I am Nicholas Cristo Pasqualetti, a Writer, Graphic Designer, and Web Developer living in Seattle.
I received a B.A. in Graphic Design from California State University, where I also completed two consecutive internships as a Designer for the CSU Office of Public Affairs. I had been freelancing since 2006 and in 2011 entered the digital marketing field as a Web Design Specialist for a prominent global corporation in Seattle. Design is more than just a career for me, more than a dedicated hobby, but a way of life, an obsession, and a heartfelt, mind-blowing passion.
My Design Statement
For me, being a designer means exploring all the creative avenues of my imagination. All the hidden pathways and channels that lie waiting to be discovered, and all of the rivers of inspired vision that have yet to take shape. In the words of Oscar Wilde, I wish to "realize my own perfection and make my every dream a reality."
Design is my dream, an abstract reality. It is not just an art form to me, but a way of life, a way of defining a visual identity for society and culture. It is everywhere, and in all of us. Everywhere I go I see the elements of design, be it in fashion, architecture, billboards, magazines, or product labels. Wherever you are in the world, you can see design at work, and it is that kind of congruity and universal ubiquity that makes design such a significant part of my life, my world, and my entire human experience.
As a graphic designer I am charged with solving problems and creating solutions to visual disparities. This can be a difficult task at times, but the world around me is inspiring. It is a world rich with visual information, never lacking an example of good design from which to draw inspiration. The very architecture, billboard, or product label that I would have looked at in passing can open a doorway into the minds and creative perspectives of dreamers and designers all over the world. I too can see how they see by appreciating the world that they have designed for me. It is that same world that I design in my dreams, and it are those dreams that I wish to make reality.
My friends, family, and those who know me personally all call me Nick. That is my true identity, my first and only genuine persona as it exists in reality. I’ve gone by many nicknames over the years—a majority of which have been internet handles and online personas used for the purposes of becoming someone else in a world where you can be whoever the hell you want to be—but Nick is who I’ve always been and, at the end of the day, who I will always be.
Some of the aliases I’ve used for the purpose of diluting my identity include my current professional name of Nicholas Cristo (my real first and middle names), as well as Anticrash, my most personal and longest lasting handle. These aliases created a way for me, as an aspiring internet personality, to develop a fresh and unique identity for myself, separate from my true self, and personalized in such a way as to create a version of me as I wished to be.
Nicholas Cristo, currently, is the core of who I have become as a man. As I graduated college and obtained my Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design, I felt as if I had graduated from my childhood as well. I am an official college graduate, for crying out loud. That is a statement of achievement that goes far beyond the realm of education for me. My degree has become a symbol of my status as a Graphic Designer for one, but it has also become a symbol of my maturity. It is the product of a college education that took entirely too long, finally culminating in a reward that makes me valuable not only to myself, but to the world, as I have been certified as an asset to society. Everybody needs Graphic Designers, and it is that additional value that has been added to my life that has made me feel like a more integral part of the world. I no longer feel the need to create an alternate identity for myself as I have in the past in order to mimic that sense of value; I have achieved it entirely of my own accord.
In the 90’s and early 2000’s, I felt the need to manufacture this level of self-worth that I was apparently lacking at the time using the internet as a channel to promote my alternate identities and evoke an element of respectability from the digital populace. I used this as a tactic to boost my ego and self-esteem, as I struggled with social interactions and typically felt like an outsider for most of my adolescence and young adulthood. Because of this, my personal connections with others were few and far between. I had my immediate family and a best friend, whom I’ve had to interact with long-distance for half of our relationship, and that was usually all there was for me in terms of interpersonal communication. I had the occasional friend or two from work or school, but those friendships were generally constrained to the workplace or campus grounds, and rarely developed into off-hours friendships. For the ones that did, they usually ended whenever one of us quit the job, or when the semester came to an end.
When the earliest social networks and blogging utilities emerged on the internet, I found a way to cope with my lack of social proficiency: blog it. I created my first blog around 2000 or 2001, using the free weblog service on Blogger.com. Blogger was one of the first of such utilities to emerge and has remained on the forefront for years, and I was pretty enthralled with the concept at the time. I had never been one to keep a diary, but there was something about the ability to share personal thoughts and events that felt almost therapeutic. That is when Anticrash became a more prominent part of my personality.
I came up with the name in 1996 when I decided that I needed a new handle; something that would relate a little more closely with the vision of who I desired to be, or how I wanted my persona to appear. Previously, I’d gone primarily by the nickname of Dreadlock, but as that lost relevance (and lacked a coolness factor) I searched for an upgrade. It started as a combination of random words that I began fitting together on a whim—other candidates including Magnafrost, Turbocrush, and Supershift—but Anticrash became much more significant to me not as a literal descriptor of my personality, but as an ideal. A literal interpretation of the name would be “one who does not crash.” In the range of computer lingo and 90’s hacker-speak, that would infer that I, as a digital persona, would not crash, or fail; in other words, it implied that I would persist, or otherwise be eternal. As someone who had a fear of fading away or becoming forgotten, that was the perfect ideal for me to adopt at the time.
1996, being an emotionally tumultuous year for me, stirred up a lot of ideas in my head about who I was and who I wanted to be, and the pop culture interests I had at the time really helped to steer me into a direction to better identify who I was. I looked to the media for inspiration, and what I found was a treasure trove of music, movies, television, comic books, video games, and cartoons that really drove my motivations into overdrive and helped define Anticrash as a being of substance.
One of the movies that debuted around that time that I found inspiring was Hackers, starring Johnny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie. While, looking back, it was a cheese-fest, hardly believable, and honestly quite silly, it was a depiction of an ideal, of a cultural interpretation that spoke to my subconscious and evoked a feeling of familiarity. A hacker; that was what I wanted to be. Early on in the 90’s, my childhood friend Sean and I started getting into computers and discovered the joys of the World Wide Web. While archaic at the time, the 90’s-era internet was heavy on emerging technologies such as IRC (Internet Relay Chat) and Newsgroups (file-sharing communities). As Sean and I became more immersed in these concepts, our internet personas began to emerge and we entered into a digital lifestyle. The virtual cyberscape of the Web became our playground; an Electronic Playground.
With that in mind, films like Hackers and Johnny Mnemonic had a huge impact on our digital aspirations and certainly helped to expand our perceptions of the growing cyberculture in America. As Dreadlock, I learned the ways of the digital world and was able to get a feel for the virtual realm. Alongside Sean, who went by Sparks at the time, we began to establish a sort of mythology for ourselves stemming from our activities both on the internet and in real life, which developed into an almost business-like partnership complete with aspirations of starting an actual company. This early partnership was the beginning of what we called SNN, which stood simply for “Sean ‘N’ Nick.” In later years this would evolve into The Sean and Nick Network, which, today, is a culmination of our childhood activities realized in an adult world.
The adventures of Dreadlock and Sparks were a whirlwind of creative exploits that ranged from storywriting, roleplaying, and acts of imagination, to arts and crafts, outdoor exploration, and more. Pretty much any and all creative activities that we pursued had a connection to our imaginary company, and would later inspire some aspect of my own later endeavors, such as my comic book and storywriting properties. It was later in the 90’s that I gathered these properties together into a singular body, using my wave of creative inspiration to create the first iteration of what I thought of as my own personal empire. An offshoot of SNN, Angel Assassin Productions was the entity I developed for the purposes of producing, publishing, and distributing the creative works that I intended to create: comic books, novels, video games, movies; I wanted to do it all, and Angel Assassin was the vehicle I created to achieve that end.
I feel that Angel Assassin, my personal attempt at making a name for myself away from SNN, may have actually come about as a product of an increasing element of loneliness that was arising in my life. In 1996, I moved away from my hometown, and away from Sean, which created a rift between the Dreadlock and Sparks personas, thus rending the world of SNN. As I settled into my new home in California, I became Anticrash, and Sean adopted the nickname of Sliptide, which he still uses to this day. As Anticrash, I became someone entirely different from Dreadlock. I was emotional, tempestuous, lonely, and afraid. I had no friends in my new home, and struggled in my schooling and with the prospects of social interaction at my new high school. In response to this new struggle that I faced, I began developing ideas about who I wanted to be. That is the basis of the Anticrash persona; a true badass, adept at the ways of the world and the internet alike. He is sharp as a tack, witty, athletic, socially proficient, and popular with the women. Everything that I was not at the time.
I can’t say that I, as a real person, have ever been on par with Anticrash in any regard. I consider myself to be smart, funny, and (on occasion) charming, but any similarities between the two of us peaked in my early twenties as I emerged from my high school awkwardness and adapted to life as a college student. I’m going on thirty now; I’ve matured, become wiser, and grown up and away from what Anticrash used to be. I still use the name on occasion, but in terms of identity, it is no longer representative of who or what I desire to be in my life.
Anticrash was just a kid with Photoshop; Nicholas Cristo is a Graphic Designer.
- Oscar Wilde (1854-1900, Irish poet, writer, and aesthete) - Full quote: "The supreme object of life is to live. Few people live. It is true life only to realize one's own perfection, to make one's every dream a reality."
- Ghost-Memories (of a world that never was) - by Nicholas Cristo Pasqualetti (work in progress)
- Blogger - blog-publishing service founded in 1999; acquired by Google in 2003.
- Hackers (1995) - American cyberpunk thriller, dir. Iain Softley.
- IRC - Internet Relay Chat.
- Newsgroups - Online messaging repository usually within the Usenet system.
- Johnny Mnemonic (1995) - Canadian-American cyberpunk action thriller, dir. Robert Longo. Based on the short story by William Gibson.
- SNN Core - The Sean and Nick Network. Defunct.
Where to find me on the world wide web:
"Odd how the creative power at once brings
the whole universe to order."