Reaching for my Full Potential


I’ve been designing for about 12 years now. I studied fine arts in school – not design (they were still doing cut & paste back then) and started working with computer design back in the mid 90’s. I’ve worked on websites for many, many major companies like Lexus, Toyota, and Oprah …… and even worked my way up to be an art director at one of the largest corporations in the world.

I moved to a small country in Africa and worked as an art director for a couple of more years and eventually started my own ad agency. I ran my ad agency for the past 5 years and have won international awards and have even been featured in design books.

I am successful - but am eager to be my best and am confused about how to get there. . I feel like there is so much more in me but I missed out on a formalized education. All of the hands-on experience is priceless but there are fundamentals missing that allow me to take the leap from good to great. I don’t what they are and I don’t know how to find them.
For the most part, I learn by doing – and gather info from surfing, tutorials, reading, and by staying current with the trends…but I would like to have a more formalized approach toward improving specific skills.

For example, I want to improve my branding skills, but when I look to enroll for online courses at respectable art colleges and see the curriculum, I think, well, I’ve designed so many brands already and know most of the process - I just want to be better at it and the classes are soooo expensive today.

I’ve now moved to a remote island and am taking a 1 year sabbatical before I begin work again and would like to take the next year to take my skills to the next level.

Is there anyone out there who can look at my portfolio at and offer any advice on online skill-building courses? Or perhaps a mentor? Some online course or some individual with a top-notch portfolio that can instruct me with one-on-one feedback and guided lessons to take my skills to the next level.

Areas I would like to improve:
Campaign conception
General design improvement
Photoshop manipulation techniques
Flash microsite building and lightweight actionscript (i’ve designed many, just not programmed them)
HTML and small-scale site building including admin panels