In short, I’m a web designer/developer currently living in British Columbia, Canada (just outside of Victoria, on the island), but I grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario. I’ve mostly been doing freelance work since mid-2005, working out of a cozy office in my home. I’m a father of two beautiful, strong-willed girls. I enjoy listening to my favourite albums on vinyl while sipping whiskey; typically bourbon or scotch. And spend my downtime playing video games or jamming on cover tunes with my lady.
I started blogging in July 2004, but I’ve been building sites WordPress since the beta version was released in 2003. In fall of 2005, I launched a redesign as part of the now defunct CSS Reboot, which gained me entry into the (then prestigious) design galleries. Shortly after, I was accepted into the 9rules network; a collection of hand-picked blogs from around the world, which helped to further expose this here site of mine.
On December 14th 2005, Microsoft announced that they had adopted Firefox’s RSS feed icon. Back then, web standards still needed a good push, and I saw this as an opportunity to standardize how we linked to RSS feeds on websites. I skipped work one morning to re-create the icon in vector, told everyone that we should all jump on board now that the two biggest browser developers were sporting this unified icon, and the world seemed to agree that it was a good idea.
All this attention brought loads of traffic my way. Plenty of which translated into freelance work, and relationships with people who I’ve never even sat down and had a coffee/beer with, from all corners of the globe.
Brief Work History
After completing my first year of multimedia design at Durham College, I felt that “higher education” wasn’t going to get me where I felt I needed to be, so I began my first real job search. I ending up landing a job at ‘The Nation’s Music Station‘, MuchMusic. For 2 years I co-hosted a weekly internet pop culture show under the moniker MuchMatt 2.0. I was later bumped up in the ranks to a senior position and continued to work in the Queen St. window until July of 2005.
Mid-July 2005, I moved on and joined the Participatory Culture Foundation, where I spent approximately 8 months managing their many sites and working on the open source internet television platform, Miro (formerly Democracy TV).
Since March 2006, I’ve worked as a freelance web designer/developer from the comfort of my home office. There was a year there, when I stopped taking client work and joined a start-up design firm, assuming the role of Lead Web Developer. It didn’t take long for me to realize just how good I had it; working with people I felt some form of connection with, on projects I was genuinely interested in. I jumped back to freelance work, and haven’t looked back. Well, maybe once or twice.
August 2018, after a couple years of ups-and-downs, I decided it was time for some stability. An old client reached out and connected me with his business partner, the CEO of Awesome Motive, who are responsibility for some of the most popular modern WordPress plugins. I was offered a designer position, working specifically on WPForms and Monster Insights, and I took it! At this time, I’m no longer taking on new clients.
I’ve been pretty big into video games for, well, since I received a Nintendo Entertainment System for Christmas in 1986. I got out of gaming for most of the 90s, while I was busy riding skateboards and playing in bands. I picked the habit back up in the early 2000s, but the focus was on PC gaming. A couple months after its release, I picked up an Xbox 360 and never looked back. Current gaming habits are leaning mostly on the PS4 side, but I also have an Xbox One and a Nintendo Switch.
Over the years, I’ve played in a number of bands. Most notably, a ska-punk band called Lucky Number Seven from 1997-2002. I was, and still am super tight with the other guys in the band. LNS is responsible for some of my fondest memories and I met so many great people playing shows around the country.
Though I don’t spend much time behind my drum kit these days, music still plays a huge role in my life. Spotify is always running while I’m at my desk, which is 8-10 hours per day.
In early 2017 I picked up an acoustic guitar and haven’t put it down since. Accompanied by my girlfriend (who also plays guitar, banjo, and sings), I’ve played numerous open mics and even paid gigs at the local pub.