Randal Birkey has always loved to draw. Many people who know him think he picked this up from his Dad. In high school, he preferred architectural and technical drafting classes over art classes and drew doodles and sketches in his notebooks during classes. Responding to a job posting at school, he started working as a engineering draftsman at age 16. This kind of technical and architectural drawing work continued after 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.

After seeing a 3D wireframe modeling software demonstrated at a trade show in 1987, Randal went to his local banker, borrowed $3,500 and purchased his first Apple Macintosh computer (a Mac Plus with 1 MB RAM and a 20 MB serial hard drive!). He began integrating software and digital technology in his architectural illustration and design process (Randal has been a licensed user of most Adobe products since version 1.0!). 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 this early adoption and experience, he provided consulting for many fellow illustrators, designers and clients in how to navigate the transition to digital technology. During these years he received training and many certifications from Adobe, Apple, Macromedia, Asanté and other software and hardware leaders.

After seeing the world wide web and Internet demonstrated at an AMC workshop, Randal purchased his own domain, a 9600 baud modem and a dial-up and web hosting account from a local ISP. His created his first website at BIRKEY.COM in 1996 to more efficiently and effectively share his illustration portfolio.

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