About Me | online portfolio

I am a freelance designer, wife and mother of three living and working from my home in the beautiful Napa Valley. I have always been an artist, but didn't discover my talent until I discovered the Mac in 1983. I had played with key punch cards as a child...my mother was one of the first female computer programmers back when computers took up an entire floor...she taught me how to use the first IBM PC that came onto the market...that one only took up the whole kitchen table.


  

My own very first home computer had 20 MB of memory and was 4 Hz fast. I had a dot matrix printer and a 1200 baud modem...and the floppy discs were actually were floppy!

In 1990, I published my first newsletter, MotherWorks, which focused on alternatives for women who wanted to work from home.

   
That quickly developed into a Magazine supported by local advertising. The Golden Carrot and Tidee Didee Diaper Service were my first advertisers. I created the first Home Business Catalog and my friends and I sold crafts through mail order. MotherWorks was a wonderful experience but as my kids grew I hungered to do more.

My corporate experience began in 1992, when I got a part time job as a production assistant with The Doctors' Company. I climbed the corporate ladder working as a graphic artist and designer creating annual reports and collateral material, and eventually became Internet Project Manager. It was there I cut my teeth on the web, designing my very first website in 1994.

I was responsible for developing the very first company website, Intranet, and online application for medical malpractice insurance. Additionally I worked with our government relations department to develop a political action website devoted to maintaining information and resources for the various tort reform efforts going on accross the country. I left TDC in 1999 and became an independent consultant.

DOLE Salads used their database of over 30,000 opt-in customers to keep their products fresh in the minds of consumers and Microsoft targeted IT Managers with White Papers on emerging technology and I created the emails and landing pages anchoring those marketing efforts and more.


Since then I have worked with many clients in the Napa valley and beyond on numerous projects ranging from print, advertising, and web design.
As early as 2003 I worked on websites for AT&T, Microsoft, Dole, and Boeing, and I gained valuable experience in e-letter marketing and helping large corporations leverage their extensive databases to market to their existing clients and implementing viral elements such as e-cards to gain new customers.
I created a series of FLASH based greeting cards for ATT for their Holiday Marketing Campaign that encouraged existing customers to send cards with attached gifts from VISA and AMAZON.COM to everyone on their email list.
Prior to the explosion of social networking these companies invested heavily in the technology that has become mainstream today. I was fortunate enough to learn on the creative edge and bring that knowledge base into my current work. See Web for more about my AGENCY experience.
In 2005 I began to work creating ads for a local magazine and in 2007 I became Creative Director of Napa Valley Life. In addition to taking over the layout of the bi-monthly publication, I designed a website and newsletters in conjunction with the magazine. I also developed a weekly radio show Scene Around the Valley on 99.3 the Vine/ 1440 KVON on the Kellie in the Morning Show. During my time at Napa Valley Life Magazine I continued to work with clients, but maintained a rather low profile and focusing on more personal projects.

Personal Projects

        

           

For Gina Designs

 


The strong vocals of Shauna Marshall, in the dual role of club singer Sugar and burlesque performer Sophie Tucker, leaves the audience wanting to hear her perform more solos.

--Sue Michul,
St. Helena Star

 

           
   

Since I began designing "things" I have enjoyed the satisfaction of working on several personal projects. Be it jewelry, art, clothing or products that lift mind body and spirit I have always had the urge to create.

I collaborated with Mick Winter to write Napa Valley in a Nutshell in 1996, and in 1999, I wrote, Planting The Money Tree. I began writing fiction in 2000 with an online group, and I joined Francis Ford Copolla's Zoetrope site April 2001. In August of that year, my short film script, American Cheese, was selected as one of the top three scripts for the month.

I continue to be passionate with my writing, and am working on A DIVA's GUIDE to Having it All and a collection of stories about my early online escapades, loosely titled, ROTFLMAO.

In the Spring of 2000 I had a show of my Jewelry and Home Decor Designs at The Lotus Blossom. The intricate hand work led me to submit some of my design's to Napa Valley Metal Works where they were picked up and distributed through Gina Designs Napa Valley.

In Fall 2001 I appeared in the dual role of Sugar/Sophie Tucker in the original musical Planet Vegas which opened to great reviews. Lookout Broadway!

I have written a musical, and my fondest dream is to produce it right here in Napa. I am always shopping venues and patron saints, but in the meantime, I spend my weekends singing in a Blues Band, Nuclear Blonde.

In July of 2005 I began singing at "a little club in the country" called Jessel's. Jammin' at Jessel's became my second home, and I performed there almost every week for two years and met many fine musicans.

More like a variety show than a jam, Jessel played hostess to an amazing gang of talented poets, singers, songwriters and musicans. Local talent Suzi Gilbert, Helen Mead and Mary Jenson were all frequent performers.

Each week Jessel would hold a potluck "rehersal" where those who showed up would create the show for the following Monday. It was there I learned to improvise, often playing with people I had never even met before after one go through or sometimes no run-thru at all. I would bring in my songs on scraps of paper and people like johnny Smith, Bill Craig, Gordon Lustig and Steve Della Maggioria would play with me. One such night Johnny Smith and I performed a duet I had just written that day called Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime and we have gone on to perform it in both our individual shows and together.

In 2005 I played my first professional gig at a local club called DGs and it was just my luck that Napa Sonoma Magazine showed up to take some photos. I always felt that I was in the right place, doing the right thing at the right time with my music...even though I got such a late start in life.

Following some early recognition I have gone on to perform my original music at Biscuits & Blues, Headfeathers and COPIA with my band, and to share the stage with Local Blues Legends Steve Freund & Stan Erhart.

I've had opening gigs for John Lee Hooker Jr., Bobby Young & John Nemeth, and have made my own way in the north bay music scene as Nuclear Blonde.


Everything I do, be it art or life, is invested with great passion. From singing, dancing, and acting to design and production, I find great joy in the everyday moments that make up my life...especially when I can share them with my family.

Out of a strong desire to keep the music scene going I launched Girls Nite Out with friends Liz DiGiorgio and Linda Lefler. For a couple of years we cruised around the San Francisco Bay Area looking for the hottest venues and the coolest Musicans. I have a lifetime of memories crammed in to a few short years.