My name is Laura Burke, and I live with my husband and two cats in a very rural area of Upper Peninsula of Michigan in a town called Ontonagon. We’re called Yoopers (U.P.er, basically).
I’ve been a graphic designer since 1983 when I got a job at the local weekly newspaper. Other than taking art classes and making some signs while I was in high school, I had no formal training, but it came naturally to me and I fell in love.
Back then the tools were different but the goal was the same: Take a certain amount of information, text and photos, and make it look good — make people want it!
In 1990, I remember being almost transfixed at seeing my first Apple computer in action at the mid-Wisconsin newspaper where I worked. I didn’t get to use it myself — sniff! — but just a few months later at a new job I took after we moved back to Michigan, I did get to work on a Mac. I couldn’t wait to get to the office each day because it was so much fun.
I remember getting some photo manipulation software called Digital Darkroom for my own first Mac in the early ’90s, and wow, that was cutting-edge stuff! Fast forward to 1999 when I first began using Photoshop in earnest. The world of graphic design had changed forever for me, as it had for so many others once Photoshop came on the scene earlier that decade.
I started teaching the basics of graphic design using Photoshop in the early 2000s to a few small groups and individuals. It was so enjoyable to see their excitement at being able to create effects they’d seen in magazines and online. And I was hooked on teaching!
Over the years, and particularly from about 1997 to 2016, I was a freelance graphic designer on the side in addition to doing graphic design at my 9-to-5. So that’s what I’ve been doing with my life, besides shoveling snow and eating too much puffcorn.
Then came print on demand. I’ve been doing it since 2014 and I LOVE it! I started with Teespring but now focus on Merch by Amazon, Teelaunch, Gearbubble, and I’m getting into the Printful/Etsy combo.
About this site
Because I love to teach, I created the POD Squad Graphic Design and Photoshop Training course and this web site/blog to introduce it to those who do POD, as well as talk about all aspects of the POD world.