Profile image of Michael Widener
Michael Widener
Mac® Multimedia Graduate
Read My Story

Story

Read my story to see where I've been and how far along I am.

News

Welcome to my personal site. This is my tiny news section. (My professional portfolio has moved to a domain matching my professional name: https://www.mikewiener.com.)

Now that that's out of the way, let's get to the news. You may not be aware, but this site's design includes customization not originally included in the Photoshop template it's based on.

A Note to Template Bashers:
Yes, this site is based on a template like many designs. Even when I make a design from the ground up, I still turn it into a template so I can use parts of it later more quickly. Templates can be bought or made from scratch. The end result, no matter who they are created, is to save time. Developer and Programmers use "code snippets" as templates for programming coding to save time. Developers use tempates too. All knowledge work uses templates to comlplete repetitive or derivative work. Lawyers have contracts and fill in the blanks. But that doesn't mean the lawyer didn't write the contract from a blank page. Using a template successfully means you know what the end result should look like, and that you recognized a tempalte that would save time. Saving time without loosing quality is the goal of knowledge work, science, and business interests alike. So stop treating templates as if they lack original customization. That's only true in the hands of a novice.

Now back to this site's design. This template, which comes as a set of Photshop files, and was sourced from France, includes graphics, effects, and font selection. It was what recruiters and employers were responding to at the time I made this site based on feedback. It didn't take long to locate the template, download it, and make use of it. It was free; and it was located in France.

Which leads me to the interesting back story to this site's real purpose. While the site is based on a template, this was not readily shared. It was proposed that this design was an original design and was presented as the style employers sought. It turns out, this design is not original, and diligent research online revealed that fact, and the fact that it was not a matter of making original designs that led to an employer choosing another candidate. It was simply the employer's bias. By discovering the template, and making use of it, it was easy to prove the bias, and that was the goal. It took two years to prove but there's little doubt now.

The true issue is not whether or not I am qualified, it has to do with bystander views on how I create my work and accusations my work is not original due to not understanding how I accomplish my tasks and due to consulting others to explain my work instead of asking me directly. It has led me to receive offers which are setup for me to work outside of my skillset and due to disinterest in me joining the team in the first place. So now I seek remote work only. There are employers who will offer candidates jobs just to have them spend money relocating and then terminate them to cost them the relocation cost, and make them responsible for the rental or lease they signed, as a malicous act. It has happened. It continues to happen. I persoally lost $15,000 in 2012 from one of these malicious hirings. (Hence remote work only.)

Now there's a conversation on LinkedIn about the roles in Design and Development and I'm commenting on them from my experience and this description should give context to anyone from LinkedIn who reads this.

The group perpetuating tension is the group that originally did the same thing before I graduated because that group majored in Grahpic Design while I majored in Multimedia Design, and the group didn't want that degree at the school. It's school politics. And it's why you'll see tension whenever you read about role definitions that include anything other than Graphic Design, UX, UI, Front-End Development, or Back-End Development. It's because that group seeks to find roles that do not suit Multimedia Graduates like me because they want to prove my custom-degree was not valuable, which is a malicous mindset and is not supported by the University's administration.

It is an internal issue that's became external. In recent weeks, hate crimes have increased and it only serves to prove that the bias that I've faced for several years comes from the same place as the hateful acts that were timed for final exams and intended against students of color. It happened to me because I did something never done before at the University, and, although I didn't know it at the time, that made hateful students jealous and angry. They've done the same thing against students of color following another student making history, the first black woman to become Student Body President in the school's history. It's just hate and jealously. I know because I have the only degree of its kind in my University's history so I know how it feels when hateful students attack because someone like me makes history. And mine was far less high profile than hers. But it still drew hate. It's why you won't see any Bachelor of Science in Multimedia Design degrees from my school. There's only one: mine.

I hope this sheds light on the comments on LinkedIn for those viewing this from LinkdedIn, and for those curious about this site's origin and purpose.

Design

See my designs and skill set.

HTML5 thumnail

HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript/Ps

Intermediate Skill

jQuery thumbnail

jQuery/AJAX/Bootstrap

Intermediate Skill

PHP design 1 thumbnail

PHP/MySQL/JSON/As

Intermediate Skill

Poster Design thumbnail

Lindsay Eythe

Poster Design

Stamp Design thumbnail

Lindsay Eythe

Stamp Design

Ad Design thumbnail

Ross Nover

Ad Design

Game Design thumbnail

Brian Davis

Game Design

DVD Menu thumbnail

Randall Packer

DVD Menu & Video Editing

Production Bumper thumbnail

Kylos Brannon

Production Bumper Design

Glenmont Methodist Church thumbnail

Glenmont UMC

Website Design & Maintenance

Double O Technologies thumbnail

Double O Technologies

Website Design & Maintenance

Frag-tastic thumbnail

Frag-tastic Travel

Website Design

Phantom Records thumbnail

Phantom Records

Website Design & Maintenance

Phantom Records thumbnail

Phantom Records

Web Application

Phantom Records thumbnail

Phantom Records

Compact Disc Packaging Design

Phantom Records thumbnail

Phantom Records

"Wild Wild West" DJ Mix

Phantom Records thumnail

Phantom Records

"My Love Is Your Love" DJ Mix

Phantom Records thumbnail

Phantom Records

"Faithfully" DJ Mix

Passion

Know my passion.

Michael created this section to share his passion. Animation (or motion) caught Michael's attention as a distinguishing feature between Graphic Design and Multimedia Design. Michael majored in Multimedia because he loves movie animations, titles, special effects, and everything connected to them.

As an avid movie-goer and video gamer who can play them one month and then not play one at all for two years (cynics don't believe but I hardly care), Michael follows his dreams by applying grit, law, money, and any other tactic available to him to do what everyone else tries to do: live their dream. Although he avoids underhanded tactics, the underhanded philosophy the drives that is hard to miss. His unwanted education in betrayal and treachery continues.

Michael wanted to know what makes animations beautiful, and how creative minds in the field earn a living. He's learned a lot about the differences between working in corporate settings where there is little understanding of creative work due to the ironclad corporate focus on coroprate profits over personal ones. Unfortunately, most corporations, except Google, don't really understand that profiting financially actually comes from the bottom up. It comes from the health of your workers, not just leveraging them to act healthy out of fear. Fear is a terrible motivator. (It builds anxiety.) Michael's dream of understanding enough about animation to appreciate it will never end but he's at least achieved enough and done enough to feel like he's a part of the profession. He's a newbie compared to the other guys, true. But that doesn't stop him from fighting for what he feels, and fighting the obstacles in his way.

Animation, motion, & sound, all are parts of Michael's emotional connection to crafting experiences you can feel becuase you can hear them when he DJs see when he animates. While he's no world-class anything, he's true to himself and he's true to what he says. You may not understand why he feels the way he feels. You may disagree. But you'll always know what he thinks if you're integrity is obvious to him and if you're business practices, when working with him, are sound.

While Michael's not the best designer in the world, and there are always better ones, Michael follows his heart and chooses based on what feels right. For example, Michael chose the right school to attend and graduated from a University with the respected administration and staff and that's still true today. It's unfortunate that the racial tensions at the school exist but it's due to what Michael terms as "malicious competition." That's when a competitor feels like using everything, including hate are fear, is just the way it is. Michael believes progress has gone far enough to do better than this and companies like Google are proving it. From a design perspective, Apple has already proven what the combination of creative grit and technology can do under the right leadership.

His strong social views get him in trouble but what creative professional hasn't had that problem?

If you share your beliefs in a noticeable, public way, you'll always find critics and opposition. Michael will just have to learn to live with it.

Look around if you want to see, feel, and hear what makes life worth living for him. If you get it, you should reach out. (But don't if you act like a bully.)


...

  • mini-game sketch step stand disarm mini game

    Flash Animation

    Step Stand Disarm

    Michael created an interactive "mini game" animation to represent the "Peace Process" in an interesting way. He bought a dance pad with a USB cable connection. The dance pad is three feet by three feet wide. He then designed a "cover" for the pad. His "cover" was also three feet by three, designed in Adobe Photoshop and created at full print quality: 300DPI. That is an extremely large file and it was very time consuming to work with but Michael believes in quality and flexibility so he did it anyway. He had the "cover" printed at FedEx Office on to vinyl paper. The then "stuck" the "cover" on top of the dance pad so that his "pictures" precisely covered the dance pad's contact points. In other words, a dancer stepping on his "pictures" would activate the "hotspots" beneath the "cover" and send a signal into the "mini game" he created. The "mini game" was made in Adobe Flash, and he used a small Mac OS X utlitity to interpret the dance pad's "buttons" to send keyboard keystrokes depending on which one was "stepped on" or "pressed." The keystrokes were then mapped, within Flash, to activate certain animation sequences. During his design process, it was told to Michael that moving within Flash from one "Scene" to another the way Michael wanted was impossible. Michael searched Google for three days and found the same claim. So what did he do? He guessed. Based on the "syntax" of ActionScript, Michael created an original code sequence and it worked! He still won't even share it! Because he wants to see if anyone else can figure it out. See his animation here. Fair Warning: His "Mini Game" was not made to be a full game. It was an animation that was supposed to "pretend to be an museume exhibit but then surprise a user who stepped on the nearby dance pad." So there are no instructions that popup. Simply click anywhere on the game's screen to make it start. You will have to figure it out, just like you'd have to figure out the "Peace Process" if you were a Diplomat. There are not manuals! Click here to see the artistic statment. Click here to run it.

  • mac plus se image graphics office

    ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS ANIMATION

    Kinetic Type

    "Kinetic Type" is a type of animation with moving text. Movies that have opening sequences with elaborate movements, such as the Spiderman movies, where the camera moves around the web hopping from one text phrase to another, are using "Kinetic Type" or "moving text." Michael used Adobe After Effects to create this animation. But with this one, he also used his DJ-skill to "time" the animation to the audio in the attached sound file. An author read their famous passage from "Lenore," and Michael animated the entire portion. This is only a portion, as the project was split between Michael and others. This is Michael's portion: Kinetic Type Animation.

  • animation3 thumbnail animation3

    ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS WEB BANNERS & ADS

    AARP Amimations

    After creating hollywood quality animations for this project, Michael received feedback that he only had to make very simply, slow-moving animations because the senior customers viewing the animations were likely only interested in that, instead of something too fancy. Michael created these to accomodate the Client's request. These are very easy to make and fun to make in various colors or to make various alternatives such as ones that play normally and ones that play on holidays with different animation that's festive. To make the Ads "aware" of the holiday, Michael uses PHP to detect the date and then swith the animation file to that holiday's version. Then it switches back when the holiday is over. See one of them here. NOTE: The animation is very slow! You have to wait for it!

  • Want to
    Hire My
    Company?

School

Check out my degree & certifications.

HTML certification thumnail

Certified
HTML5/HTML Developer

W3 Schools
Active since 2015

CSS certification thumbnail

Certified
CSS Developer

W3 Schools
Active since 2015

JavaScript certification thumbnail

Certified
JavaScript Developer

W3 Schools
Active since 2015

Photoshop Certification thumbnail

Certified in
Photoshop

Adobe Systems, Inc.
Active since 2012

Flash Certification thumbnail

Certified in
Flash

Adobe Systems, Inc.
Active since 2012

Ad Design thumbnail

Certified in
Dreamweaver

Adobe Systems, Inc.
Active since 2012

A plus Certification thumbnail

IT Professional:
A+ Certification

CompTIA
Active since 2012

Computing Fundamentals certification thumbnail

IT Professional:
Computing Fundamentals

Certiport
Active since 2012

Microsoft Office certification thumbnail

IT Professoinal:
MS Office User Specialist

Microsoft
Active since 2012

Bachelor's degree thumbnail

Undergraduate Education:
B.S. in Multimedia Design

American University
Washington, D.C. (On Campus)
Graduated in 2011

Additional education thumbnail

Additional Education:
Dual B.A. in Graphic & Web Design

Full Sail University
Winter Green, Florida (Online)
Withdrew due to work

PhD thumbnail

Additional Education:
M.B.A.

Jack Welch Management Institute
Herndon, Virginia (Online)
Withdrew due to work

Connect With Me