portfolio and profile

Profile

My name is Brent Garren. I am a graphic designer, web designer, and web programmer. I also have experience in server management as a web hosting provider. I am seeking freelance, telecommute, or part-time work where I can contribute my skills in a team environment.

Overview

Skilled, Experienced, and Versatile

I have been employed in the industry since 1992. I have been self employed since May of 2000 freelancing in the graphic and web industry.

My skills are hard-earned from real world situations where I alone had to develop both technical and creative solutions.

Capable of Working Remotely

I live in North Carolina and have worked with clients locally and from around the country on a remote basis (Florida, Colorado, Alabama, Arizona, and New York).

Learner and Teacher

I love to learn and I have taught myself many of the skills I know including Photoshop (and other applications) as well as all my internet skills (HTML, PHP, MySQL, etc.).

I love to teach others what I have learned. I am empowered by empowering people. I have enjoyed teaching in different situations including two teaching assistant roles while at SUNY-Purchase, a number of Continuing Education courses at AB-Tech in Asheville, NC, and other various situations such as one-day seminars and one-hour classes at CityMac in Asheville.

Team Player

I have played various organized team sports for over two decades combined. From my experience, I appreciate competition and I love working in a team environment.

Background

I have a background in fine arts, earning my degree from SUNY-Purchase in 1997. From that background, I moved into graphics as a means of earning a living.

After a few years of working in the graphic design field, I wanted to transition into web design. It seemed a natural evolution, but I learned it was an entirely different arena.

There were many new things to learn. I taught myself how to use HTML and Javascript. With a few freelance projects I knew that I was in the right world for me. So, I decided to start working for myself in 2000.

Since then, I’ve worked on many projects in graphic design, web design, and web development. I have also provided dedicated hosting service to my clients for over 15 years.

I never imagined I would find my way from fine arts through graphic design and all the way to web development — but that’s what happened. From that, I have found myself sometimes fulfilling several job roles for clients.

Web Technologies

  Years
Experience
HTML, CSS 21
Javascript 19
PHP 18
MySQL 18
Apache, Linux, .htaccess, bash 16
Regular Expressions 15
jQuery, AJAX, JSON 8
Layout Applications 27
Adobe Photoshop 25
Adobe Illustrator 25

HTML & CSS

I have been using HTML since 1999 and CSS since 2001. I have applied these technologies to web sites and interfaces extensively.

Javascript, jQuery, Ajax, JSON

I have been utilizing the functionality and interactivity of Javascript in websites since 2000. Years later, jQuery, Ajax, and JSON were very easy to pick up building on that experience.

PHP & MySQL

In 2001, I started teaching myself PHP and MySQL. I took on a very ambitious project of developing a content management system (CMS) for a client (which was used later for other clients). It was a huge undertaking covering several years, but I learned the foundation of PHP and MySQL from doing it. It was an extreme approach and very difficult, but the skills I learned were hard earned. I have utilized PHP and MySQL over a broad scope of websites and web applications.

Regular Expressions

When I delved into regular expressions, I didn’t really know how difficult they would be to learn, but the power I can leverage with them was welll worth it. I use them routinely with ease in many places and I can construct complex and usable regular expressions when needed.

Apache, Linux, bash, .htaccess

I have provided web hosting for my clients for 13 years on dedicated servers — all my knowledge of these technologies comes from maintaining my own web server.

Education

  • T. C. Roberson High School
    • In addition to the regular curriculum, I studied art and drafting.
    • I Graduated in 1985.
  • University of North Carolina at Asheville
    • A humanities focused university where I was enrolled in the fine arts program.
    • I attended 1985-1989 and 1991.
  • State University of New York – Purchase
    • A highly regarded art conservatory school where I received my B.F.A.
    • I Graduated in 1997.

Employment

  • Everett Studios – White Plains, NY (1997-1998).
    • Photo enhancement and retouching
    • Image preparation for an array of print devices
  • Rapid River Literary Magazine – Asheville, NC (1998-1999)
    • Ad and cover design layout
    • Publication layout
    • Notable Contribution: When I began working with Rapid River, the magazine had just started and was very small and struggling. Through my suggestions and experience, the magazine evolved from a “homemade” literary magazine into a viable art publication. I helped to add a stronger visual scope to the magazine which attracted more advertisers. The publisher, Dennis Ray, has commented that I gave the magazine the foothold it needed to grow into a respected local arts, music, and literature magazine – and it is still being published today.
  • Mountain Xpress – Asheville, NC (1999-2000)
    • Ad and cover design.
  • Self-Employment – Asheville, NC (2000-present)
    • Graphic design
    • Web design
    • Web development and programming
    • Web hosting and web server management