Everything you could ever want to know...
THE PURSUIT OF PERFECTION
I have discovered that every new artistic medium I explore presents insights into seemingly unrelated fields. Artist is not merely a job title. It describes who I am as a person and defines how I see the world.
What started as a hobby over twenty years ago has grown into the most consistent, most stressful and most enjoyable career I have ever known. Because my experiences in graphic design have been a combination of divergent and unexpected challenges, I believe I am well equipped to handle any graphic need that might arise.
PHOTOGRAPHER / RETOUCHER
My current obsession is shooting high fashion and high end product photography. While I still love the nature and lifestyle genres, my goal is to master studio lighting, staging and effects, so as to address every aspect of a shot to produce world class images.
CONCEPT DESIGN / COMPUTER ANIMATION
I was fortunate that Ringling approached education with the entire animation pipeline. From concept, to story, character design, modeling, rigging, texturing, environments, animation, lighting, rendering and editing, students were expected to learn it all. I have found this wide array of varied skills have helped at unexpected times and surprising ways to fulfill diverse challenges at seemingly unrelated jobs.
ARTISTRY IN ALL THINGS
When not working but motivated to create, I enjoy moving forward with home improvements, gaining ground on one of the many random projects I set for myself, or exploring new forms of art.
When not working but just wanting to unwind, I enjoy immersing myself in story or strategy based games, pursuing archery, or exploring nature.
Leather craft and wood working are two current passions, and I am eager to start building a wood slat canoe to bring with me on camping trips. On that note, when I do have a few days to get away and relax, one of my favorite places to disappear is the redwood forests a few hours from where I was raised.
WORK HISTORY & EDUCATION
FREELANCE DESIGN DIRECTOR
Brand Design & Development, Package Design
Although my freelance work over the last decade has included everything from social media design for feature films to web design, videography and video editing for online art classes, the main focus of my work has recently revolved around company rebranding and product/package design.
While I do still take the random graphic job, I am currently pursuing larger scale projects that focus on building long-term client relationships and allow for a deeper, holistic involvement with companies.
02/2016 - 06/2018
JMW Sales, INC.
As head of the graphics design department for JMW, my responsibilites included:
· Hiring and overseeing the 4 person design team
· Product, packaging and Display concept/design
· International coordination with manufacturers, printers and subcontractors
· Product photography and retouching
· Purchased for and created the Graphic Design dept, photography dept and IT dept
02/2010 - 01/2011
COVER ARTIST & GRAPHIC DESIGNER
In creating audio book covers for Blackstone, I was able to utilize not only my design skills, but was also given the opportunity to create cover assets through photography and traditional watercolor painting.
BFA - COMPUTER ANIMATION
Concentration - Game Art & Design
Ringling College of Art & Design
Ringling’s BFA program is an exceptionally challenging curriculum designed to produce animators who knew the entire animation pipeline, culminating in a solo animation thesis project. Beyond the outlined curriculum, I chose independent studies in Greek History and Game Art & Design.
I have been working with Adobe Photoshop since 1995 and teaching it professionally since 1997. I am very comfortable in most programs in the Adobe Creative Suite and can handle pretty much any graphic need that may arise.
Although I spent much of my time freelancing as a Video Editor in LA in 2012, it has been a few years since I have had need to use those particular skills. I am confident that it would take very little time to bring these numbers back up if needed.
3D, Animation & Rendering
As previously mentioned, I earned my degree in Computer Animation from the Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota, Florida. Since Ringling stressed the importance of knowing every aspect of the animation pipeline, I am fortunate to have experienced every stage of the process.
In 1995 I started the Ashland High School computer club alongside my friend Nathan which pretty much consisted of the two of us scavenging scrap parts from the electronics closet and rebuilding them into working computers housed in pizza boxes. I am most comfortable in the Windows OS, but am also experienced with Mac and Linux. Beyond that, I have a great working knowledge of most general programs.
KIND WORDS & RECOMMENDATIONS
Prices and services we offer
Jordan Willing, CEO of JMW Sales, INC.
Dear Hiring Manager,
Simply put, Dan Smith is the single most talented graphic designer I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. The breadth of his skill set is truly remarkable. In the 15 years I’ve been making consumer products, I have never met anyone whose skills rival Dan’s. His abilities are extremely rare to find in any one person, and he was a huge difference maker at JMW. If you are looking for a highly capable person to lead your team and to deliver a huge amount of output at the highest level, I strongly recommend that you consider Dan Smith for your position.
During his time at JMW as our Design Director, Dan successfully built our graphics department from the ground up. He wore multiple hats at JMW, and not only managed our graphics team, but also addressed our IT needs, and built out our photography studio. While he was managing our team and helping our overall organization and infrastructure grow, he was also incredibly productive and was responsible for outputting hundreds of products. From packaging, to 3D renders, to marketing, Dan can do it all.
Some of his biggest accomplishments at JMW include architecting and executing a complete rebrand of our entire National Geographic line of consumer products. Dan either managed or personally executed the re-brand of nearly 100 products which each required packaging overhauls, new guide booklets, instructions, and marketing graphics. His re-brand won our company many large clients and helped us secure placements with major retailers across the globe.
Dan’s tremendous work ethic and dedication was apparent in everything he did. Dan was regularly the last one out the door at night, and his attention to detail was excellent in all the projects he handled at JMW. His unique skill set would be a tremendous benefit to any organization.
We wish Dan all the best in his future endeavors.
Jordan Willing, CEO
JMW SALES, INC
Josh Gedlick, Mechanical Engineer at JMW Sales, INC.
I worked with Dan at JMW Sales where he led the Graphic Design department. His ability to generate world class packaging was common during his time there. His tireless work ethic was critical to the success of our small company becoming much larger. Not only were his graphics and packaging top notch, but his product ideas and countless other skills make him a great addition to any team. I hope to work with him again in the future.
Mechanical Engineering Design & Development
JMW SALES, INC
Austin Poland, Art Director at JMW Sales, INC.
Dan carries with him a very strong passion for art & design, and a critical eye for detail. Under extremely rigorous and tight deadlines he was a vital part in launching the National Geographic brand for JMW Sales. He helped in my development of “hyper-real” photoshop techniques, and has a keen knowledge of lighting, textures and composition.
Art Director at JMW Sales, INC.
Stephanie Stanton, Creative Services and Marketing Manager at Blackstone Audio, Inc.
This letter is my personal recommendation for Daniel Smith. I have been Daniel’s immediate supervisor here at Blackstone Audio, and it’s been a pleasure to have him as an employee. In his time here at Blackstone he has completed a wide range of tasks with ease. He has worked on projects varying from cover design and illustration, ads, data entry, and page layout. All of which I have been impressed with the outcome and the effort he put into his work. He’s been able to adapt his cover designs to a wide range of genres and has worked successfully with publishers and editors. He is punctual, very organized, has a strong work ethic, able to handle fast deadlines, and produce high quality work in a timely manner.
I highly recommend Daniel for employment. He is a team player and would make a great asset to any organization.
Creative Services and Marketing Manager at Blackstone Audio, Inc.