While anonymity can be great, in the context of this blog and the ethos of Nighthouse, we believe that transparency is important.
A bit about me: I’m 34 years old at the time of writing, live in Chicago, and have had a lifetime fascination with both art and technology. My family got their first tower PC when I was around 9 or 10 years old and, through a 56k modem and America Online, I began exploring the World Wide Web. It was a completely new landscape at the time and even at that tender age I could see so much potential. It still is a unique space but it has also become so integrated in our lives that it is easy to take for granted how powerful it is and can be.
I would have never had the opportunity to travel to China in 2014 without the internet and the ability to communicate near-instantaneously across oceans. There I taught English at a primary school and later at an experimental English only winter camp for accelerated speakers. This was a formative experience for many reasons. But importantly to this blog and to our company is how it gave me tools for understanding how to teach and how to learn. When you are dropped into an unknown culture with no understanding of the language or customs you must adapt quickly. I bring this plucky insistence to overcome gaps in knowledge – and determination to solve the problems that those gaps create – to Nighthouse.
I’ve also spent several years in the restaurant industry in both the back-of-house and front-of-house. To most people this isn’t as impressive as spending time living and working in a foreign country. Those people have never worked in the industry. The skills you learn in restaurants are invaluable: speed and precision of tasks, timing, customer service and being able to communicate effectively with everyone.
When the pandemic shut down my restaurant in March of last year I was forced to reconsider my career choice. I could wait until the industry reopened and hope for a job or I could pivot. Mikey and I, in similar situations, decided to begin learning IT. Every weekday we would meet up and read through one of two thousand-plus page IT tomes and spend hours watching YouTube videos and taking practice exams. We were ready to take the CompTIA A+ exam when a friend asked me to build her an e-commerce site for her start-up. This was serendipitous and allowed us to pivot again into what you see now with Nighthouse. IT still forms a solid back-bone for our presence on the web, though, and we both now have a very firm grasp of the minute workings of the internet and computers in general.
Is it strange that someone who loves learning about and using technology is also very interested in creating art? Maybe a little. But I’ve also been drawing, painting, and creating digital art for at least as long as the first computer with AOL came into my family’s life. This is the last important skill that rounds out my contribution to the foundation of Nighthouse. I have years of hands-on art and design experience that interfaces well with the aesthetic goal of Nighthouse and the websites we create.
This blog is going to be a smash up of art, design, technology and webdev that hopefully speaks to the skills that I’ve outlined above.