Two traits that are critical to working in the digital space; creativity and hard work. I have my parents to thank for both.
Creatively, I was surrounded by music my whole life. My father was the lead guitarist in the 80s band Air Supply (Google 'I'm All out of Love'), and my grandfather was a jazz pianist.
My mother was a nurse, who worked crazy shift hours but always found the time to stay up late and help me develop the most creative ideas for my primary school projects. The foundation was set.
I picked up a guitar not long after I could walk, studied piano for about 8 years, and always loved art, design and computers through school. The creative industries were beckoning. High school first introduced me to the concept of digital design with my first forays into interface design and Flash. During these days we browsed the interwebs using Netscape, did our 'Googles' via AltaVista and could never use the phone and internet at the same time.
After high school I completed a Bachelor of Visual Communication but I got my kicks studying animation, HTML, data visualisation and Flash based design. This is when I knew for sure that digital was where I wanted to be. Digital design was going to form a critical part in the evolution of technology and the way we use and consume media. I wanted to help shape that.
I got my first gig, straight out of uni, at a small IT company as the lone digital designer and was given the opportunity to cut my teeth on some front-end development as well. 18 months later I started my own freelance studio, taking on anything from logo design, print brochures and posters, album artwork, motion graphics, HTML and (of course) Flash based websites.
It is through freelancing that I first met Matt (my now business partner), at what was then called Studio Frank, a multi-discipline design studio with one major financial client. After about 6 months of working together it became clear that by doing everything, we were becoming known for nothing. And with one client, and a financial downturn, we needed to rethink things fast.
Frank Digital was born. 5 years on, I would like to think Frank Digital is indeed helping to shape the digital landscape while building upon those early foundations of creativity and hard work.