As some of you know, our fellow LSo member Mark is moving onto greener, fruitier (har-har) pastures; an apple orchard to be specific. Okay, I’ll stop with the lame fruit jokes. But Mark is leaving the Mid-west for the best coast, California and taking a job as a Creative at Apple. We couldn’t be more happy and proud of Mark! However, he will be sorely missed.
Describe your path to where you are now.
I first started off at a very traditional high school in Philadelphia, to the point that it was called a college prepatory school. The curriculum’s ultimate goal was to have us all end up in ivy league colleges and get positions like politicians, lawyers, doctors. Basically income focused jobs that were very respectable. I never wanted that. Even though it seems oddly mature at the time, 17 year old me didn’t know what he was doing, but he knew that he wanted to work a job where he loved doing what he did every day. Which lead me to decide to apply for and go to SCAD, which lead me to Razorfish and now finally my new position at Apple.
Did you always know you wanted to do something creative?
Yes I did! That was the one main thing I knew I wanted to focus on. Being honest here, I didn’t know initially what said creative field I wanted to do. It first started off with Photography, then Graphic Design and then finally Advertising, specifically Digital Art Direction.
If you weren’t a creative, what do you think you’d be doing right now? What was your childhood ambition?
Well, for some strange reason, which even know I don’t really know why, I’ve always wanted to be an astronaut. When I was a kid I loved space to no end, loved NASA and tried so hard to convince my parents I needed to go to Space Camp (they decided against it). When deciding in high school what major to choose for college, initially I wanted to do Psychology or oddly enough Theology. Psychology because I am always genuinely interested in people and love figuring things out. Theology was a more interesting one. It was less about the religious aspect and what really drew me to it was the historical aspect of it, that we have these stories that have lasted thousands of years to our modern day. In the end I decided towards art school, because I was too lazy to read all the textbooks that were considered required reading.
So, no big deal, but you’re the new Interactive Designer on Apple…how does that feel?
It’s a wonderful honor. I am excited to start my new job and working with my new team, who seem really awesome. It’s going to be scary working with the best of the best, but I think I’m up for the challenge!
Apple has always lead the way not only in terms of technology but design both product and UI. How do you feel about the trend of flat design?
I like it, especially considering that we have now gone away from skeuomorphism and stuff is much simpler and easier to figure out. But, I feel like that comes at a price and a lot of websites and apps I’m experiencing now try to make themselves too simple to the point that they compromise the usability. I get it guys, it’s nice to keep things minimalist but if you’re telling me that the thing I want to accomplish is hiding past two menu states it makes things annoying.
What will you miss the most about Chicago?
Well, the most obvious thing is all of my friends and people close to me here. After graduating college I feel like that’s when your adult life truly begins and I’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of awesome people here who I can proudly say will be connections that will stick to me for the rest of my life. So that sucks leaving everyone here so unexpectedly. I will miss having one of the best public transportation systems out there and how the grid system made navigating the city so painless. It’s tough transitioning but I know that while this chapter of my life is coming to a close there’s a new one waiting for me which will be as good as this one.
And what’s on your bucket list of things to do before you leave? Besides getting patio beers with me….
Buying any and everything that’s Chicago related. Apparently not too many people from the Midwest end up over on the West coast, so I need to rep my pride as much as possible. That means going to all of my favorite shops and grabbing as many trinkets and souvenirs as I can. Additionally, I am basically trying to eat my way through all of Chicago’s best restaurants, which means I’ll probably gain ten pounds by the time I move at the end of the month, but it will be so worth it.
Sorry Mark, but you know how much I love cheese stix. Let’s pour one out for the homie!