Destiny. It is the American way. I see myself as a pioneer of sorts. I see this next stage as opportunity to start anew. I see this as what I want, need and have to do. Don’t think of it as me moving across the country, think of it as I’m only 2 hours behind.

In closing, I leave you with this. A close friend of mine once told me, “When you stop looking up at your city, that’s the moment you need to leave.” I believe that to be true and I’m ready to look up at Phoenix.

PS> You can follow my journey by following the #CHI2PHX hashtag on social media. (Yes, I had to make a hashtag for this)

Professional History: Where I Came From


After creating the last video post, I realized there needs to be a bit more clarification as to where I actually came from, professionally. A bit of professional history, if you will.

1) COLLEGE:
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. I worked all through college both in the design industry, as well as, the hospitality industry as a Bellman/Valet (You need to pay the bills somehow).

As my college career was wrapping up, I interned at Cramer Krasselt as a Brand Design Intern. I had the opportunity to work with some talented designers and marketers. I helped in the rebranding of massively large corporations and assisted in business development. Along with working at CK, I also had a Design Internship with Mindspike Design. A design firm with enormous potential and experience guiding my talent and nurturing my passion. Needless to say, internships sometimes come to an end. So, where did I go?

2) PUBLISHING:
It’s always difficult to transition from college to the “real-world.” It was a tough market. Just when I thought it was getting too tough, a firm called NovoPrint, plucked me out from the void. I started as an entry level designer working on B2B publications for Chambers of Commerce throughout the nation. As time moved forward, I moved up the ladder. I started out as a “Designer,” then “Sr. Graphic Designer,” and ultimately “Art Director.” All this happened within a span of 4 years

As I moved up the ladder, so did my responsibilities. Not only was I in charge of the designs coming out of the design department, but I became responsible for the rebrand of the company; no easy task for one person to be sure. However, my experience as a Brand Design Intern a few years before; assisted me a great deal in this internal venture. Once I successfully rebranded the company, I became responsible for the marketing of the company along with the sales department.

Read More

VIDEO: A Personal Introduction

You may have been wondering who this “ebreakdown” guy is and what this is all about. Well, here is my introduction.

This video is an attempt to define, a bit more clearly, who I am, what I do, where I come from, and what this blog and twitter account is about.

If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you. I just may respond to them in the next video post.

Also, a personal favor: this is my first vlog, diary, journal, or whatever via video; please don’t be too critical. Believe me, I’ll get better.

PS> It is a terrible thumbnail; I know. Can’t be helped.

Infographic: Resume

(Click image to zoom in. Right click; save target as to save)

About a week ago I created my first infographic. That first infographic chronicled my life, interests, professional path and education from the age of 15 to 29. The “Life Infographic” was met with critical acclaim. A lot of people enjoyed reading and viewing it. Of course they did, we’re all visual people in nature.

Within that last post, I mentioned that I was attempting to create another infographic chronicling only my professional career, more of a visual resume. Well, I’m happy to announce that the “Resume Infographic” is completed.

The “Resume Infographic” is composed of three main sections:

• Section One:
At the top, you will see the title of the graphic, my name, title and contact information.

• Section Two:
Probably the most visually appealing graphic of the document, the work wheel. This graphic represents the work timeline from 1999-2010 and wrapped around the wheel is the visual chronicle of my work history separated by colors. Lines coming from segments of the wheel define where I worked and the job duties I had.

• Section Three:
At the bottom of the infographic is more of a linear timeline of my career path. Color of the timeline corresponds to the place of employment just like in the work wheel above. This timeline is simple, linear and gives you a different representation of work history.

The “Resume Infographic” is created in a tabloid format for ease of printing. I heard a few responses from the previous infographic that it was a bit large and hard to read, even after zooming in. I took that criticism and changed things up a bit in this infographic, making it more printer friendly.

As far as the next infographic to come out; well I have no idea what it’s going to be just yet. I’m working on finding a subject matter. And of course, if you have a suggestions, don’t hesitate to let me know.

Infographic: A Visual Chronicle of My Life

For a while now, I’ve been looking at a lot of “infographics” on the Internet. Mainly, they’re graphics about science, politics, financials and whatever. But recently, I stumbled across someone’s infographic that has detailed his life from a certain age; chronicling his education and interests. What a great idea! I have been wanting to create one for myself for years. Well, I finally have.

Simply titled, “Life Infographic,” this particular graphic chronicles many facets of my life from the age of 15. Why start with that age? Well, it’s the start of my high school career; the start of the passions and interests I have today. Plus, I don’t think anyone would be interested in all the little bits of life before that.

There is a lot in this graphic, so let me give you a bullet point of what you can find. (From the top-down.)

• Location: Simply, where I have lived during the course of the timeline.

• Education: Shown in the background, this layer represents where and when I went to school and for what.

• Professional Skills: The warm colored bars depict the skill sets and knowledge I gained during this time. It also shows how long I used these skills.

• Career: Basically where I worked and what job I had.

• Age: This is the important bit. The age timeline is what everything in the infographic is based upon.

• Interests: The cool colored bars depict the interests I had outside of the career path and professional skills. Things that I was/am interested in as hobbies or general interest.

• Events: Significant events that have happened to me at certain times in the last 15 years. The interest bars rise up to interact with the professional skills and interests to give you a better representation of where certain skills and interests come from.

Well, that’s the ride around the block for the infographic. I have to say, the most difficult part of this process was determining what goes into the graphic, how to represent the flow, and oddly enough, what colors to choose. I really loved creating this infographic, so now I am in the process of creating another for only my professional timeline; kind of like a visual resume.

I hope gain more insight into who I am, where I came from and what interests me. But most of all, I just hope you enjoy it.

(Also, I need to give an inspiration shout out to the person who created LifeMap. Viewing this finally got me to create my own.)

The Inaugural

So I wish I could come up with something a bit more poignant and well thought out for my first post on ebreakdown, but I really can’t. I can tell you the events that have lead up to this blog, however.

The name ebreakdown came about 10 years ago now. It’s a shortened version of elegantbreakdown which is the moniker that I go by. The name was developed after listening to INXS’ Elegantly Wasted album. I was in love with that band and fell in love with the album name, but the word “wasted” is a bit risque. So, “breakdown” came about. This blog is simply the next and most recent step in the evolution of my online presence. I have had many blogs in the past and what I have realized is that it’s just too many to keep track of and consequently I failed at keeping track of them. I then decided to create one master blog for myself. One that I can feed most, if not all, of my satellite blogs, social sites, and other environments into. So, this is what we have here. The master blog. This is the place to go to find out what I’m up to.

I provide this sort of service to many of my clients. Basically a new media package. A funnel of information into one site that can be fed into satellite platforms. It only made sense to do it for myself, right? I had sometime today to make that happen. Believe me, it’s no easy task. There are way too many sites, some with two-way integration and others with one-way integration. It took a while, but I made it here.

So, what will you find here? You’ll find Twitter updates, RSS updates from my Google Reader, Last.fm updates of music that I’m listening to, photo posts, location posts and many other things. What sort of content am I going to post? Well, a whole myriad of things really. Items relating to design, art, branding, music, technology, movies; elements of my personal life including places I go, people I meet, things I get and you get the idea.

So, I guess that’s it for now. I now have to get some food and get ready for a party tonight. A sparkle party at that. (No, I don’t own anything that sparkles)

My name is Leif.