Mary Michaud â€“ Principal
Mary Michaud grew up in suburban Boston. Roving the swamps of an old pig farm as a child, she collected rocks and bones. She soon began making jewelry from stones, beads, shells and seeds. Fascinated by the natural world, she earned a degree in biology from Boston University where she also studied metal sculpture, jewelry design, and photography.
After moving to San Francisco to pursue a Masterâ€™s degree in nursing, her jewelry designs incorporated increasing amounts of rusted metal and industrial found objects. Her intentional use of primitive techniques struck an archetypal chord and found a home on the necks of bicycle messengers, social workers, movie moguls, dancers, and psychologists. While her homages to the flotsam and jetsam of the streets challenged people to re-examine their system of assigning social value to objects, her work as a nurse practitioner challenged her to do the same with the marginalized people of our society.
She continues to create jewelry and sculpture. Her designs include paper sculptures highlighting found photographs and ephemera. Her work can be seen at the Artisanâ€™s Center of Virginia in Waynesboro, in various group shows, and online atÂ www.marymichaud.com.
Mary is an expert in print and web and frequently works with clients on integrating social media and online advertising. She advises them on branding issues and was instrumental in developing the Optipop Design Brief.
Mark Edwards â€“ Principal
Mark has been a fine artist and photographer from a very young age. His father, Lawrence Edwards, is a painter and taught art for his entire professional career. His mother, Mattie Edwards, is an interior designer. Between the two creative parents, he had his eyes opened to both fine art and the commercial side of the design.
His initial higher education, at Memphis State University, included three years of foundation work in fine art and design and additional work in commercial music. He completed his studies some years later at San Francisco State University in the highly competitive Film Production core program. During this time he shot and edited a number of experimental films.
After college Mark(me!) worked as a producer at Red Sky Films in San Francisco making some of the most engrossing miniature films in the history of television. These short movies frequently played before, after, and during the eveningâ€™s entertainment on nationally known networks including NBC, CBS, ABC, and even PBS. Though only commercials, he put his heart and soul into each one.
Seduced by the siren-call of Interactivity, Mark began producing multimedia CD-ROMs and helped found a spin-off of the film production company, Red Sky Interactive. Realizing the difficulty in budgeting for the new media, he learned many of the major software packages to ameliorate this task and gradually moved back into the creative side of production.
As he developed his skills in design, he worked both as a freelancer and employee in the world of graphics, photography, and art direction. He presently focuses on website design, print, and video production & editorial.
He periodically teaches design classes at the university level, testing out wild-haired theories on his students. Students are strong-willed, but are occasionally indoctrinated.