Ray Dotzler Member Profile September 2014

Ray-Dotzler-Profile-Photo-300x253Tell us a little about yourself. I grew up in a small town in Iowa in a family of ten with one bathroom. Five of us boys slept in a small bedroom upstairs with just enough room for two bunk beds. There was no heating and no a/c – and we loved it!

After working as a mechanic to pay my way through high school, I told my father I wanted to go to art school. He thought I was crazy, and said I should stay working as a mechanic. I carefully thought about that, then moved to Omaha to attend art school.

During my time at school, I worked nights and on weekends as a tire buster, took flying lessons, and spent whatever free time I had left with my girlfriend, who later became my wife. My first job after graduation was working at an outdoor sign company designing large neon and backlit signs. We didn’t have a projector back then; my sign designs were drawn by hand. I drew actual-sized letters on a 40-foot roll of paper on a wall with a 20 foot hanging t-square. My next job was working as a graphic designer at a large architectural and engineering firm. Within seven years I became the art director, working with a staff of artists, photographers, and writers.

In 1983 b.c. (before computers), I decided to start a design business. We grew fast – there were six of us within six months, all crammed in the basement of my home, so the studio had to move out. At one time our studio had over 20 employees. Ten years later, I founded the Creative Center, college of art & design, which just celebrated its 20-year anniversary last year.

I have truly been blessed to work in such an interesting and diverse field for this long. And I’m especially grateful to work alongside a great group of dedicated and talented people at Dotzler Creative Arts and the Creative Center. From Rubylith and typesetters to social media and apps, my career has been in the best of times.

What are your favorite apps? Well, it’s got to be “Life’s a Jungle,” a Christian game app, because we produced it. The launch date is September 12, so please check it out; it’s free!

What kind of music do you like? I love pop music, but sometimes a great song gets overplayed.

What’s your favorite game show? Wheel Of Fortune and Jeopardy! are always fun to watch. But, for now, I’ll have to say it’s The Price Is Right. My son lives in LA and got us tickets to the show. So if anyone happens to be watching on September 30, you’ll see me and my family in the audience.

What is your take on Selfies? I love Selfies, just not of me. It’s a great way to capture and document yourself while you’re at an amazing event.

What’s the one website you visit at least three times a day? MacRumors.com

What kind of work does your art studio do? Mostly non-profit work including branding, websites, videos, apps and print.

What’s your favorite thing about AAF Omaha? I enjoy the AdBite luncheons, and recently I attended the Advertising Ethics workshop, which was very good. I also love the ADDY banquets, seeing all the great work done right here in Nebraska. I’ve been going to the Addy’s since the 80′s – we helped create one year’s theme called ‘In the Mood’ back when it was called the “Cornhusker Awards.” Now that’s going waaaay back!


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