Hello, my name is David and I'm the sole proprietor of Tactile Portraits, and also built my website, here.
I was born in suburban Detroit in 1980, and I still live in the area, today. (Note, however, that about half of my customers are from outside of Michigan. With modern communication - telephone, e-mail, instant messaging, Skype, and so forth - I've had zero problems working remotely.) I attended area Catholic schools, and then briefly attended community college.
The name "Tactile Portraits" is actually just carried over from a prior business. Back in 2008, I had the idea of using 3D printers to create figurines of people, much like studio photography portraits, only they'd be miniature statues. So "tactile" for the statuettes, and "portraits" because they'd be customized likenesses. I was seeking over a hundred thousand dollars to launch the business, and although I never got a penny, I learned all about the technologies, especially computer modeling. In 2011, long after I'd given up seeking investment on that concept, I chose to follow the knowledge of computer animation further.
I've been doing computer animations and media work ever since. Even though it's not very relevant to my current work, I carried the name "Tactile Portraits" over because I had the domain name secured and was vested in it.
So, all of my education in computer animation is through self-teaching (although that's a bit of a misnomer, as I explain here.) This learning definitely continues every day, because the technologies are always changing, and there are also new techniques to learn with older technologies.
Some of my earliest customers included a business which needed a cartoon of a college graduation, a gentleman with a Kickstarter project who needed his invention visualized, and a small business that wanted their make-up product animated.