Back in college, I pulled an all-nighter, once every two weeks, to lay out the school newspaper. The process involved typeset galleys, blue-lined boards, hot wax and Xacto knives. A few years later I was working at a trade magazine company, doing about the same, but with regular hours. One morning, I arrived at the job to discover a brand new Macintosh IIx waiting for me. The revolution had come to my desk.
A few magazines (and a stint as a freelance illustrator) later, I took a job at a magazine for children’s librarians. I didn’t realize it at the time, but School Library Journal is legendary in the library world. It’s a highly respected source for reviews of children’s books and has been around since 1954!
At SLJ, I oversee the creative for School Library Journal’s editorial products. One of my favorite perennial projects is the SLJ Battle of the Kids Books competition where I serve up graphics for the site and for each battle in the tournament.
Since joining SLJ in 2001, I’ve designed 180 covers, and hundreds of feature layouts. I enjoy working with photographers and illustrators. I’ve arranged photo shoots with many superstars of children’s literature (including the authors of Twilight, The Hunger Games, Tale of Despereaux, and The Stinky Cheese Man). Top children’s book illustrators have created covers for us: Maurice Sendak, Kevin Henkes, Jerry Pinkney, Jules Feiffer, and so many more. It’s a fun job.
And for four interesting years between 2009 and 2013 I served in the capacity of creative director for our magazine group. In this role, I helped steer the magazines through a change of ownership. SLJ and Library Journal stayed together while the third magazine in the group, Publishers Weekly, went its own way. I was largely responsible for setting up our new art department from the ground up, including: determining hardware and software needs, lining up vendors for pre-press and stock photography; setting up a virtual proofing and scanning station; and ensuring a smooth transition to a new content management system for our editorial production process. I also created reception signage and identity materials!
Because our company is relatively small, everyone wears many hats. My responsibilities as art director are greater than ever as we produce much more than a print magazine (yes, once it was basically a print magazine). And the need for overall creative direction has waned with the transition behind us. My new title is ‘Director of Art and Production’ for School Library Journal which means that I’m mostly still doing what I have always been doing with the added responsibility of managing our production manager. Like I said, small company, many hats!
I enjoy my work, my colleagues, and the profession that we serve. And I value SLJ‘s important role as a respected review source for children’s and young adult literature and for our extensive coverage of the extremely talented authors and illustrators of these books.
I hope you enjoy the samples on my site! I enjoyed making them.