Hi. My name is Kate Wallace and I'm a photographer, graphic designer, and writer.

I went to the College of Saint Benedict for a liberal studies major with an emphasis on graphic design. Three years later I decided that wasn't enough and got a master's degree in mass communications.

I like the creative side of logistics. There are many times when I identify with being a left-brainer, then there are other times when I completely understand the right side of my brain. I may not be a very innovative graphic artist, but I am definitely a graphic designer. I love to write creative non-fiction and revel in the rules of punctuation and spelling. Photography combines the artistic and the logistics in everything about it.

Take a look; have a peek; chance a glance.

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design

When I started at the College of Saint Benedict, I was planning on being a Spanish major and a music minor. After a semester of Spanish at the college level, that quickly changed, and I delved into a copy of "What Color is your Parachute." One of the questions asked what your favorite class in high school was, and I quickly thought of working on the yearbook - desktop publishing. St. Ben's didn't have a desktop publishing or graphic design major, so I crafted my own with a liberal studies major.

Part of my major was an internship at the Communications office at St. Ben's, so that was my first taste of working with design. i quickly adapted to using Quark 4 and Photoshop 5 then backing up everything on zip disks. Those were the days.

After I graduated, I got a job at the St. Joseph and Sartell Newsleaders, a free weekly newspaper located in the same small town as my alma mater. I did the weekly ad design for both papers at first, then branched out into writing columns, covering the St. Joseph city council meetings and local events, and proofreading the newspapers every Wednesday night. I also became the local computer tech in a way as well, although when things got really bad, we had to call in the big guns. There was only so much you could do with Mac OS9.

After 2-1/2 years at the Newsleaders, I got a job offer at Northwest Supply in Waite Park as the marketing coordinator. I was responsible for creating flyers for any weekly specials, creating 8-page flyers for monthly specials, and also creating a catalog of the entire facility's SKUs. The catalog took a lot of time, especially when items were deleted and added on a weekly basis. When the catalog was finished, I started working on updating the website, but soon the company was purchased by another in Fargo, renamed to Midwest Supply, and my position was considered unnecessary. I was let go after a little less than three years.

Thankfully at this time, I was also enrolled at St. Cloud State University working on my master's degree in mass communications. I focused on the semester and finding a job. After three fruitless months, I found a graduate assistantship on the SCSU website and applied. The assistantship was through the Communications office there as well - my institutional background in design gave me a leg up, because they pretty much hired me on the spot. I was able to work my last semester designing flyers, logos, website graphics, newsletters, and pretty much whatever they needed help with. I'm sorry I only had a semester with them!

After a month of working at Target to make ends meet, I had an interview with Merrill Communications in St. Cloud and was hired as a prepress technician. Because of this job, I've gotten a much better understanding of the print world from the printer's perpective. I work with provided files to make sure all the fonts, images, and colors are correct and print ready. I also prepare proofs for customer approval and output large-format and small-format press plates. While I am immersed in the technical aspects of Adobe's products on a daily basis, there isn't a lot of creative design work with this position, but I supplement it with working on freelance jobs, personal projects, and fun things at home. I miss the design work on a daily basis.

One of the freelance projects I've taken up recently is volunteering marketing skills at a local food and art co-op. They needed someone to handle marketing on the art side (food is taken care of), and I am that person. I just started, but I will be thinking up events, designing flyers and advertisements, writing copy, and photographing anything that needs photographing. I am excited about this because it combines everything I do and I can learn as I go.

As far as web design goes, I have created sites for my personal use since as early as 1998 as well as designed a professional site for my mom. I don't claim to be an expert on code, and it frustrates me all the time. But when it works? I am a happy, happy person. I've used HTML extensively and have recently made myself incorporate CSS more and more. I know that if I used CSS on a daily basis, it would become second nature to me. The same goes for Flash - I've used Flash and took a class on Macromedia Director - but given a short amount of intensive time with them, I would become proficient pretty quickly.

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