Lecturer, Communication Design
Office: JCM 3117
Office Phone: 245-7422
Born of the vast expanses of the southern plains in 1980, Caleb grew up in small-town Texas. At 14 he moved to the gulf coast and discovered an active and inclusive DIY punk-rock scene that taught him to make the things he wanted to see in the world and challenge the status quo. He graduated high school early and began college at the tinder age of 17.
Unsure of what he wanted to do with the rest of his life he studied his favorite topic, human cognition and behavior. Around this time he migrated to the liberally minded city of Austin and immersed himself in the music and movie culture that he found there. He worked for various audio and video companies ushering in the inevitable digital revolution while serving in every conceivable role from production assistant to live audio engineer and cameraman.
He began designing album covers for bands while working at a recording studio in Austin. It was there that Caleb realized he could make extra money selling art to musicians. He was still painfully unaware of the field of design. He began to do the same thing with movie posters for the independent Austin film scene.
Eventually he had built up enough skill, knowledge, and confidence to pursue a paid design internship. It was here that he learned the ins-and-outs of producing creative work on a daily basis, collaborating with a multi-disciplinary team, meeting deadlines, and packaging files for delivery to clients or printers. He was later hired in an expanded role as a junior-level designer for the same agency. He worked there for a handful of years before being offered a senior-level design position at a prestigious engineering school.
After about a decade of the creative grind Caleb decided to head back to his alma mater to finish his high-falutin’ Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Communication Design degree. He relinquished the comfort of a high paying job and launched his own free-lance business that same month. He kept his head above water by investing his time as a partner in a bar, working with his vast network of colleagues in the Austin area and becoming a Teacher’s Assistant at his school. After one year he had sold his steak in the bar, began instructing his own courses in the undergraduate design program, and putting all other free-lance work on hold to finish his thesis in education reformation for low-income schools.
Caleb finished his MFA degree in May 2016. He currently teaches Communication Design full-time at Texas State University. You will most often find him sitting on the desks talking to his freshmen students about concepts in the foundations courses, or discussing the series of cognition in his trademark and branding classes, or sometimes hovering over student’s computers correcting their HTML syntax in interactive media.
It was a long road from West Texas to Austin but Caleb’s overall focus as never shifted from the junction of art and people. His career now focuses on how design thinking can be best utilized to serve communities and individual alike.