Here and now

Hello, again, and thanks for visiting my site. If you didn't know by now, my name is Brendan Bax and I'm a designer who codes. Some people call that a unicorn, but I like to think that I'm just a guy who likes turning ideas into products.

Currently I'm a Senior UX / UI Designer with a local startup building security and fleet management software. Prior to this I was at an agency working with banking and logistics clients, then worked at a major corporation on agrochemical mobile applications.

Some more about me

I was born and raised in the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri. I've always had a passion for technology, games specifically, but never thouht I was smart enough to code. When college time came I opted to attend Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida for their "Game Art" program. My natural talent as an artist (and fear of failure as a developer) lead me to select game art instead of game development. After 21 straight months I graduated Valedictorian, with perfect attendance and some course director awards.

Post graduation I moved back home to St. Louis and tried to get a job. This was during the recession and many game studios were shutting their doors. To make ends meet I started teaching at a technical college covering everything from 3D modeling, animation, shading and lighting, to graphic design and compositing. I taught for 3 years at 2 campuses in the area until leaving prior to the school shutting down.

Teaching was always part-time, so I had a bunch of random jobs on the side. I managed retail stores, worked at some restaurants, hand-dyed yarn, and was even a licensed realtor. My past experiences have helped me empathize with users and businesses across many industries - making me a better designer today.

Eventually I took a job with a custom game controller company and started doing designs for their website, products, packaging, and overall brand. I was able to leverage my 3D skills to completely digitize their entire product portfolio and launch a new product buying experience online. This was that "ah-ha" moment when I realized that the web was totally awesome and I really liked designing and building stuff for it.

The rest, as they say, is history. I left that company after a few years, freelanced as a designer under my own LLC for a while, got better at coding, landed an official job designing software and haven't looked back.

A designer who codes

Life always has a sense of irony. In high school I tried to take a class on web development, but dropped it before the semester began because it sounded too hard. During my stint at the community college I took a web development class but dropped out a few weeks in because tables were hard. At Full Sail I chose art over code because math seemed hard.

Yet only after making a successful career as an artist / designer did I come to realize that code is NOT scary. It's challenging, mysterious and overwhelming at times. But it isn't scary - and nobody "isn't smart enough" to code. Since learning to code (in my free time while working full-time as a designer, being a husband and a new dad, and finishing the basement in our house...) I have never felt more empowered. Design is absolutely amazing, but being able to take an idea and convert it to something real that people can use (and buy) is a whole new high in life.

So in the greatest of ironies, I spent the better part of a decade running from code only to end up loving it.

What's next

That's a bit about me. I'm always interested in who comes to my site and what their story is. Feel free to reach out and tell me about you. Are you a designer learning to code? A developer wanting to design? Just a random person on the internet? I'm interested regardless, and always read every email. Thanks again for stopping by!