My life online.
Look at the message I got from AOL, "Thanks for being with AOL Mail since 1996." Wow, I can't believe it's been that long! My first experience with the internet was as a college student in the early 90's at a friend’s house in Connecticut. Her family owned a personal computer and ran CompuServe as the internet service. The internet and / or being online was interesting, but at the time I wasn't interested in it. Computers weren't new to me. I had been using them since the 7th grade when we used the all-in-one bulky Radio Shack computer to learn how to type and play the game Oregon Trail.
In my senior year of high school our art room was lucky to get one Apple computer with a printer. That was my first experience with computer graphics and I am forever grateful to Mr McLean, my art teacher, who let me create whatever and whenever I wanted.
Knowing that I wanted to pursue art as a career - and make money at it too - I became a student of graphic design at the Junior College of Albany, New York. This was in 1990 when the world of graphic design was changing from hands-on mechanical board layouts to computer designed layouts on a disk. I became a ‘wiz’ on Apple computers and I could design one-of-a-kind logos, brochures and print material from concept to final printed piece all with the click of a mouse. I transferred to the School of Visual Arts in New York City and started to hear more and more talk about the "internet", but internet access wasn't commonplace and I didn't even have an email address. During the fall of 1994 I was taking a class in Photoshop and the teacher was suggesting the internet was going to be the "next big thing" and there would be a need for graphic designers to design well designed websites. At the time internet design was all HTML coding and I did not want to bother with that since I was just about to graduate.
The first email address and internet access I had was in 1995 when I got my first real "graphic designer" job at First Brands Corporation in Connecticut. It was like freedom at my fingertips for communication and information access. My graphic design career took off and with the internet and email I had access to the world with no limits to what I could create. The rest my friends is history!
By Geri E. Neumann