It’s a cold, bright day here in Pennsylvania. The Sun is shining through the cloud cover and the air is brisk and the wind is picking up a bit to give that January air some bite. It is a good day to start writing again.

For those of you who are new to my blog, welcome. You have come at a great time in the history of this site. I launched this site last year to be my online portfolio and blog about the creative industry. The topics touched upon range from commentary about industry news, issues facing the young generation of new designers and developers, the music industry in general , and often enough, pop culture and how we perceive it. For those of you who have been following this, I thank you for continuing to do so. You will be seeing a lot more content go up.

So what is Azrael Group? It’s just me, Tim McKenna. A 6’8″ hulking mass that resembles Godzilla or Big Foot. I have been a designer and developer for 5 years at this point. This is my freelance website, so I tend to move back and forth between personal ¬†ideas on topics that affect designers and developers to some promotion and news¬†dissemination. Why go with that model? Because you will always know that it’s me writing everything. So the name, Azrael Group, is interesting. Many people don’t even know how to pronounce it.

Azrael: {Az -Ray – el}

For those of you familiar with your 80’s cartoons, you will know it is the name of a certain cat from a certain prolific cartoon, The Smurfs. While I enjoyed that show as a kid growing up in Pittsburgh, that is not my inspiration of the name. Any fans of Batman will tell you that Azrael was the name of the vigilante that took up Batman’s cape and cowl after Bane broke his back. Visually, Azrael looks awesome, and the imagery stuck. We could go further into the historical name of Azrael and the ties to Thanatos, Izriel, and other angelic orders (from which the comic book character was derived from) but rarely will you find me talk about religious mythology. So why the name? Simple, I like it.

So if you are with me still, good. 2013 is going to be a great year. I have a lot of cool stuff for the year already. Last year I started a company called Rogue’s Gallery Photography Studio, a photo service for convention goers. I learned a lot as a freelance photographer, and I am bringing it all under one roof. I started doing a lot of apparel and as I explore that world, I want to keep you up to date on it. During the day, I work as the Graphic Design and Social Media Specialist at the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physician, or PAFP. I am always plugged into social media and working with doctors, educating them on the design process. Sometimes the design world intersects with the healthcare industry and there are some interesting new insights. I still remember how it was to be a wide eyed student and the struggles that we face to build our reputation in an environment that doesn’t always see the value in design. For those of you who are in that position, you will want to bookmark this page.

One of my first freelance clients were friends of mine. They are the band Meet At Sundown. Members of this band have been friends of mine for well over 15 years, back when we did nothing but wait to procrastinate at our old jobs in high school. The music industry and the design community share a lot of common triumphs and low points. I work with that band quite extensively, and from a management standpoint, I am removed enough to see the correlations between the two creative worlds. You will see a lot of music related topics pop up in the blog and in the gallery.

Finally. I want you to enjoy the blog. I sometimes will chime in on some pop culture happenings, if it pertains to creative industry. You will see a little bit of everything on here. I encourage you to post your comments, send me emails (hate mail and/or love letters included). I take an active interest in my community of readers. You could say I want to the social web social again.

The bright side is you will get to see a lot of great, new things on the site…and hey, the world didn’t end 12/21/12.

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January 10, 2013

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