Profile image of Mike Widener
Mike Widener
Mac® Multimedia Designer
View My Designs

About

Multimedia Designers with Junior Graphic Design skill are valuable because in addition to a willingness to learn Graphic Design disclipline, they already know a great deal about file types, animation using Adobe Creative Suite, and those that have an IT background, like me, are hard to find. That means I can continue working through technical challenges by successfully conveying the source of a technical problem to the helpdesk so that the help desk is best informed about the true problem. That keeps me productive. From a Supervisor's perspective, I can serve as the in-team IT liaison to help users having problems with their workstations. I can also work independently and stick to my priorities, without interrupting or distracting co-workers. It all simply depends on which culture is the dominant one for the team, or department, I'm working in.

I know that the title "Multimedia Designer" may mean video editing to some, or Instructional Design to others. But mine is a one-of-a-kind, custom-made Bachelor of Science in Multimedia Design. It included, in my education at American University: web programming, junior graphic design (100 and 200 level courses), and advanced courses in Multimedia Design. Multimedia, for my degree, was taking Graphic Designs and making them 'move.' In other words, adding 'motion' to static designs. Having focused on moving visual elements for my one-of-a-kind degree, I am good at knowing what moves comfortable on a webpage for an end user. I love what I do, and I have a passion for what I do. I'm not always as fast as I wish I were but I'm down-to-earth, and have been making websites since 1996, professionally, and that's over two decades. See my story to see how far I've come. Hire me to bring 'motion' to your websites. My weakness is typography and color theory. My strengths are file types, making Photoshop templates out of original designs so other teammates can use them to work faster. I truly love helping other people but I know I can't do that 'willy nilly' and that has been my mistake in the past. (It's because Supervisors have agendas for different team members and I shouldn't interfere. Even though I don't mean to, I do if I'm so helpful I'm unwittingly interfering. Plus it means I'm not working my own work as quickly when I'm helping someone else which can frustrate my own Supervisor. I just want to be a nice guy and do quality work. I don't mind less pay in return slower work - if I'm not as fast as my Supervior expected. I will become faster; because I'm always learning.)

  • cps emblem cps campus

    1984-1988

    Honors High School

    Not everyone goes to a high school famous for honor, integrity, and creativity. Mike attended CPS in Oakland, California acclimating to intellectual rigor, problem-solving, critical thinking, and teamwork through sports. The University of California recognizes CPS as an honors institution because all classes are taught at the honors level. Mike graduated with a 3.5 GPA. GPAs from honors high schools are calculated one grade point higher than the transcript when applying for admission at post secondary institutions and Universities. This means Mike's high school GPA is a 4.5.

  • mac plus se image graphics office

    1988 - 1989

    Image Graphics

    Mike got his first job in Graphic Design for a small design firm in Oakland, California. Back then, computers were slower and relatively more expensive. Mike learned to design on a small black and white screen using Super Paint and ran the mail merge for the office's marketing campaign using Microsoft Word.

  • usf logo usf campus

    1989 - 1994

    Community College & USF

    After deciding he would like to become better at Graphic Design, Mike left the workforce to focus full-time on education. He enrolled in Community College in Oakland, California majoring in Desktop Publishing. Mike transferred to the University of San Francisco to continue his education. He was elected Freshman Class President in his first year and won as a write-in after memorizing the names of 200 freshmen he had just met. He is the only one who has ever done that in the school's history.

  • george lucas thanks skywalker ranch

    1994 - 1995

    Skywalker Ranch & George Lucas

    Mike left the University of San Francisco for a once-in-a-lifetime internship at Skywalker Ranch with his idol, George Lucas. Mike became an IT Assistant at the George Lucas Educational Foundation where he improved his computer support skills while studying the convergence of education and technology in the Foundation's specialized education technology library. He also used Mozilla during its first launch and was excited about his future. Researching the Foundation's library revealed a computer animation school in Sunnyvale, California. Immediately following his internship's end, Mike moved to Sunnyvale and enrolled.

  • cogswell art cogswell art

    1995 - 1996

    Cogswell & Domino Computer

    After feeling disconnected from the workforce for too long, yet realizing he needed to remain current with evolving technologies, Mike decided to take a new approach: to work while going to school. He took a job at a computer store as a salesperson and technician so he could personally build the products he sold. He also attended animation school to continue his pursuit of digital design. He learned customer service and technical support and then moved on to network administration, obtaining his Novell Netware Certification and earning $60 an hour doing network "house calls." Mike's boss called his computers "bullet-proof." It may have had something to do with Mike's 27-step preparation plan used on every computer he built.

  • old christchurch new zealand

    1996 - 2000

    New Zealand & WWW

    When traveling between school and work became too grueling, Mike's high school friend invited him to move to New Zealand for a change of pace. There, Mike created an online video game retailer that received 1.2 million hits in its first year. He and his partner made the front page of New Zealand's largest newspaper and were featured on television as an innovative, technology-based retailer. At the time, theirs was the only website featuring videos of gameplay to overcome buyer's reluctance and give customers a preview of gameplay before purchasing. Click here to dig around Google and see some of the articles about Mike in New Zealand. One of the links reveals a little known fact about Mike: Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com cited Mike's website, Gamescape.co.nz in his Patent document. View the document here: Amazon.com Patent document.

  • silicon valley traffic los gatos, california

    2000 - 2003

    The Start-up Bubble

    During the time Mike was in New Zealand, the dot-com bubble started growing. Unemployment in the U.S. hit an all-time low of 4.6%. Tech companies were searching high and low for creative talent to fuel innovative start-ups. Mike moved back to the United States to leverage his experience in his New Zealand start-up and grow his experience in the larger, more competitive U.S. market. In Los Gatos, California, Mike learned the value of separating the front-end from the back-end so specialized talent can be more productive. Mike was promoted to Product Manager after creating a prototype to redesign his employer's software interface based on user feedback. Later, he was promoted to Director of User Interface Design. Mike's work helped sell their web application and their start-up for several hundred thousand dollars and won Mike an invitation to join the same executive team at their next start-up.

  • au emblem katzen arts center

    2003 - 2011

    American University
    & Phantom Records

    Shortly after getting hired at the new start-up, the tragedies of 9/11 led investors to pull the funding at Mike's new employer. With start-up funding ending all over Silicon Valley, Mike decided it was time to return to school. Feeling dissatisfied with the educational opportunities in California, Mike moved to the East Coast and enrolled in American University. There, he created a custom-made degree combining Graphic Design, Multimedia, and Web Programming. Mike graduated with the only Bachelor of Science in Multimedia Design and Development in the University's history. While going to school part-time, Mike also worked part-time to apply what he learned directly to the work world. He graduated on May 8th, 2011 with a 3.49 GPA but the school had him walk with the honors students.

  • the fountain in downtown silver spring, maryland downtown silver spring, maryland

    2011 - 2015

    Experience & Education Applied

    After graduating from American University, Mike applied his education and experience to develop Phantom Records' website into a rich, multimedia, database-driven site. After updating the site to the most modern it can be, his employer, Phantom Records, moved the site into maintenance mode. Without a site to apply his talents, Mike negotiated the option to take on contracts that would allow him to remain current and broaden his skill set. Between 2013 and now, Mike completed several contracts building sites for the TSA, the Glenmont United Methodist Church, and a start-up government contractor.

  • full sail university logo nih nightline

    2015 - Present

    Full Sail University &
    The National Institutes of Health

    Now that Mike has demonstrated his ability to create modern, database-driven websites, he is broadening his skill set with bleeding-edge Web Design, JavaScript Web Development, and Data Visualization Programming for the NIH. Mike's longer term plan is to master both the creative and technical aspects of creating electronic experiences. Additionally, he is under the direction of his mentor, learning the software development lifecycle to round out his skills with project management and business development. In a few years, his expertise will equip him to contribute to enterprise-level, web-based projects and step in at any stage to ensure the beauty of its design, the soundness of its programming, and the success of the project through professional project management. He will be a valuable asset on any web-based project.

  • What Work
    Do You
    Hire For?

Connect

Check out these new ways to connect!

Phone Calling Link

By Conference

We'll Use GoToMeeting to Show & Tell

By Email

By Telephone

We'll Dial You - Just Follow The Prompts!

Connect with Facebook

By Facebook

We'll Load Facebook - You Can IM!

Portfolio

Check out my work and skill set.

HTML5 thumnail

HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript/Ps

Intermediate Skill

jQuery thumbnail

jQuery/AJAX/Bootstrap

Entry-Level Skill

PHP design 1 thumbnail

PHP/MySQL/JSON/As

Entry-Level Skill

Poster Design thumbnail

Lindsay Eythe

Poster Design

Stamp Design thumbnail

Lindsay Eythe

Stamp Design

Ad Design thumbnail

Ross Nover

Ad Design

Game Design thumbnail

Brian Davis

Game Design

DVD Menu thumbnail

Randall Packer

DVD Menu & Video Editing

Production Bumper thumbnail

Kylos Brannon

Production Bumper Design

Glenmont Methodist Church thumbnail

Glenmont UMC

Website Design & Maintenance

Double O Technologies thumbnail

Double O Technologies

Website Design & Maintenance

Frag-tastic thumbnail

Frag-tastic Travel

Website Design

Phantom Records thumbnail

Phantom Records

Website Design & Maintenance

Phantom Records thumbnail

Phantom Records

Web Application

Phantom Records thumbnail

Phantom Records

Compact Disc Packaging Design

Phantom Records thumbnail

Phantom Records

Commercial DJ Mix
"Wild Wild West"

Phantom Records thumnail

Phantom Records

Commercial DJ Mix
"My Love Is Your Love"

Phantom Records thumbnail

Phantom Records

Commercial DJ Mix
"Faithfully"

About Mike's Animations

Mike created this page to respond to a question about his animation skill. Please see Mike's animations below and reach out to your recruiting contact with any additional questions. And see the vimeo video below for Mike's narrated presentation about Graphic Design and Mike's hard work becoming a Designer. Mike would love to improve it because he feels like his Designs are never finished! He just turns them in because he knows deadlines are deadlines! Mike also "DJ-ed" the background tracks for this.


...

  • mini-game sketch step stand disarm mini game

    Flash Animation

    Step Stand Disarm

    Mike created an interactive "mini game" animation to represent the "Peace Process" in an interesting way. He bought a dance pad with a USB cable connection. The dance pad is three feet by three feet wide. He then designed a "cover" for the pad. His "cover" was also three feet by three, designed in Adobe Photoshop and created at full print quality: 300DPI. That is an extremely large file and it was very time consuming to work with but Mike believes in quality and flexibility so he did it anyway. He had the "cover" printed at FedEx Office on to vinyl paper. The then "stuck" the "cover" on top of the dance pad so that his "pictures" precisely covered the dance pad's contact points. In other words, a dancer stepping on his "pictures" would activate the "hotspots" beneath the "cover" and send a signal into the "mini game" he created. The "mini game" was made in Adobe Flash, and he used a small Mac OS X utlitity to interpret the dance pad's "buttons" to send keyboard keystrokes depending on which one was "stepped on" or "pressed." The keystrokes were then mapped, within Flash, to activate certain animation sequences. During his design process, it was told to Mike that moving within Flash from one "Scene" to another the way Mike wanted was impossible. Mike searched Google for three days and found the same claim. So what did he do? He guessed. Based on the "syntax" of ActionScript, Mike created an original code sequence and it worked! He still won't even share it! Because he wants to see if anyone else can figure it out. See his animation here. Fair Warning: His "Mini Game" was not made to be a full game. It was an animation that was supposed to "pretend to be an museume exhibit but then surprise a user who stepped on the nearby dance pad." So there are no instructions that popup. Simply click anywhere on the game's screen to make it start. You will have to figure it out, just like you'd have to figure out the "Peace Process" if you were a Diplomat. There are not manuals! Click here to see the artistic statment.

  • mac plus se image graphics office

    ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS ANIMATION

    Kinetic Type

    "Kinetic Type" is a type of animation with moving text. Movies that have opening sequences with elaborate movements, such as the Spiderman movies, where the camera moves around the web hopping from one text phrase to another, are using "Kinetic Type" or "moving text." Mike used Adobe After Effects to create this animation. But with this one, he also used his DJ-skill to "time" the animation to the audio in the attached sound file. An author read their famous passage from "Lenore," and Mike animated the entire portion. This is only a portion, as the project was split between Mike and others: Lenore Kinetic Type Animation.

  • animation3 thumbnail animation3

    ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS WEB BANNERS & ADS

    AARP Amimations

    After creating hollywood quality animations for this project, Mike received feedback that he only had to make very simply, slow-moving animations because the senior customers viewing the animations were likely only interested in that, instead of something too fancy. Mike created these to accomodate the Client's request. These are very easy to make and fun to make in various colors or to make various alternatives such as ones that play normally and ones that play on holidays with different animation that's festive. To make the Ads "aware" of the holiday, Mike uses PHP to detect the date and then swith the animation file to that holiday's version. Then it switches back when the holiday is over. See one of them here. NOTE: The animation is very slow!

  • How Soon
    Do You
    Need It?

Certificates & Degree

Check out my certifications and degree.

Photoshop Certification thumbnail

Certified in
Photoshop

Adobe Systems, Inc.
Active in 2012

Flash Certification thumbnail

Certified in
Flash

Adobe Systems, Inc.
Active in 2012

Ad Design thumbnail

Certified in
Dreamweaver

Adobe Systems, Inc.
Active in 2012

A plus Certification thumbnail

IT Professional:
A+ Certification

CompTIA
Active in 2012

Computing Fundamentals certification thumbnail

IT Professional:
Computing Fundamentals

Certiport
Active in 2012

Microsoft Office certification thumbnail

IT Professoinal:
MS Office User Specialist

Microsoft
Active in 2012

Bachelor's degree thumbnail

Undergraduate Education:
B.S. in Multimedia Design

American University
Washington, D.C. (On Campus)
Graduated in 2011

Additional education thumbnail

Additional Education:
Dual B.A. in Graphic & Web Design

Full Sail University
Winter Park, Florida (Online)
Withdrew due to work

PhD thumbnail

Additional Education:
M.B.A.

Jack Welch Management Institute
Herndon, Virginia (Online)
Withdrew due to work

College Prep High School


References

Some of my closest friends started out as co-workers. Clients, co-workers, and supervisors — you'll find them all here to vouch for my work ethic, technical creativity, and drive. You will find all of these references connected to me on my LinkedIn profile.

Client testimonial thumbnail

Attorney

Employment Law

The Marker Law Firm

Active Client since 2016

Client testimonial thumbnail

Contractor

Performance Analysis Expert

KHD Performance Analysis

Active Client since 2015

Client testimonial thumnail

Contractor

Owner & CEO

Double O Technologies, LLC

Active Client since 2014

Client testimonial thumbnail

Secretary

Church Secretary (Former)

Glenmont UMC

Active Client since 2015

Reference testimonial thumbnail

Graphic Designer

Illustrator & Graphic Designer

BAE Systems

Design Reference since 2012

Reference testimonial thumbnail

Big Data Analytics Expert

Big Data Analyst
Wells Fargo Bank (Former)

Technical Reference since 2015

Reference testimonial thumbnail

Engineer

Senior Software Engineer
IT Evo, LLC

Technical Reference since 2015

Reference testimonial thumbnail

Designer

UX Designer

Stanford University

Technical Reference since 1994