Art & Design & Me
I don’t remember ever making Children’s Art. Instead, at the age of 6, I traced a ballerina out of Life Magazine. It was a thrill. I do remember imitating art done by older kids: war scenes, comic book characters, hot rods and nakedness. From age 8 to 12, my good friend was Caroline Rixford Byrd, a painter who had studied under James McNeil Whistler. At age 10, I spent a year making an “authentic” Plains Indian costume for myself. As a teenager, under the name “Manwell”, I pinstriped and scalloped hot rods. As a member of the “El Bravados” (sic) car club, I designed the club logo, jackets and plaques.
Then came the San Francisco Art Institute, where I eventually found my way to the work of Josef Muller-Brockmann, the renowned Swiss graphic designer and teacher.
As a San Francisco-based Graphic Designer, some of my projects included an interpretive signage project for the San Francisco Art Commission that combines poetry, cultural and natural history on The Embarcadero Promenade, a two and one-half mile section of the San Francisco waterfront; and, a permanent outdoor installation on the work of Eugene O’Neill in Danville, California. I was profiled in Time Magazine, and was featured in the first exhibition of graphic design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, In the Public Eye: the work of four graphic designers. I received the Allied Professions Award from the California Council of the American Institute of Architects, and am a Fellow in the American Institute of Graphic Arts San Francisco, and the Society for Environmental Graphic Design.
I have taught at the College of Environmental Design UC Berkeley, Kent State University, and was an Adjunct Professor of Design at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco from 1976 to 2001.
From the ballerina to right now, making images has been a life-long pleasure.