Hey there you awesome person! Thank you so much for stopping by the playground, my thing on the Interwebs where my thoughts, work, ramblings, and other such goodies reside. No filler. No BS. I try to be honest in everything I do, and this website is no exception. I encourage you to look around a bit. If you enjoy what you see, please feel free to like my page on facebook or follow me on twitter. Happy browsing!

why hello there!

My name is Robert L. Barrett, but you can call me Rob, Bob, Robbie, Wahb, Bobert, Bear, Barrett, Robo, Roberto, Robatron, Bor, Bub, Rubby, but most definitely NOT Bobby. I don't like Bobby.

I was born and raised in Michigan, which means that I wear sleeveless shirts and shorts in 40 degree weather while utilizing my hand as a map. Early on, I found that creative thinking was something that I could just... well... do. It came naturally and never felt like work, so I ran with it. I found myself some 20 years later with a BFA in Graphic Design from Central Michigan University. It was certainly a fun trip and far too ephemeral, but in my book, the party is just starting.

I'm a Detroit sports fan, which in Chicago can be difficult at times, but hey, I roll with the punches. I prefer to watch the more violent sports [football, hockey, etc.], but I can enjoy just about anything competitive. Oftentimes you'll catch me watching my guilty pleasure, golf. I love it. I love to play it. I love to live it. I love to love it. It's just a great, relaxing game of swearing under your breath, nervously yipping 3 foot putts for chump change, and never, ever, [EVER!] playing to your true ability. Yep, it's the greatest game ever created.

As far as work experience is concerned, I served as a visual / ux designer for Sears and Kmart. I was a part of their team from July, 2013 to June, 2017. My primary responsibilities included updating their Fashion, Men's Fashion, Women's Fashion, and Kids' Fashion pages on monthly to bi-monthly basis depending on needs of our merchants. After three years of that, I was moved to working on a variety of pages including, but not limited to, clothing, shoes, toys, holiday, and sports. It was a wonderful experience, but now I'm looking forward to what the future will bring.

When I'm not working, I spend a significant amount of time working on my second career as a fine artist. It is one of my dreams to be a well respected artist and to earn my means through painting and other fine arts. You can also find me on the golf course in the spring/summer, at a Lions game in the fall, or having some brews in the winter. I enjoy recreational (more like "semi-professional") softball as well, and not your 6-12 foot arc stuff. We're talkin' unlimited, 30 foot high, arc pitches. It's a blast.

Though it's a bit cliché, I live by the mantra of work hard first, play harder second. Throughout the year, I'll try to keep myself sane through ridiculously strenuous workouts and pleasuring my ears with a variety of music or insightful podcasts.

Being able to problem solve through creative thinking is the one thing that makes me, well, unique? Perhaps outrageous ideas aren't always the best solution, but they're the ones that have made me successful enough to use the word "successful" in a sentence. I don't think I'll ever run out of insane creative ideas, and I sure as hell won't ever get sick of them.

You might be thinking why Rob's Mental Playground? Good question. I'm a kid at heart, and I do my best to maintain a youthful curiosity about anything and everything. Therefore, Rob's Mental Playground seemed appropriate, as my thoughts are oftentimes experimental playthings, much like a playground is a plaything for a curious child. It's a perfect metaphor for the inner workings of my creative mind and spirit. So I invite you to absorb the mental nuggets I'm presenting here, and don't worry, I'm not as pretentious as my writing might suggest. I'm just a normal guy who put a box on his head, doused it with lighter fluid, and set it ablaze to prove a metaphorical point...

Seriously, I really did that.

-- RLB

P.S. - If you'd like to see what my "about me" used to be, click here!