Neil Palmer – Alumni Profile

When I came to the Creative Academy I was a 28 year-old barista. Not sure what I would find at the Creative Academy and not confident I would be able to make it. Frankly, I was relieved just to have passed the competitive portfolio review. In our first class, we heard, ‘you’re here because in your work, we saw what might be the spark of a decent designer.’ And while it was sort-of disheartening to know that all we had to go on was maybe a spark, we were also resetting–in a lot of ways.


Eventually I loved the SCCA routine–scaling the industrial concrete stairs, the occasional haze of spray mount and foam core, the flurry of activity right before the custodians kicked us out at night. Not to mention gazing out at the Space Needle. By some time in the second year, things started to click because somehow I finally understood how to make a bezier curve, I got offended by widows the typographic kind), and I had a finely tuned sense of the drop shadow.


When the two years were finished and it was time to empty our tabores, I was sad to leave all that behind. But I also had a lot to look forward to. I’m now a web developer and designer at a growing firm called Tether and I create interesting new things every day.
On the whole the Creative Academy and its professors are committing themselves every year to rebuilding students with the design sensibility and technical grounding to succeed as professionals. They emphasize the history and tradition of design, while giving students context with relevant knowledge of modern technology and professional practices. I left the Creative Academy in 2012 with a new career and momentum, and I can’t think of a better, more fulfilling way to spend two years.


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