My name is Dino Baskovic. I am a digital strategist that works and lives in Rockford, Michigan, a suburb of Grand Rapids. For the past 20 years, I have designed and developed websites for some of the biggest—and smallest—brands in world. I also teach communication technology at a local university, and coach youth soccer to boot. (More about those in Work and Play.)
I was born and raised on the west side of Cleveland, Ohio. My mother moved here from Italy when she was 18 and met my father, himself a native Clevelander raised in a Slovenian household. After he did a tour of duty in Vietnam as a Marine, he married my mom; I came soon after. My dad died in a car accident soon after, leaving my mom to raise me as a single parent. I am happy to report she did a fine job.
I had mostly good grades all throughout my schooling. I say “mostly” because I was, and still am, a tinkerer of sorts. I owned a Texas Instruments 99-4A and later an Apple //c, which I used to program choose-your-own-adventure games and a home-automation simulator in BASIC (that last one won me first place in a science fair). In Catholic school, I published an underground ‘zine, drew dirty comics, and later became editor-in-chief of my junior-high school newspaper. Throughout high school, I would make home movies of my friends and I entwined in elaborate plots rife with inside jokes and double entendre. And even though I so badly wanted to be an architect, I ultimately graduate college with a degree in public relations, writing columns for our university rag all the while. I moved to Michigan, first to the Motor City and then further west. And back to Detroit, then back to Grand Rapids again (job stuff). I’m still here, and I love every bit of it.
Plenty more happened to me between the tail end of the Nixon era through today. Little things, like the time my flight was hijacked and I was held at gunpoint when I was 2, or when I nearly drowned in the Adriatic Sea all by myself when I was 10, or like the time I faceplanted off a skateboard onto asphalt at 60 miles per hour, or how I developed this nagging malignant brain tumor, or that crazy time I was nearly detained by the KGB, or how I suddenly found myself in seedy Bangkok nightclub at 2 in the morning…
As I said, plenty more happened between then and now. Plenty of ups and downs, but the ups add up more. Like how my mom raised me to be resilient, and to succeed where others fail. Or, how I was able to channel my inner creative and closet coder and somehow turn those both into a career path—a circuitous one at that. Also, how to turn lemons into a lemonade stand. To be fluid. To cherish my friends, especially the faulty ones. Finally, to find my lifelong love, and together, raise a budding artist and a talented athlete.
Life, as with everything, balances out. This website, my blog, and everything else on this site is but a brief glimpse into my own lifelong balancing act. And, while that continues to play itself out, I thank you for visiting my little home on the web.
That’s my desk, actually. Plan view. Black.
This is a custom-built WordPress site with a minimal UI theme that I created from scratch. It is “work-in-progress” in line with my “perpetual beta” mantra. A design brief for those interested is scheduled to publish in April 2016.