Hailing from Michigan and raised by Wolverines, Joelyn Brickner (Jo) wasn’t ready to commit to a college major after graduating high school, so she worked full time for ADP then State Farm, dabbled in a few liberal arts courses at Washtenaw Community College and eventually went to Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts in Detroit.
After graduating from that program, garnering a year’s worth of radio and video studio experience and her FCC license, she moved to New York City. There she found the position as technical coordinator for a corporate marketing firm called Aniforms.
Brickner ran the corporate capabilities presentation in-house theater. The projection room where she worked and ran the show housed stacks of multi-level slide projectors, a lighting board, a reel-to-reel audio system, a Beta Deck and specialized TVL computer program.
She also cued a puppeteer and live puppet who conversed with the account managers on stage and with the audience. Aniforms used this presentation to engage Fortune 500 companies to purchase marketing services. Their clients included companies such as Exxon and Upjohn Pharmaceuticals.
After three years of working in NYC, Brickner moved to San Diego. Once there, she decided to finish her bachelor’s degree. Working full-time for GE Medical Systems as an office manager she took classes at Miramar and Mesa Colleges during the evenings to complete the general education requirements.
Planning to transfer as a communications major, Brickner applied to and was accepted at UCSD. Three months before starting there, she visited the SDSU campus and toured the School of Art and its computer labs. The decision was easy. Always keenly interested in writing, art, and technology, Brickner translated those interests into an Applied Arts and Sciences major.
After graduation in May 2000, she found a full-time graphic design job working for Veutopia, a startup company in Escondido. There, she designed advertising for big electronic billboards – one in North County and two in Los Angeles. Clients included the San Diego Zoo, Pechanga Casino and the U.S. Navy. Sadly, the owners didn’t manage money well and having spent too much at the outset, they were forced to sell their patent and close the doors.
Brickner then temped through a creative services agency for a while, eventually getting a job at the San Diego Union-Tribune, in their creative services and marketing departments. The director was looking for someone who could fill in for a copywriter out on long-term disability and a graphic designer out on maternity.
Three months later, Brickner was hired full-time as a senior graphic designer and stayed at the paper for eight years. She designed ads of every size for every department from retail to automotive to real estate and restaurants – from Tiffany’s and La Jolla Cosmetics to Bob Baker Chevrolet and San Diego Carpet One.
Eventually she was given a more long-term marketing assignment and for three years wrote an advertorial column for Saturday’s Home Section called “Furniture Focus.” It was well received by account managers and clients, many of whom told her that “it got people in the door and ready to spend money.” The advertising department awarded her during the paper’s annual Advertising Recognition event for its success.
Around 2005, the newspaper industry became increasingly troubled with online news competition and the advent of craigslist. Seeing the writing on the wall, in 2010 Brickner found a position at a financial marketing organization specializing in annuities, insurance and financial investments.
As senior graphic designer and copywriter, Brickner designed and wrote both print and digital marketing collateral for Asset Marketing Systems and its broker-dealer partner, Madison Avenue Securities for six years. During her tenure the three-person marketing team also won two Communicator Awards.
In early 2017, she parted with Asset and started JoelynD Creative, a sole proprietorship. Projects such as illustrating children’s books, designing book covers, writing and designing content for websites plus volunteering her time as copywriting director for AIGA-SD kept her busy.
Brickner accepted the role of content manager for Arc Products in 2018, a division of the Lincoln Electric Company, the world’s largest welding firm. There she worked with hardware and software engineers, writing, editing and designing owners manuals for orbital welding equipment. She also served as the company product photographer using professional equipment as well as creating content for the Wordpress and corporate websites.
In the fall of 2020, Brotman Law offered her another content manager position. Moving from heavy industry to the legal field might be difficult for some, but Brickner took it in stride and has enjoyed learning about the many facets of tax law while supporting the CEO and owner Sam Brotman in the many marketing endeavors a growing law firm has.
In free hours, Brickner enjoys the company of her Schnoodle Fergus Frasier, her fiancé David and his Maine Coon, Sammie, and two pesky birds – Cisco the Conure and Feliz the Cockatiel. She also has fun playing tennis, traveling in the Southwest, painting, and listens to hundreds of audible books of all genres.