From Brookdale to Beats: Craig Maher’s Odyssey from Art to Album, UX Design to Prog Pop

Brookdale Community College has always been a nurturing ground for diverse talents, and the story of Craig Maher stands as a testament to the institution’s impact on shaping creative minds. From his early days at Brookdale to composing an album and designing its cover, Maher’s journey is one of determination, artistic exploration, and lifelong learning.

Maher, a seasoned UX designer and accomplished musician, recently shared his journey from the halls of Brookdale to the release of his upcoming album, “Luminous Voyage.” Brookdale played a pivotal role in shaping his creative endeavors.

Maher began his artistic journey by pursuing a desktop certificate at Brookdale. Under the mentorship of Howard Finkelstein, Maher discovered his passion for design and continued to take classes, building a solid foundation in the field. As he expanded his knowledge, Maher simultaneously commuted to the School of Visual Arts in New York, paralleling his education at Brookdale.

While at Brookdale, Maher received valuable guidance from Howard Finkelstein, who advised him to focus on classes that aligned with humanities, ensuring that his credits could seamlessly transfer to other institutions. This strategic move allowed Maher to transfer to the School of Visual Arts with advanced standing, accelerating his path to graduation.

Reflecting on his time at Brookdale, Maher shared, “Brookdale was the milestone and foundation that I needed. It was an oasis where I could concentrate, study, and have the support of people who believed in me. The art department, English department, and the natural environment of the college provided an ideal setting for my creative growth.”

After graduating from the School of Visual Arts, Maher embarked on a successful career in UX design. Over the years, he worked for various agencies, publications, and branding companies in New York City, eventually landing a prominent role as a Lead UX Designer at ADP Corporation.

Despite his thriving career in UX design, Maher’s artistic journey continued. He returned back into the world of music, a passion that had been with him since his teens. Drawing inspiration from progressive rock (consisting of tapestries of tempo, complex time changes, and various classical movements), Maher is a composer, vocalist, and guitar player. His latest project, “exo-X-xeno,” is set to release the album “Luminous Voyage” in 2024.

By Craig MaherMaher’s dedication to his craft extends beyond music. He also takes pride in designing the album covers for his projects. “It’s my dream that I’ve always wanted to design my own record covers,” Maher shared. The resurgence of vinyl in the market aligned perfectly with his aspirations, allowing him to realize this dream.

As Maher navigates the worlds of UX design and music, he offers valuable advice to students and aspiring artists. He emphasizes the importance of following one’s passion and not merely chasing trends. Maher encourages students to mirror those they admire, build relationships with them, and constantly seek learning opportunities with mentors who inspire growth.

Stay tuned for “Luminous Voyage,” as Craig Maher takes us on a musical journey that transcends genres and embraces the limitless possibilities of progressive rock.