My name is Mary Sullivan, and let me tell you the journey that has taken me to creating websites for you.
I graduated from the University of Toronto with a Fine Arts Degree and immediately got a job in a finance company. That introduced me to main frame computers. Everything that we inputted from loans to creating cheques, went through Peapack, New Jersey. Every time the computer went down (always in the middle of creating a loan document) we’d call out “Peapack’s down”. I knew about crashing computers before people had crashing computers. We were also able to send what was likely a cross between a telex and an email to other offices through their message service. This was all typed on a computer that looked like a giant printer, there were no screens and a lot of the commands were in symbols.
Leaving an education in Fine Art meant that I didn’t pick up a paint brush for over three years. I then started on what I call, my “American Football” series. (see right) I started to enjoy my art again, but was better at making a living outside of that area.
I moved to London, UK in 1988 to be with the fellow that would become my husband. I worked for an accountant there as his assistant and learned all things banking and bookkeeping. But I was also known there as the repair person. If there was an issue with a photocopier not working, I was called, and when computers started being used, I was asked to help. I taught myself one word processing package after receiving it with the instruction to send out a mail merge for 90 clients in two days. I did it and got hooked on programs. I finally convinced my boss to buy WordPerfect, which at that time was the best word processor around, and I went through the manual from front to back in my spare time.
When I left that job after ten years, I wondered what I could do and decided to work for myself. I would teach people how to use their computer! And I was lucky that I seemed to have a knack to figure out programs quickly, so if they needed me to teach them something I hadn’t seen before, I was able to quickly figure it out and teach them. I also worked as a self employed contractor for a charity that taught people with disabilities how to use their computers. Some were blind, some had mobility issues, and I learned a lot about how to find different solutions for every case, and how vital the computer is for those who can’t get out.
I moved back to Canada with my husband in 2002 and continue to work for myself. I do some training now, but I mainly focus on website design. After all these years, I am finally doing a job that fits my original education in fine art.
I love computers, and I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned with people. I have days when I think life would be so much simpler without them, but that doesn’t usually last long.
I am currently offering websites with WordPress, which is a “Content Management System” that allows you to update and work with yourself.
I also create sculptures that I find amusing.