Hi! I’m Nae. I like to make things. All sorts of things. Whether that means sitting down at a computer, leaning over a workbench, or heading outside, I just deeply enjoy the process of making. I’ve been making things since I was a kid, when my favorite pastimes were crafting origami and sewing my own stuffed animals. As soon as I was introduced to a computer, I taught myself HTML and made my first websites when I was barely nine years old. I didn’t have any kind of grasp on color theory or the principles of design at the time (what’s up, black starry .gif backgrounds?), but I dove in head-first and have enjoyed every second of the adventure I set off on.
As I went through grade school, I leaned heavily towards photography and digital design. After exhausting my high school’s art courses, I was allowed to dual enroll in Lansing Community College to further explore my interest in design. I believe that studying typography at LCC with a set of French curves, straight edges, and micron pens gave me confidence to pursue design at the collegiate level. I was accepted into the University of Michigan’s School of Art and Design where I explored a wide variety of art forms and design concepts, techniques, and methodologies.
At U of M, I focused heavily on metalsmithing and digital design while dedicating much of my spare time to photography and woodworking and even dabbling in game design and sculpture. For my thesis I created a series of jewelry pieces focusing on space and the concept of being whole. I crafted beautiful slabs of mokume-gane for this project which became my favorite type of material to work with.
After university, I moved to Austin, TX with the hopes of finding a design job. In the mean time, I took a role as a Jr. Systems Administrator at Hostgator.com to pay the bills. I ended up falling in love with helping hosting customers and providing the best customer experience possible. After working my way up through the company I became the Director of International Operations. I spent most of my time in Southeast Asia working with our staff on everything from training and policies to project management and system development. After almost three years, I was eager to return to my roots and moved across the country to Seattle, WA to reinvest in my passion of design.
In my adventures in Seattle to figure out what I want to do with my life, I’ve challenged myself to try a variety of new things. I taught myself Unity 3D and created Flappy Bax. I started making pixel art and new vector illustrations. I designed a pattern for a case for my 3DS XL then modified it to fit most other portable gaming systems. I realized that I really like sewing after never taking a fibers course in college. In my attempt to follow what I enjoy doing, I’ve developed a small brand, Beandog Labs, named after my furry companion and best friend Baxter (notice a theme here?). While I initially started by creating fan art and entirely customized products for fans who couldn’t find that one item they really wanted, I’m now spending my time moving into creating an entire new product line of accessories with my own characters, designs, and patterns. It has been an extremely rewarding process full of new challenges and I can’t wait to see where it goes!