Reggie Tidwell, ’97
BFA , Studio Art/Graphic Design concentration
As owner of the design firm Curve Theory, Reggie Tidwell, ’97, produces interactive websites from scratch for “mom and pop” shops to Fortune 100 companies—but that’s not all he’s creating these days. As part of a new web overhaul project for a large account, he’s also developing several online kids’ games. His inspiration comes from extensive professional experience, as well as other key sources.
“I’ve already decided what they’ll be,” Tidwell says. “They’re based on games that are familiar to children. I get ideas from my 5-year-old daughter, India, who is always on the Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and Disney websites.”
Since earning his BFA degree from Maryville, Tidwell has worked in various design capacities. Aspiring to start his own business, he first launched Design Matterz, focusing on graphic projects such as logos, posters and magazine advertising. A year later, in an attempt to shake cabin fever (something he has since learned to deal with by taking time out to go for a walk, browse in a bookstore or meet a friend for lunch), he accepted an in-house position with a company that sent him to a Macromedia (now Adobe) facility to learn Flash technology, and then set up a local training center.
“Flash was just becoming popular then,” Tidwell recalls. “For a while, I was the only one teaching it in St. Louis. Flash became the pinnacle of my career.”
Tidwell’s passion for the outdoors figured into his decision about six years ago to leave his hometown of St. Louis and settle in Asheville, N.C. – in the mountains and just hours from an ocean.
“At 32 years old, I was sold on Asheville after a half hour of searching online for someplace near the mountains,” Tidwell says. “But I still get back to St. Louis. All of my family is still there and friends—even some clients.”
In the meantime, Tidwell keeps up with former Maryville professors – like Cherie Fister, now assistant dean and director of the College of Art & Design – through Facebook, and with classmates like Randy Wende, ’97, owner of 07 Creative, through instant messaging or videoconferencing. Recently, he was prompted to go through old photos and found some from his Maryville days.
“It was a nostalgic feeling. I remember how inspired we were by the program and how motivated we were to join the ranks of our teachers,” he says. “They were all passionate artists and always creating things – they were such specialists. You really felt you were learning skills from the top artists in their field. They were extraordinary.”