Music was the first of my many creative interests. My earliest memories were singing in the backseat of my dad’s car with my head tucked into the corner of the backseat, imagining a crowd of people who lived inside the small crevice of the cushions cheering and applauding me as I mustered up as much correct tone as I could with whatever was playing on the radio. I loved that.
Forward ten or so years and I had picked up the guitar, which would become my creative staple. Playing music with people and dreaming about becoming a famous rock star was my only goal in life at that point! This dream was amplified by the introduction of classic rock, progressive music from the 70s and early 80s, and going through the experience of playing records which seemed to contain a whole world of possibility. Further to that, I had expanded into not only learning guitar, but drums, bass, sitar, sarod, mandolin, banjo, keyboards/piano, harmonica and whatever instrument I could jam out in sessions, which were always a random assembly of groove and causality.
I began recording local bands, as well as any bands I was playing in. It was my second creative calling – audio composition and production. My free time was spent messing around with different recording devices, or finding unique machines that I would use to record either what I was playing and writing, or what other people were doing. I spent much time with analog reel-to-reels, multi-track tape machines, early digital multi-track recorders and early software (DAW’S) versions, and had taught myself well. At one point, I owned enough equipment to fill two moving trucks and at that time it seemed that anything to do with music would be the way to go. Enter the computer.
All along, my affliction with the computer was relevant to whatever I was doing in life. At any moment looking back the computer use was there. I played in the arcades as a child, owned several early video games consoles and a couple hand-held ones (before color), and was always around or involved with them in some way, shape, or form – as a user. It wasn’t until when I was 18/19 or so when the computer became more artistically inclined into what I was doing, as a creative tool and an integral part of my personal creative evolution. This was the moment I had shifted from a “user” to a “creator”.
The “creative” side of it began first with graphic design. I got involved with a local company who was doing flyers, business cards, posters and small business advertising stuff. I was also learning to work with photos by digital manipulation, color correction, blemish adjustments, and anything else required of me. We had a photographer close by who would rely on me to finish professional work she had as overflow. It was here I learned that my passion for creating things I could hear, also lent itself into that which I could see. At the time I was still heavily involved with recording bands, playing music and anything I could to sustain the continuity of creation. Graphic design was just another branch of what I was capable of.
Somehow in the mix I managed to start messing around with web design. I had a strange drive to want to work with this medium. I think that part of my mind was always interested in the future of technology in some illuminated way. At the time, only rudimentary options were available as part of collecting code in to what was termed anew as “web pages”, so the difficulty of producing accurate representations of my imagination was also a driving factor to the continued relation between my life and the existence of markup language. I think it’s a perfectionist thing, to want to achieve against the difficult.
I completed my first website in 1998, it was called Vinylhut (still use the Hotmail address associated with it today as a junk collector). I had built an e-commerce website from scratch that sold record care products, turntables, vinyl sleeves of all sizes, and more. It was created with the use of HTML tables, inline-styles and multiple PayPal buttons…it was ugly but it worked. Of course, the computer for me was always to be related to music somehow, and the idea at the time was to create this thing to make money as the internet boom was in almost full swing.
I started to build small webpages for other people too, which would have been my first involvement online considered as a “freelancer”. This went on for some years as I tried to vary the difference between making money with a computer and making money with a musical instrument. I had been increasingly picking up web work more often as a lone wolf, and my contracts with various companies grew longer and more intense. It was this framework that led me to go to college for the third time, I needed to get educated. I worked on various projects while getting my diploma which was nice, my marks were great and the work load on both ends seemed to be manageable. My aim was fulfillment of a dream, and a creative life – I was doing the best I could to achieve it.
I registered a business soon after and for the last decade I have worked mostly in a digital form as a freelancer by contract. Whether that be, creating websites, interactive developments, apps, graphic design, audio production for broadcast (radio/internet), commercial video, etc. My choices have led me to some great people, some awesome projects that I am truly proud of, and some really great opportunities with some really great companies (large and small). I love what I do. I get to do it for a living, I get to spend time with all my children, and my wife – whom I owe much of my change to, and that’s the most important thing in life – being happy.
I hope you enjoy the website,
If you have any questions, give me a shout!
Nick J. Goard
Creative Digital Designer