Below is an excerpt from the VoyageATL interview. Read the whole interview here.

Alex, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Twenty years ago, I sat nervously in the office of J. Walter Thompson interviewing for a junior copy writer position. My sweaty hands fumbled through my portfolio as I attempted to prove my value to the company as a soon-to-be college graduate. I left the interview feeling confident about my chances only to learn later that I had lost the opportunity to a writer who also had a design background.

To this day, the irony of that experience makes me smile. I thought I wanted to be a writer and had no idea I was heading toward design.

I’ve enjoyed art as a hobby my whole life, but I sort of fell into a career in graphic design. For some reason, the idea of working as a professional artist never crossed my mind. Maybe I thought that all artists were starving.

After working in public relations for three different companies, I realized my heart wasn’t in it. The firm I worked for in Washington, D.C., was outsourcing all of its design projects, but I knew I could do better. So with my boss’s blessing, I bought some software and started teaching myself how to use it, designing more and more projects for the company. Over the course of several years, I worked my way up to Senior Creative Director.

I moved to the Atlanta area in 2007 to work for a small company as the head of marketing and creative services. Soon after moving down here, I decided to start my own design firm instead of waiting for the looming recession to make that choice for me. I’ve never looked back.

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Based in the Atlanta area, Loudmark is a strategic marketing and design agency, which provides a broad range of services including advertising, event production, branding, graphic design, packaging, web development, and much more.