artdude creative

marketing imagination

About Joe Smith, chief imaginer

Art Dude Graphic Design Studio
PO Box 60964
Nashville TN 37206


Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary: Graduated in 1994 (MDiv with high honors)

Belmont University: Graduated in 1990 (BA in religion and art)

Antonnelli Institute of Art and Photography: Graduated in 1985 (ACA with honors)

Carson-Newman College: Attended 1980-1982 (major in fine art)

Community Involvement:

Producer & Creator: 2013-2016, Art Camp Nashville, a community art conference

Chair: 2013, BarCamp Nashville, a technology un-conference

Board Member: 2012-Currently, Nashville Chamber of Commerce East Board

Adjunct Instructor - Interactive Media, Advanced Web Design: 2007-2009, Belmont University University

Adjunct Instructor - Media Graphics and Freshmen Seminar: 2003-2004, Appalachian State University

Board Member and Publicity Chair: 1996-1998, Watauga Youth Network

Publicity Co-Chair: 1995-1997, Watauga County Habitat for Humanity


2019-Currently Open Software, LLC (openacu) Nashville TN - Principal Partner

Open ACU is an online scheduler and health records software as a service for acupuncturists

1999-Currently Art Dude Creative Nashville TN - Creative Director/Owner

Art Dude is my original brand and dream job. I love solving creative problems, especially if they involve pretty pictures, typography or cool code.

My duties include everything a small business owner can expect, plus some productive daydreaming, using really powerful and big computers to craft images and technology, cultivating relationships with printers and web host types, coding my shopping card/CMS, and seeing a solution come to fruition -- the best part of all (except for the process).

2016-2023 Smith+Thornhill, LP (Sytewise) Nashville TN - Partner

Sytewise is a Work Order platform for the commercial property management industry. It manages fixed assets on commercial property and issues interactive Work Orders for maintenance and installation vendors.

2011-2019 POCA Point Nashville TN - Owner/Developer

POCA Point was created for community acupuncturists who schedule up to 30 appointments a day per practitioner, and they needed a quick easy way to make, track and report on that schedule.

POCA Point was replaced by the better, faster, securer Open ACU in 2019.

2010-2012 ZIPBOX Media, LLC Nashville TN - art & code/Partner/Founder

I was involved in the original concept, business development, venture effort and manifestation of ZIPBOX Media. Since the formation of the company I created the corporate identity and all image elements. I also designed and developed the numerous Web sites in the ZIPBOX empire. I supervised a small staff of developers who extended the ZIPBOX capabilties.

1996-1999 EB Wall & Associates • Lenoir, NC • 828.757.0047 – Senior Art Director, Technology director

The creative work at EB Wall was gratifying. I managed two art directors and a production manager. We served a variety of traditional and technological clients. As a full service ad agency we dealt with print as well as television media. Clients included Broyhill Furniture, Greer Laboratories, Bank of Granite, West Glow Spa, Hickory Metro Visitors and Convention Bureau and several others.

The world wide web was just coming into its own as a viable advertising medium and I was anxious to learn about this emerging technology. The ownership at EB Wall was gracious in allowing me to learn html on several real projects. The first whole web site I produced was for Valley Hills Mall that featured an animated logo. From that site I produced several more and began training one of the art directors everything I was learning.

1995-1996 Precision Printing • Boone, NC • 828.265.0004 – Systems Administrator and Prepress Manager

Relocation to the Boone, NC area put my small business on hold and Precision Printing offered a position that took advantage of my technical skills. I oversaw all prepress operations and caught layout tasks for jobs that required an artist's skills.

Precision Printing had just purchased new computer equipment for scanning images, compositing pages and outputting film. I received specialized training for the Linotype-Hell scanner and the RIP/image setter. I also managed the computer network, and wrote a database application for managing job tasks and work flow.

1992-1995 Art Dude Graphics • Kansas City, MO – Owner/Creative Director

With a desire to expand my creative endeavors, I started my own design studio. I had to learn quickly how to sell, manage projects, account book keeping and develop creative solutions. Throughout these years I worked mostly with agencies and a few end user clients. I created whole corporate identities, product catalogs, company brochures, newsletters, magazine covers, annual reports, billboards, posters, stationary packages, direct mail pieces, packaging, trade show displays and many other print and publishing products.

Some of the clients included Kodak, ADM, The Kansas City Auto Show, the Kansas City Convention Center, Butler Buildings and many others. I was involved in every aspect of most of these projects including concept, writing copy, layout and design, photo art direction, prepress production, and press checks.

1991-1992 Shick Tube-Veyor Corporation • Kansas City, MO • 816.861.7224 – Designer

As the staff designer for this industrial engineering and manufacturing company I developed trade advertisements, brochures, trade show graphics and internal materials. I also worked directly with ad agency executives and art directors on larger projects.

1989-1991 Brentwood Music Publishing • Nashville, TN • 615.373.3950 – Macintosh Artist

Working directly with the art director I helped develop promotional materials for new recordings including posters, point-of-purchase displays, t-shirts and print advertising. I also designed all and parts of label specific recordings and sheet music covers, including illustrations, basic designs and title art.

1979 Newspaper Printing Corporation • Nashville, TN • 615.259.8000 – Layout Artist

With a portfolio built from student work in commercial art in high school I was able to spend a summer in the advertising department of the Tennessean newspaper. As a layout artist I took assignments from advertising sales executives to design display ads for the newspaper. This entailed a tracing of the ad to size with specifications for headlines and text, artwork sizing and placement tracings that required camera work. I also operated a Variatype photo typesetting machine.

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