The Handelabra Team
Managing Partner and Fearless Leader
After graduating from University School in Hunting Valley, Ohio in 1995, I attended Skidmore college in Saratoga Springs, New York for a year and a half before dropping out and going on the cliche’d journey to “find myself”. I had always loved Apple products (my “college machine” was a PowerBook 520c with an upgraded 20 whole megabytes of RAM). So naturally, I started delivering pizza’s and slinging coffee.
After a few years of that, I met the woman who would become my wife while waiting on tables and it was her thirst for knowledge that dragged me to Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her where I finally finished that whole “undergraduate thing” at UWMilwaukee (Bachelor’s of Science in Information Resources). It was there I met Joshua, who got me a job at Culver Brand Design, doing miscellaneous flash projects. A few years there as the “guy who learns stuff” transformed me from a “flash guy” to a “web guy” and finally to a “3D guy”.
Then came the iPhone.
I had my iPhone for a year when I started to have a bunch of “hey, wouldn’t it be great” moments which became nuggets of ideas for apps. I started Handelabra in September of 2009 after a summer of having lots of these ideas for apps, and watching intently as no one developed them.
And I decided, hey, if no one else is going to it, I guess I’ll just have to.
Partner and Lead Bit Flipper
Here’s one way to describe what I do: I sit in front of a shiny box and press buttons until the lights on the shiny box please me. I was introduced to this concept at a tender age with the venerable VIC-20; at that point my fate was sealed. My quest for pleasing shiny lights has been aided by an inspirational high school teacher (thanks, Mr. MacDonald!), a solid undergraduate education at the University of Waterloo, and a brief yet enlightening foray into the world of graduate studies at the University of Alberta.
I achieved my Master’s at U of A, but I also learned that academic research was not for me. My co-op experiences at Waterloo had given me a taste for industry (and taught me that small companies are the best for me). Jobs followed: CodeBaby and WayTo, both small shops in Edmonton. I was introduced to the art of pressing buttons to make pleasing lights on tiny shiny boxes at CodeBaby, but the opportunity for such work did not come along again. However, one day I received a pretty random inquiry from one Jeremy Handel. Would I be interested in working with the iPhone, the shiniest tiny box that’s around these days?
Aaron "postmechanical" London
Bit Flipper 1st class
I was fortunate enough to grow up around computers. My neighbor and best friend had a Commodore-64 and his father taught us BASIC. When my parents got the family a Mac SE I got hooked on HyperCard. All along the way though, it never occurred to me to pursue my hobby as a profession. Only later, after graduating Wesleyan University with a degree in Cultural Anthropology, as the web was becoming more generally accessible did I realize that I might be able get away with playing with computers for a living. Fast forward through some lost years and community college programming courses and I landed a job with Avid Technology, Inc. just as the Mac OS X 10.0 Public Beta was being released. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot working with the great people of Avid.
Avid supported me and let me play with computers for a living, but at WWDC 2007 when Apple announced the iPhone my first instinct along with hundreds of others at that moment was “I need to make apps for that”. So I started tinkering nights and weekends to transfer my Mac OS X skills to the new platform. In 2010 I followed my wife to Salt Lake City where she would pursue a MFA in Modern Dance, while I would explore the mountains and try to find a way to get paid to play with computers and write iOS apps. Then I found the easygoing guys at Handelabra who needed help making useful apps. Luckily they didn’t care where I lived or if I ran off for a few hours here and there to sneak in some skiing in the amazing Utah powder as long as I didn’t violate the short but interesting company handbook…
Brittney "Migrant Artist" McIsaac
I wasn’t born with a computer in my hand, like all the other (wonderful) nerds at Handelabra. Instead, it was a paintbrush! My destiny was pretty clear at that point.
I have studied art independently for many years, along with formal education in graphic design and art and culture management. Working in the Visual Arts Alberta gallery exposed me directly to the world of real artists living their dreams. Currently I am studying Fine Art at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and loving it.
I was officially introduced to the digital world of art creation through my partner John Arnold who has a contagious passion for computers, games, and the like. My background is traditional art forms but once I got a Wacom tablet, there was no stopping me!
Having the opportunity to use my talent and experience to work with the brilliant Handelabra team has been thrilling. Building mobile apps is a great way to distribute our artistic vision to the world, and have fun doing it!
Terrena "T-boss" Boss
Growing up, I was the kid that teachers always referred to as “the artist”. Whether I was making papermache animals or messing around with photoshop to give my friends surprise new looks – I have always been happiest when exploring ideas and making things.
I had many birthdays for which I received sketchbooks, pencils, and paints, which were always thoroughly enjoyed. My parents encouraged creativity in all of their kids, giving us drawing tools and telling us to go to to town on a wall that they were planning to re-paint (thanks mom and dad).
Art was something I never grew out of even when I made the choice to go to college for business. Oops! During my first semester of business and after my first taste of accounting, I started building my portfolio and applied to art school. A few short, fantastic years later I received an interdisciplinary Fine Art Degree from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.
I have worked as freelance artist, photographer and designer for the last several years. I have also worked full time for Harcourt House Artist Run Centre, in Edmonton, where I managed all things art – more specifically Exhibitions and Art Education programming.
Because of my diverse artistic background, working with the Handelabra gang is a perfect fit for me – So you mean I get to make the art for awesome ideas? Yes please! I’m thrilled that I get to work with a great team allowing me to make art in an arena with so many possibilities.
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