Al Yates has done just about everything from running a newspaper web press to designing web pages. In the pre-digital media days, Al was airbrush illustrating phantom cutaways of sport fishing boats, and designing hot tub brochures. When Photoshop and desktop publishing came on the scene, Al traded his airbrush and paste-up waxer for a mouse and Mac computer. His client list includes Roland Music, Cascade Spas, The Port of Bellingham, and Homax. From 1997 to 2008, Al served as Lead Graphic Designer/Art Director for SPIE—The International Society for Optical Engineering, designing promotional media for the high-tech world of light-based technologies (lasers,nanotechnology,etc.). Some of his technology posters have appeared on the set of the CBS hit sitcom "The Big Bang Theory."
Al has a passion for the important part that visual design plays in the world of innovative technology. "Artists play a huge role in bringing technology to the people." He's a strong believer in the educational concept of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, ART and Math) rather than STEM. "We need to teach students to use their whole brain, not just the left side or the right."
The best advice Al can give to a student comes from a lesson he learned from the "Great One" back in the 80's as a "hockey-playing, mullet-haired kid" from Minnesota: "Skate to where the puck is going to be…not where it is now." Al will tell you to "look to the future and train for it, never be afraid to learn new things, and don't get too comfortable when things are good, because change is inevitable."