Hillary Meister
Web person, writer, photographer, owner of dog

cartoon of me in sofa chair with a dog curled up on the floorI knew I wanted to do something with cameras, filming, writing when I was a wee one. I liked to scribble on my walls with crayon (what kid doesn’t?) but mine took on story flair. In first grade, I wrote a tail about going to the zoo. I illustrated it with animal (stick) drawings. Trust me, my drawing skills are minimal, but I knew, at the time, I wanted to tell stories.

During my years in elementary school I wrote bad poetry and prose that my mom would ship off to relatives to read.

In fifth grade, I took over the bulletin board. I created an ocean scene complete with colorful, cut-out fish and coral. In sixth grade I worked on the school newspaper and again in middle school. I carted around a camera with me in high school and photographed all sorts of things. I took writing classes in college, worked on a literary magazine and tried to figure out what to do. For a short while, I studied oceanography at F.I.T. in Jensen Beach. I veered away from fish and went off to Colorado University in Boulder to study film. I had classes with Stan Brakhage, a well-known, avant-garde filmmaker. I returned to the University of Central Florida to finish their film program. There, I earned a bachelor of arts (B.A.) in Film (RTV).

My first job, two weeks from graduating, was as a film editor at a local TV station. I did film and photography there. But due to the introduction of an Atari computer, everything changed.

Fast forward… I earned a masters of English education (M.Ed.) at the University of Georgia in Athens to teach secondary school…

And now I work on the Web. It’s all related…

Born and raised…

…in Orlando, FL. but I live in Atlanta, GA.

I’ve had all the jobs!

I’ve been a… chicken fryer, sandwich maker, beer girl, maid, car washer, train station waitress, cast member at Disney World, food clerk at Sea World, dress clerk (for one day), street corner flower seller (oh, those teenage, high school jobs…), computer store salesgirl, freelance photographer, receptionist/secretary (for a week, I think) then…

During and after college…

Cartoon that says Internet…I worked as a local news reporter, AP stringer photographer, television film editor, news photographer, TV news studio camera girl, Chyron graphics operator, studio audio person, grip for documentary unit, on-location videographer/grip, music editor, music/entertainment writer, music producer, band manager, online content developer, online content manager, tech editor, Web product manager, online producer, online content strategist, online community manager, online chat coordinator, news producer and multimedia manager, online multimedia developer, online editor, online production technician, WordPress tech, social media manager, Web author, Web coordinator. Whew.

What I did during tech layoffs…

…graduated from PetSmart Splash training for dog bathing (it was a possible career change decision), worked as a pet sitter and dog walker, Ebayed and Amazoned it, transcribed boring corporate meetings, edited various types of copy for the Yellow Pages online, did some freelance writing, co-wrote a dog directory book for Atlanta (City Dog Atlanta), worked as QA for ajc.com, taught 9th grade English for a short time (I put that graduate degree to work…), wrote and photographed stuff for a series of business magazines, freelanced for a lot of newspapers, magazines and websites. Built websites for businesses (that no longer exist…), went to real estate school, went back to tech school for certificates… and finally…

Higher Education saved me…

I left the corporate world because I’d rather help make better humans than products. Thanks to Georgia Gwinnett College for giving me my start in higher education. I went from bears to panthers and am now the Web coordinator for the College of Education & Human Development. The College is part of Georgia State University. Go Panthers!

My Coeurs

Coeur Lord of the Rings trilogy, Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek… most sci-fi and fantasy books, movies, TV.

Coeur Animals.

Coeur Nature, but not when it’s 90 degrees outside, unless I’m in…

Coeur Water — the beach, a pristine lake or clear spring on a boat, preferably.

Coeur Thrift stores, consignment shops, yard sales and estate sales.

Coeur Music.

Coeur Laughter.

Who are you?

Tell me something about yourself? What have you been in your life?

2 Responses

  1. Hi, Hillary. I’m looking for an interview you did with Lee Valentine Smith in about 2006 or 07…any idea where it might be? Thanks!!

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