From Graffiti Artist to Web Development and then UX

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Enok Madrid
Reading Time
3 min
Aug 21, 2022
Sep 29, 2022

I've always had love for art. It's been in my genes my whole life, and as a teenager, all my energy went into drawing and painting graffiti art. During High School, my hustle was selling airbrushed t-shirts, hats, kicks, and painting names on backpacks. This HighSchool was like a magnet school where you would pick a specialty study so I was in the computer programming academy, but I never put much interest in programming, all I wanted to do is draw in class. My focus in HighSchool was to make money selling my art.

After I graduated I pursued being an artist full-time. I lived in Miami at the time back in 2007 and customizing cars was a popular trend at that time so I got into airbrushing murals on cars. I painted everything from people's portraits to cartoons and superheroes. I did this for about 3 years going from bodyshop to bodyshop and enjoyed it a lot. The problem was that I couldn't sustain a good income doing this. I did paint large murals and made good money. I bought my first laptop and my first DSLR Nikon camera. But I still needed a strong capital to invest in good equipment, paint materials and I needed a way to market my art.

At that time, around 2007-2008, myspace was so big that I used the platform to promote my work. With myspace there was a feature where you could customize the look and feel of your profile so I would spend nights learning how to customize the css code of my profile. I didn't know it was css but I got so good at it, that my friends would contact me to help them customize their myspace profiles, and that became another one of my side hustles.

That was like the beginning, I knew I wanted to do make a living using computers, art and creativity. I remember researching careers in 3D Animation, Motion Graphics and this new filed called Interactive Media Design. I somehow wanted to work in video games, designing the menus and animating buttons.. at the time I had no idea what that was but found interest in it. I felt pretty confident that I could design some cool interface but I didn't know what to create.

When I moved to Las Vegas in 2010. I needed to find work and out of necessity to have a portfolio website for my art. I decided to design my first personal portfolio website, in photoshop.

So this website I designed but had no clue how to build it in HTML.. I looked up tutorials on dreamweaver, and learning how to code.. but I had no clue how to even start. That frustration is what lead me to wanting to pursue web development. I ended up signing up for Full Sail University and get my degree in Web Design and Development. And that's how I got into Web Development. 2 years in 2014 later I graduated with a degree in Web Development.

All because I wanted to build an art portfolio website lead me to becoming a web Developer, but over the years I have been specializing in UX Design. So here I am now.