Hi, I'm Rob Burke. Let me tell you a little about myself and how I came to be an "accidental graphic designer" living in France.
While working in Iran for the US government ('69-'73) and later in the US, I was "asked" (I had the security clearance and the colored pencils) to create some classified illustrations.
Later, I received a dual degree in cinematography and technical journalism from Colorado State University. I never did pursue the cinematography part but journalism has served me well in one form or another for 40+ years.
I liked Colorado, stayed, and worked for a small company... wearing multiple hats (marketing, graphic artist, manual writing, and even a bit of engineering along the way). A close friend and associate taught me a great deal about graphic arts during those 16 years. The business grew, split into two companies, and was finally bought by a large multinational.
I must not like really large companies so I left in '95, moved to France and took the position of international marketing director at a Norwegian firm. Company in Oslo... office in Paris... don't ask.
A good opportunity came along 3 years later and for the next 11 years I was a research vice president for [again] a really large multinational company (whoops) . With the recession in full swing the company downsized and I found myself without a job for the first time in 39 years. After taking off three years and still living in France I started VillageVues. I'm doing something that I love in a place that my wife and I call home after more than 20 years.
Graphic design has come a long way since I began. Hand drawn comps, typesetting, and waxing up type galleys have been completely replaced by computer programs. Although there's something missing with those hands-on experiences (sticking yourself with X-acto™ blades, pens bleeding on nearly completed work, hot wax on bare skin, etc.), I find myself saying WOW a lot these days over what can be created electronically and the beauty of it.
My wife and I (and one black cat) live in a small western suburb of Paris. I have a grown daughter. She, our son-in-law and three grandsons live in San Diego. I've been in ham radio (W2RSB) for over 50 years, raced sports cars (national SCCA) for a period of time and do woodworking when I have the chance.
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