Metaphorically speaking, in some ways it appears the keys always get tossed to me to drive the vehicle. I seem to find myself in charge of projects and I contribute it to my dedication and expectation of a quality outcomes, and not because I am pushy. It actually had to do more with my great reputation among clients, employers, and employees. Not only am I an artist but it turns out that I am a honorable sales person, a solid estimator, and strong project manager. I grew from the ground up which really gave me an expert insight to how things are made, how much it cost, and how long it takes. This made for projects running really smoothly and in the correct order of events. Over the years I have gotten digital, there too learning the ends and outs as much as possible. I am proud to say that I have developed my skills in both digital arts and graphics arts, and I'm loving it. You can view some of my endeavors throughout this website. The results were amazing and in some cases the impossible became possible through staying organized and focused, creatively redirecting when needed to stay on budget and on time, while maintaining stakeholder quality expectations. Project Management is somewhat of an "Art", so I guess it made sense for me to go in this direction after all.
This project was formerly the Earthquake Ride and was scheduled for a reset to a new theme titled Disaster Studios. This was my very first endeavor as a front man for the company and I was the new Business Development Manager. I went to Orlando to review the job with Creative Universal and put together the scope of work. We got the project and were super excited considering it was my first sale in this brand new role. I did not know that the estimation process was not very developed and our bid turned out to be very low. This prompted me to investigate our estimation and it turns out there wasn't much of one. To protect ourselves from a bad reputation I lead the process to create a new bid form using excel and evaluated the standing bid against it. This lead to measuring the production and installation performance against our metrics to see how this project performed. Unwittingly I had stepped into the project management world and have had an amazing success rate ever since.
Artists at Work was a part of some amazing projects that stepped outside the attractions we themed and into the remainder of the facility. We were only able to handle around one facility remodel a year given how full our schedule was, and we often had to bring on more staff for these projects. The projects often outsourced fabrication details and had to coordinate with local resources. Projects included travel, hospitality, and resourcing supplies. Most of these endeavors were established FEC's that had installed one of our attractions and after seeing the quality and ease of our production, couldn't wait to improve the rest of their building. All these endeavors were successful on a project management agenda as well, usually coming well under budget and definitely completed on time.
Working on a cruise line project brings all kinds of challenges. This project was part of the largest cruise ships built at the time and everyone was vey excited to be a part of it, however pulling it off was not easy. We were awarded the custom playground area smack in the middle of the ship, and highly visible. This project was unique for me considering that it constantly travels, had exterior elements that include the temperaments of the ocean, and had applicable international rules and strict safety regulations. Weight turns out to be a huge consideration in order to keep the ship balanced as well as durability of product against the elements. Working in coordination with the ships captain and port schedule we were one of the last installations before launch. We were successful, on budget, on time, and with a very satisfied client and we quickly awarded more work.
This was a fast and very limited budget project with high quality expectations from a design client we had been courting for a number of years. Finally they brought us a project and challenged us to find a way to pull it off, a dark ride in a revamped park located in South Carolina. We decided that this was destined to be a printing job and looked to our outsource vendors as a solution resource. Direct to print was gaining ground and we settled on a product with a black plastic core and white aluminum face. My experience with dark ride production gave me the knowledge on how to bring it all together, including some simple animations. In the end the park itself failed but the company we did the work for was very satisfied with our results and ability to stay on budget.
Teaming up with a laser tag company to be their exclusive theming resource we accomplished 50+ installations all across America. This included estimation, designing, installation, and onsite theming. Majority of projects were UV black light productions which proved to allow some unique finishes and solutions. Also included coordinating travel, hospitality, staffing, and outsourced vendors in multiple locations. Our success rate and end product were considered one of the best in the industry at that time. Special thanks to this company and its years of dedication and support to Artists at Work.
IKEA was project that provided a constant source of revenue with multiple projects each year. When I was tasked to Project Manager it became obvious to me there was no clear metrics on the production or standards in place. After extensive review I discovered a loss in production. Some was due to so many accomplishing this task in different ways, creating templates, failing molds, and lack of documentation. I created Standards in Production (SIP's) and eventually provided evidence to raise some prices, replace some molds, and implemented safety standards. This resulted in a renewal of the contract and an expansion to some international locations.
This project seemed impossible, after all the client was asking us to make pigs fly. Bush Beans was expanding its corporate museum to include its very successful campaign that involved a pig on a skateboard with pilot googles flying about. Such a fun project that involved some extensive animation using an industrial style solution to keep our curly tail friend constantly moving around the museum along the ceiling. We also helped produce additional display elements and signage, on on budget and on time.
This was my owned and operated escape room. It was a Legendary Adventure Indeed! I actually project managed every aspect of this project including build site plans, contractor resourcing, build out, inspections, fire marshals, product design, product build out, installation, lighting fx, sound fx, animations and fx, scenic work, art finish, signage, and graphic design, and website development. Then I had to figure out marketing and advertising and quickly realized print was not as beneficial as an online presence. Then I mastered the booking system, google ads, facebook ads, and most important was SEO, Social Media Management, topped off with Google Ratings. Unfortunately in March of 2020 I had to walk away from the attraction for personal reasons related to Covid-19. Luckily the Time Emporium took over and kept the Puzzler Alive till the summer of 2021.
If you do not know about this place, you probably should. It is place that brings ill children to explore the theme parks in Orlando and it was an honor to work with them. Through fund raising they have transformed their property into a theme park itself. Our project with them was a version of candy land called Matthew's playground. A great story behind it and it was dedicated to a former guest. Some projects are not about money, but about good will. This was one of them.
Every year during the Players Championship fundraisers are set up to entertain guests and raise money for charities. We were tasked with creating the world famous 17th hole replica. A giant knee deep pool is constructed with an enormous tent. Our product had to stand the test of time and was constructed out off foam and fake green carpet. Huge success and as a fan favorite it was done every year. Every year improvements are made and eventually a second version was produced. Every time the project was successful.
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