Hi, my name is Sommer and I am an instructional designer.
I'm an artist and a writer. I'm an innovator, project manager, system administrator, forward-thinking theorist, teacher, voice narrator, video and audio editor, design hero, technology wizard, and out-of-the-box thinker. I am passionate about the everyday-ness of learning in all it's extraordinary forms.
What I mean is, we learn every day, in small and big ways, on purpose and by accident, online and offline. Whether it's an article in Fast Company about Amazon, a clickbait infographic on 100 uses for coconut oil shared on Facebook by our great aunt Margaret, a contentious class discussion about B.F. Skinner, or four hours lost in the labyrinth of Wikipedia after Googling the name of an actor from the 80s. It's in that ubiquitous curiosity that I am inspired to create and empower. Learning is everywhere.
For me, instructional design was love at first sight.
But I didn't come to it in a straight line. I first zig-zagged down different paths, wandered towards new passions, and filled my toolbox along the way full of odds and ends that always felt too fun to be called "work."
For fun, apart from my "grown-up job," I've done freelance work websites, web & print graphics and advertisements. I've written content for newspapers and websites, from restaurant reviews to the cultural impact of women in comics. Later, I began teaching training classes because I could break down technical processes for the non-tech savvy (thanks dad for all those "what's a URL??" phone calls!) and I had a knack for answering the urgent question "why does this matter to me?" I had no idea that there was one perfect career out there that combined all of my talents and passions until a manager recognized what I could do and began mentoring me. Not only did she teach me how to become a leader myself, but she also taught me that mentoring is the greatest form of personal and professional development. Great managers, and great mentors, have the power to change lives and she's proof.
Oh, one more thing...
About the left brain/right brain graphic on the front page: I designed this as a representation of my two favorite things - art and technology and how they make up who I have become. It was created in Adobe Photoshop with a vintage color palette. To represent my love of art and writing, the creative side was made using mostly punctuation in a variety of fonts.