Randal Birkey has always loved to draw. In high school, he took every architectural and technical drafting class offered and drew doodles and sketches in his notebooks during classes. As a sophomore at age 16, he responded to a job posting and started working part-time as an engineering draftsman. He continued technical and architectural drawing through high school, during college, and into his early 20’s.

Randal began his freelance illustration career in 1980, right after getting married. A year later his wife became his art rep and kept the business growing until their first child arrived in 1983. Through 1985 he used the traditional illustration techniques of pen & ink, line art, watercolor, color pencil, and mixed media, working through multiple artist reps for ad agencies and design firms in Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Dallas, and other markets around the country.

In 1987 at a trade show, he saw a 3D wireframe modeling software demonstrated on a Macintosh computer. He promptly went to his local banker, borrowed $3,500, and purchased his first Apple Macintosh computer – a Mac Plus with 1 MB RAM, a 20 MB serial hard drive, and a dot matrix printer! He began integrating this new computer technology into his architectural illustration and design process. Fun fact, Randal has been a licensed user of most Adobe products – Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign (Pagemaker), Acrobat, etc. – since their earliest versions.

By the early 1990’s the desktop publishing revolution was changing the way business communicated and Randal had already completely transitioned to digital illustration and design. Because of his early adoption and experience, he provided digital technology transition consulting for many illustrators, photographers, designers, and clients. During these years he received training and many certifications from Adobe, Apple, Macromedia, Asanté, and other software and hardware leaders.

After being introduced to the World Wide Web at an Association for Multimedia Communications (AMC) workshop, Randal purchased his domain, a 9600 baud modem, and a dial-up and web hosting account from a local ISP. He created his first website at BIRKEY.COM in 1996 to more efficiently and effectively share his illustration portfolio.

Since then, Randal has continued illustration and led many web design and development projects for Fortune 100 companies, small and medium-sized businesses, non-profit organizations, and individuals.

For a free consultation and estimate on your illustration project, contact Randal

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