My passion for design started back when I opened my first pack of Topps baseball cards at the age of seven. Back then I was a die hard Oakland A’s fan who’s favorite player happened to be Jose Canseco. With each new pack , I would rank them not by price, but on what design was better. Always wishing one day I would be able to create my own. Years later as my collection grew, so did my passion for design. I always found myself looking at posters and billboards thinking that one day I could design them. So when it was my time to go to college I was lucky enough to get accepted into one of the top art schools in the country, Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota, Florida.

As fate would have it my sophomore year, Jose Canseco happened to be playing with the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team only 45 mins away in St. Petersburg. So when the team announced a fan fest I had to go. All these years growing up a fan and finally being able to meet him was a opportunity I couldn’t pass up. When the day came, my friends and I drove up to the fan fest eager to meet him. But he and several other players were a no show for the event. As we were leaving I was handed a item that would change my life and start me on a path into the professional sports world. It was a team promotional calendar that reminded me of the way I use to think about those baseball cards when I was seven. I knew that I could of designed a better product then they were handing out.

That night I wrote the team a email saying that “the design was lack luster and boring and I could do better in my sleep, if they needed a hand I was looking for a internship”. Granted that is not your usually email to a sports team, but I wasn’t expecting to get anything in response other then your typical “Thank you for supporting the Rays email” but I got a response saying “that if I thought I was that good, prove it”….. and I did.

Since that email I have have had the fortune of working with several professional sports franchises including the Orlando Magic, Ultimate Fighting Championship and the office of Minor League Baseball creating fond memories and creative designs along the way. Please take the time to look at my portfolio, and feel free to contact me if you have any opportunities for freelance or full time work.


Rusty Morris

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