About David Brooks
Before I started on the web, I attended Spring Arbor University where I studied Spanish. In the last semester of that program I also attended a small Spanish language school in Costa Rica. After graduation, I attended Asbury Theological Seminary where I studied World Missions (Intercultural Studies) with an emphasis on leadership. As you likely figured out, language, and culture really interest me.
How I Got Into Web Design and Development
The truth is, I started on the we by accident. I was building Geocities sites for my bands without a care of how it ought to be done for five years. Then, when I was studying at Asbury Seminary, they were in the process of converting a table-based layout into web standards-focused HTML and CSS. That put them ahead of the game, especially for a large-scale academic institution. But I had no idea what any of that meant. I have Nathan Smith to thank for the hours of time he invested in teaching me how to do things the right way.
Starting Northward Compass
In 2010 my daughter was born and I launched my first web app, Thousand Wires. I wanted to spend time at home and have the flexibility to work on my app so I quit my job and moved to Michigan (then Indiana) to be closer to family. That kept me busy for a couple of years before I joined the team at Artletic.
With the continued remote work we decided to return to Costa Rica for language school. People ask me why I took a role at Artletic instead of sticking with Northward Compass full-time. The short answer is, at the time I was tired of searching out business. I was still in the process of learning how to run a business and it was a bit draining. Artletic gave me the opportunity to work from home, doing all the things I was good at, without having to land new clients every month.
Florida and Disney
I had been working on Northward Compass projects on the side during the past few years, but after Artletic I re-focused my efforts. That was short lived. Six months later I started a role building apps at Disney. I worked with the applications they use to run the parks efficiently.
Taking the opportunity there meant we needed to relocate to Orlando Florida. There I learned how not to hate AngularJS and designed some of my favorite interfaces to date. When my contract with Disney was complete, I transitioned back to working at Northward Compass full-time.
In my Junior year in College I took a black and white photography course. It was most-likely my favorite course in college. I spent ridiculous hours in the dark, developing photos by hand. The things I learned there helped me take better photos during the following years and also set me up for a foundation in design. I have leaned heavily on well-taken photos in almost every design project I’ve ever created.
Mentions, Interviews, and Accolades
50 Graphic Design Blogs
David Airey Nov 2007
135+ Top Graphic Design Blogs for 2012
The Big List of Lists
The Art Career Project
Camtasia Through the Eyes of a Musician: A Customer Interview with David Brooks
Tech Smith Sep 2012
PsPrint Nov 2012
Top 100 Design Blogs To Follow In 2013 [Infographic]
Tech Smith Dec 2012
Your First Web Application, From Design to Launch
Refresh Detroit Dec 2012
Refresh Detroit Feb 2011