This was for something else but its true. My parents and I defected from Poland while on vacation, in what was then Yugoslavia, thanks to a coincidental meeting with foreign diplomats who happened to be camping next to us. I was five years old at the time. We left without a plan, just our vacation luggage and the hope of a brighter future. Poland was still crippled by the last war, struggling with communism and socialism. It took a long time for me to realize how much my parents sacrificed to provide me with a better life.
In Poland my parents were doctors, respected and admired for their skill and generosity. We would come home to gifts left at our door on a regular basis. However, here in America, they were not allowed to practice medicine until they could pass the daunting tests, internships and residencies required to legally become doctors again. In order to provide for us they had to work as a nurse and a janitor in a small hospital in a small town. The struggle of starting over, unprepared, in a foreign country, took its toll on my family causing my father to return to Poland a broken man. My mother, however, more than compensated by showing me what true strength, courage, compassion and determination really are. It is this early struggle combined with inspiration that has given me a profound appreciation for my life and the opportunities available to me.
At my core, I am an artist with ink, paint, polygons and pixels running through my veins. My heart, however, is motivated by making a difference: making people feel wonder, joy and excitement. I thrive on action sports, design, music and internet technology. Having built internet start-ups into successful companies and managed creative teams, I know the online world from many perspectives. I realized early on that the web had limitless potential to connect humanity. I love solving problems and pushing boundaries. Being born in Poland I have always seen the world as full of wonder, just waiting to be explored. Travel, international cultures and their religious philosophies have always held endless interest for me. My other passions include music, fashion and photography. Beneath it all I am a local surfer who grew up going to live music shows at the Che Cafe when I was 15 years old.
It took a lot of looking in the wrong places before I realized that who I was and what I wanted from life had been there all along. My family consists of doctors, engineers, and teachers. I tried to be those things and while my parents gave me a predisposition towards intellectual pursuits I found that just because I was capable of doing something didn't mean that I would be happy doing it. Life has made it all too clear to me that our time in this world is too short not to pursue the things you love, passionately. So it was with a lot of experimenting as a software tester, programmer, web master and other jobs that I realized my true love was creativity in its most visually pure and classic forms. Everything stems from the original skills of drawing, painting, sculpture, light, color and composition. Even the most modern 3-D games and movie effects are all dependent on these skills.
I now recognize that how much I learn is directly correlated to how much effort I put into the process. Originally, I went back to school to fill in what I perceived as my weaknesses; business and economics, so I pursued a certificate in International Business from Santa Barbara City College. At first it was difficult learning about completely unfamiliar topics; however, I overcame my most challenging subjects and completed the certificate requirements, but with a few disappointing grades which plague my G.P.A. to this day. Unfortunately, at the time, I was learning for myself and did not recognize the value of grades on paper. I also completed a set of classes at MiraCosta Community College for a certificate in E-Commerce. The creative classes helped reignite my passion for a formal education.
Part of the motivation for the International Business classes was to help build ArtScientific, the web design company I originally started in 1994. I have been fortunate to collaborate with major clients including Saks Fifth Avenue, the Seattle Sea Hawks, Planned Parenthood, and Hilton Properties. It was a very maturing experience requiring significant self-motivation and responsibility.
I have provided print design, web design, hosting, programming and other services to many charitable causes. It is the most rewarding work I do. Rotary International connected me to many causes including the RYLA Youth Leadership organization and Model United Nations. The Model UN trains students in peaceful conflict resolution and generally broadens students' horizons to other cultures. The Poseiden Foundation is another international service organization, providing underprivileged girls with confidence building exercise through the sport of skateboarding and access to professional female athletes. I also worked with Los Angelitos de Encinitas, providing youth sports, after school care, and academic assistance programs for low income children. Collaborating with companies like these has helped me realize that nothing changes unless someone actively puts effort into changing it.
I am inspired and influenced by the renaissance masters, the impressionists, counter culture, Japanese pop culture, American comics and my wonderful high-school art teacher. I have come to realize there is an art to everything, even developing code. I also have 3-D, interior design, prototyping and furniture design experience.
In 2012, I began pursuing a bachelor's degree from UCSD as a transfer student from MiraCosta. I deeply appreciate learning from the experience of my instructors and the creativity of my fellow students. In my last two drawing classes alone I have progressed more as an artist than in the last ten years working on my own. From the intersection of creativity and technological innovation, I will develop a distinctively creative career, inspire others by example, and make a meaningful contribution to the world.