A New Beginning

Hello, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Rick Stringer, and I’ve been active in the creative arts industry since 1984.

My journey began in Los Angeles with the purchase of an airbrush, a tool I instantly fell in love with. Initially, I taught myself how to use it, and later enrolled in a couple of classes at Otis College of Art and Design, which turned out to be a transformative experience. I only took two classes there, but these significantly shaped my career.

My airbrush instructor was a graffiti artist named Barry Farr. Sadly, we’ve lost touch, but his mentorship and teachings have stayed with me over the years. One day in class, while observing my photo-realistic illustration, Barry mentioned a potential job opportunity. As a young individual kickstarting my career, this was an exhilarating proposition.

Barry had secured a project involving the new construction along Wilshire Blvd, between L.A. and Beverly Hills. The plan was to adorn the temporary protective wall for pedestrians with a mural. Together, we painted realistic, life-sized people on 4′ x 8′ panels in his studio. The sheer quantity of these panels was enough to cover one side of a city block. This project was a wonderful experience and served as the launchpad for my career.

I later relocated to the Chicago area and joined a small advertising and marketing firm, R N Johnson and Associates. This became another crucial stepping stone in my career. In their office was a Macintosh, which was introduced just a year prior. I had no idea then how that small machine would revolutionize my life. During my tenure, I created production artwork and learned as much as I could about the Mac.

Upon my brother’s persuasion, I explored the market in Grand Rapids, Michigan. There, I joined a design firm, Michael VanderWall Design, which was also interested in Macintosh. It was a great opportunity to expand my knowledge of the graphic arts industry and the Mac.

However, as the company began to face difficulties, I started searching for new opportunities. That’s when I came across an ad that perfectly matched my skills. The company was Corbin Design, located in Traverse City, Michigan. Although I had earlier vowed never to live farther north than Grand Rapids, after receiving high recommendations about Corbin Design, I decided to take a leap of faith and sent in my resume and portfolio.

To my delight, they invited me to Traverse City and offered me a job on the very day of my interview. Unable to resist the opportunity, I moved to Traverse City with my wife and small son in 1992.

Over the years, I have honed my skills. As the Vice President and Technology Director for Corbin Design, I’ve worked on illustrations, maps, and Filemaker database designs, while managing all the company’s computers. Now, after nearly 30 years at Corbin Design, I’m ready for a new challenge.

If your small business needs help with artwork, database design, or Macintosh computer assistance, I’m the person you’re seeking.

Thank you for reading this far, and I hope we can collaborate to create something wonderful.