When I was little I was creative, in the way all four-year-olds are creative, really. I had a good imagination and a penchant for amusing myself. I could zoom my Matchbox cars around the basement in a traffic jam all day or run a thirty-man-strong Lego space station.
When I was eight I played with Plasticine a lot. Not the explosive stuff, the clay that came in a zillion colors. I made all kinds of things, real and imagined.
When I was ten I started drawing cars. After a while I had an entire company created, General Motors-style, with four divisions and two dozen car lines including sports cars and sedans and trucks, and every year I'd come up with a new model line for all of them.
When I was eleven my father used to lug home his Compaq "portable" -- 35 pounds, two-inch green monochrome monitor, with a leather handle on the end -- and I would tinker with the Friendlyware design program. And play golf.
When I was thirteen I turned my car-design passion into a for-profit venture, launching "Create-a-Car" and having kids in my seventh grade classes pay me a dime or a quarter to draw them one. I actually made ten dollars this way.
When I was fourteen a friend and I created "The Book of Wert" (his title, not mine), a humor publication. I had the name, he had the better sense of humor. We drew a lot in class. Creative conflicts killed the zine after four issues.
When I was fifteen I fooled around on my Apple //c a lot, calling BBS and chat systems, primarily 2AM-BBSes and Diversi-Dial networks in northern New Jersey. I also discovered DazzleDraw. I drew a lot of ugly cars with it.
When I was sixteen I took TV Production in high school. I was the CG guy, and I created the graphics scrolls and overlays. We got an Amiga after I stopped working the CG machine, but I never really played with it.
When I was seventeen I took a nifty graphic design class in high school and drew an album cover and an oversized bumper sticker that read, "Creativity is a virtue."
When I was eighteen I was features editor for my high school newspaper, which I enjoyed but did not take seriously.
When I was nineteen I started writing editorial columns for my college newspaper.
When I was twenty I quit my business-track college path and became an English major. I went on to become the editor in chief of the newspaper, and wrote weekly columns until I graduated.
When I was twenty-one I interned for college and helped produce (from scratch) a 160-page college community guide with four other students. We all wrote, designed, laid out, and edited the book.
When I was twenty-two I got a job as an Online Editorial Assistant, for Kaplan InterActive, beginning in October 1995. I was taught basic HTML in ninety minutes by our technical director and Rainman a few weeks later.
When I was twenty-three I realized that I enjoyed laying out web pages more than I enjoyed writing summaries about GMATs, so I quit. I got a job as a web designer for Billboard Online and Adweek Online in August 1996, even though I had no my formal design skills. My second day on the job I was asked to work extensively on GIF images, which I didn't know how to do very well, and I almost cried at my desk.
By the time I was twenty-five I had gotten the hang of web design. I went on to design, launch, produce and supervise work on as many as ten web sites for BPI before my departure in January of 2000.
Now, at 27, I'm design director for a worldwide publication, and I keep my editorial skills sharp by writing for this web site, both for my own gratification and for my audience.
I wanted to start in magazines, editorial or production, and I wound up online. I fell into it, and I won't mind falling out of it, either. But I've had a fun run thus far and am proud to have been involved in the web's development in my own little way. So here I am.
(taken from my posting to the web design-l mailing list, June 19, 2000)
MORE TO EXPLORE
Resume for David Wertheimer
Elsewhere on netWert
Ideapad (media commentary)
Journal (personal muses)
Whimsy (design archive)
The "Feels Like" Forecast (world famous)
THE DAVID WERTHEIMER FACT SHEET
Born and raised in Livingston, NJ 07039
Currently a resident of New York, NY 10128
Birthday: March 29, 1973
Pastimes: listening to music, dining out, reading periodicals, playing golf
Favorite color: Green
Favorite sports teams: 26-time World Champion New York Yankees and two-time Stanley Cup winner New Jersey Devils (I like the Redskins and Jets too)
Favorite dessert: Don't get me started
Full-time job: Design Director, Economist.com
Occasional freelance occupation: HTML and web design instruction, and the very occasional web-design project
Old job: Web Design and Development Manager, BPI Communications (see Billboard Online for my best work)
Life's dream: Own and run a music store or radio station
Today's dream: Wake up happy again tomorrow morning
(January 23, 2000; last update March 30, 2001)