Below are a few questions I’ve been asked by friends, colleagues, strangers and hiring managers over the years — followed by my responses.
Why do you have a Q&A section on your website?
A lot of people have trouble understanding someone's personality without meeting them in-person. I’m just trying to inflect a little character onto the page so folks who are interested to work with me have a better picture of who I really am.
What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
Celebrating the 5 year anniversary of you asking me this question! [Pauses to correctly attribute joke to the late Mitch Hedberg] Doing something I’m passionate about that makes me feel creative and self-actualized. Life is short, and if I’m not feeling excited, and that my creative energy is being utilized to its full potential, then it's time to change things up. Life isn’t a straight line. Anyone who says it is hasn’t really lived.
Self actualized, that’s a lofty goal. What’s something you’ve worked on that made you feel self-actualized?
I was incredibly fortunate to work on the Travelocity account a few years back producing the digital content for the Travelocity Roaming Gnome’s Instagram and Twitter accounts. For two years I traveled with a two-foot tall garden ornament under my arm, taking him all over the world to on-location shoots where he would do what a real traveler would do. Go on an airboat alligator tour of the Everglades? Get lassoed by a cowboy in Oklahoma? Eat a full rack of ribs at a world-famous barbecue restaurant in Memphis? Climb to the top of Machu Picchu? Check, check, check and check. It was intense, challenging, fun and I felt I was at my peak creative self. It was a great feeling and I was honored to work on that project -- creating amazing work with an incredible team.
You've done a lot of different things. What do you want in your next job?
I want to make great work with great people. Too many times you get to do one or the other, but not both. Great work can be hard to come by. Just as hard is finding great people to do that work with. When you get both you can really make some magic. That’s what I want in my next job: Magic.
Are you Macklemore?
No, but I did dress up as him once for Halloween.
You have how many cats?
Three, and yes, my wife and I know we’re out numbered. But we avoid the possibility of a dystopian feline coup by providing them an ample selection of treats and toys to subdue their desires to overthrow the establishment.
What do you do in your spare time?
Hike, read, pet the cats. I also spend a lot of time working with my wife on an ethical fashion brand she co-founded called Darzah. The brand is part of a non-profit employing refugee and low income women in Palestine. It’s a cause that’s super important to me and my wife and one that we’re lucky to be a part of. You’ll see us around Portland working local fairs and markets and across the West Coast working higher-end design shows. It’s a full-time, part-time job and I [we] love it.
What’s something cool you’ve done?
In 2009 I biked across the United States with a team, we built Habitat homes along the way, ate a lot of peanut butter and made lasting lifelong friendships. It was just a fun summer, but a lot of people find it impressive, and that’s cool too.
What’s the best thing you’ve seen on Netflix?
'The Honorable Woman' starring Maggie Gyllenhaal. Stop what you’re doing right now and go watch it. It’s incredible.
What's your favorite thing to read?
The Sun. It’s an incredibly well-curated literary magazine. When it arrives in my mailbox each month I tear through it. When I’ve read it cover to cover I’m anxiously checking the mailbox for the next issue.
What have you learned from previous jobs and experiences that you take with you?
I’ve learned over the years that I’m my best self when I’m honest, vulnerable, humble, generous and a good listener. When you help, care and love others you learn far more than if you keep your thoughts, money and energy all to yourself. I think it’s just a good way to be and I’m still learning to be my best self. Whoa. That was a way heavier answer than I anticipated…