First off, thanks for taking the time to check out my portfolio site.

My name is Mike and I am the Tumbler Monkey. Strange name, I know, but it came to me out of the blue one day, and I thought it was rather fitting. I've had an affinity for monkeys every since I was a kid…maybe it was all the tree climbing, or the fact that my mom referred to me as her "little Monkey". Either way, I always loved monkeys. That being said, people used to buy me little stuffed monkeys, of which I had one on my dashboard of my car. One day my buddy and I are driving around, and as I took a turn, the stuffed monkey rolled down the dashboard and my buddy exclaimed, " Man that monkey loves to tumble." Thus, Tumbler Monkey was born.

I've always loved to draw, and for the longest time I just wanted to illustrate childrens stories, which is what lead me to heading off to art school. I attended MIAD (Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design) for 3 semesters before realizing I couldn't afford it. I loved learning the fundamentals of art, of drawing figures, of color theory, but I also feared becoming a staving artist.

So I left.

After leaving MIAD, I went and attended MATC (Milwaukee Area Technical College), which is where I got my degree in Visual Communications/Multimedia Design. While I was earning my degree I took courses in 3d Animation, Photography/Digital Photography and illustration, all along with classes on Flash/actionscript, HTML/CSS, Director/lingo, and website design.

Upon receiving my Associates Degree I entered the "real world" again. Unfortunately this didn't involve working a job in my new field of study, it did, however, expand my job history. Construction worker, Check. Bouncer, Check. Bar Tender, check. Tattoo apprentice, Check.

Finally, years after receiving my degree I finally got a web design job. It was a great starting position that allowed me to touch up on my skills, while learning new ones. I was in charge of building templates from approved designs in HTML/CSS. We worked mostly with the Joomla CMS, and I learned that system inside and to manipulate modules and components, adjusting xml files, reverse engineering php/javascript, editing pre-built templates, and building templates from scratch.

Once I started using Joomla, it opened up my doors to other content management systems, such as WordPress and Drupal. I started using WordPress for freelance work because it had a lot of powerful tools and was very similar in construction as a Joomla template. In the beginning WordPress was just used for blogging but now it can be used for anything from a photo-site to an e-commerce site.

With HTML5 and CSS3 gaining steam, it looks like I'll have my work cut out for me to learn the ins and outs of these new powerful languages. I guess that's the great thing about web development, you never get a chance to stop learning…

Thanks for stopping by.