As designers, we are communicators, educators, and students of the world. I love the creative process. To take an idea and turn it from a seed of inspiration into something that inspires — that is the exciting part. There’s no magic serum for it — the process can be difficult, it can be scary to put yourself out there — but in the end, there’s that idea, turned into a thing, that we send out into the world.
As a Creative Director, there is nothing I love more than helping guide a team through the creative process. My time spent in the School of Education at the University of Iowa taught me skills which would prove invaluable, as I now help develop the skills and talents of young professionals in multiple capacities.
I have been fortunate to find my path filled with many opportunities and experiences. I never cease to be amazed at how these experiences have blended together into the career I have today. I am fortunate to live a creative life where I can help inspire and grow the teams I work with. I cannot think of a more fulfilling way to spend my days.
MILWAUKEE INSTITUTE OF ART AND DESIGN
BFA in Communication/Graphic Design
UNIVERSITY OF IOWA
School of Education; Elementary and Special Education
FOCUS TRAINING ACCELERATE INSTITUTE
FOCUS TRAINING ELEVATE INSTITUTE
CPI (CRISIS PREVENTION INSTITUTE)
May 2014 to January 2019
MILWAUKEE INSTITUTE OF ART AND DESIGN
January 2017 to Present
Adjunct Professor: Senior Portfolio and Professional Development
December 2012 to May 2014
MJ DESIGNS, LLC
January 2011 to December 2012
Graphic Designer, Owner
January 2004 to January 2011
Art Director, Business Communications and Marketing Teams
Design is where it all began. As a young designer, graduating from MIAD, I landed my first job at a digital agency in Milwaukee’s Third Ward. Over the years I’ve had the good fortune to work with some great brands, including MillerCoors, Manpower Group, Sub-Zero and Wolf, Crisis Prevention Institute, and many more.
Concepting, Corporate Identity Systems, Editorial Layout, Print/Catalog/Promotional Design, Photography, Photo Editing, Presentation/Speaker Support, Information Graphics, Video (Art Direction), Website Design, User Experience Design
“A beacon of positive energy, Matt helps foster a creative environment of collaboration where it’s encouraged to experiment with others—he understands how creatives work and operate. He helps you reach further to find the right solution to whatever creative problem you’re attempting to solve. Enthusiastic, sincere, caring, Matt has it all as a creative leader. His eye for both the big picture and nit-picky details is second to none.”
– Carey Peck, Copywriter at CPI (See more endorsements on my LinkedIn profile.)
Ideation & Strategic Planning
One of my greatest strengths is leading a team through the process of strategic planning. Taking a request or idea and creating a strategy around how to plan, execute, and evaluate the solution. I’m able to see the 30,000-foot view and where we are headed, but also dive deep into the process at the ground level, moving fluidly in-between.
Brainstorming, Annual Planning, Project Planning, Process Development, Goal Setting, Campaign Strategy, Brand Strategy, Message Mapping, Systems Implementation
“He is always thinking outside the box when clients need new ideas. Matt goes the extra mile on everything he does and builds a special relationship with each person he encounters. Matt is the ‘goto’ guy for conducting a brainstorming meeting, strategic thinking, or just want to bounce an idea around.”
– Angie Holinka, former coworker at Fullhouse Interactive (See more endorsements on my LinkedIn profile.)
Team Building & Mentorship
As much as I love pulling together a strategy and executing on it, my true passion is working with people. Personal connections are at the center of every successful team. I work to create safe and collaborative environments, which allow people to bring their full self to work, empowering them to do their best. With these personal connections, you can guide and develop team members skills, playing to their strengths.
Teaching, Professional Development, Running Effective Meetings, Culture Building, Creating Collaborative Environments, Creative Retreats
“In the short time I met him during the interview process, I knew instantly this was the type of not only manager, but mentor that I wanted to work alongside. Matt's desire to develop strong teams built on skill, trust, and group collaboration were evident. In each interaction while working with Matt, I learned invaluable skills around professional development, creative ideation and team collaboration. He strives each day to support his team and they, above all, are always Matt's first concern.”
– Amy Christianson, Project Manager at CPI (See more endorsements on my LinkedIn profile.)