Misty Barnes graduated from the University of Nebraska-Kearney in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She has worked in communications and as a creative professional for 30 years.
She started her career as a newspaper reporter at the Grand Island (Neb.) Independent, where she honed her writing and editing skills. In 1996, she accepted a job as a copy editor at the Greeley (Colo.) Tribune, later learning newspaper page design and becoming the Features Editor there -- a position she held until 2008. It was during this time that she first dipped a toe into the world of Photoshop and InDesign, and developed a passion for typography and layout.
She then took a job at the Rocky Mountain News in Denver as a presentation editor, designing news and feature pages until the newspaper shuttered in 2009.
As her newspaper career drew to a close, she decided to go back to school to expand her skill set into the world of web design, as well as to receive formal training in the Adobe products she had used throughout her newspaper career (she was mostly self-taught to this point).
She landed right here at Aims, and graduated in 2009 with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Web Design & Development.
After graduating from Aims, Misty eventually landed a job working in Corporate Communications at JBS USA Corporate Headquarters in Greeley, where she has done everything from issuing press releases and handling media inquiries to designing and maintaining numerous internal and external websites, to designing all manner of print collateral, including billboards, pop-up banners, posters, flyers, logos, postcards, social media posts, signage, 3D wall installations and more. She has been with the company for nearly 11 years and currently serves as its Director of Creative Services.
In her spare time, she has a freelance graphic design side gig, as well as a recently-launched Etsy shop called BuildABash Creations, where she sells wedding and party decor, invitations and other paper goods that she has designed and constructed.
Because she didn't feel like she had quite enough to do, she joined the Aims faculty in 2021 as a part-time adjunct instructor, teaching Adobe Illustrator I & II, Photoshop I and Business for Creatives.
"After 30 years as a creative professional, I feel like I have a lot of practical knowledge and real-world insight to pass on to the next group of young creatives," Barnes said. "I enjoy seeing the moment when that light bulb goes on -- when someone comes up with an idea they just can't wait to 'get down on paper,' so to speak. I know that feeling ... it's one of the reasons I love graphic design so much."