drew attana                                     
like some great white jaws.

who I am.

these are snapshots of me, of my life.
of what makes me the writer I am today.

I've been on the other side of the bar.

After working security for a number of years at the night club next door, I became the bartender at Fish Grotto, the second oldest restaurant in Portland, Oregon. I had zero experience with cocktails, other than consuming them. The manager took a chance on me and I began learning every drink order that was flung at me. Old Fashioned, Mojito, Sidecar, Salty Dog, Manhattan, Sazerac, Rusty Nail.

You name it. I had to learn how to make it. Sometimes on the spot.

I was grabbing the shaker, the jigger and a scoopful of ice before my brain even had time to second guess if I knew the proportions. And it came quickly, learning the classics. Next were the signature drinks for my bar and the new, debutant cocktails making names for themselves. It wasn't long before I could make an Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Martini in my sleep.

What this position gave me, besides a deeper appreciation for communication, for relationship building, was the ability to adapt, to work under pressure. Often I wouldn't have the time to consult the Idiot's Guide to Cocktails stashed beneath the bar. I had to take my work home with me to study and to practice. And because knowing every feasible cocktail is impossible, I learned how to ask for help, not just from the customer (who, more often than not, knew their drinks like the back of their hand) but also from my fellow coworkers, my team.
I've become a sponge.

Though I haven't known it at the time, I am constantly drawing inspiration from all avenues in my life. I absorb, interpret and apply all these influences to both aspects of myself—the creative side as well as the business side.

There is something to be gleaned from everything, from every job, every class, every experience, be it positive or negative. 

I am hungry to learn, to dive in and explore whatever I can get my hands on. There is too much to experience, and life is too short, to sit back, to not learn as much as you can.

And my education isn't limited to my time in school, the unforgettable classes I've attended. While I've studied extensively within the fields of Writing, Literature, and Architectural Design, and earned various degrees in each, I've also gained another sort of education, rooted in the streets. In the vibrant, polychromatic, ever changing and evolving subculture of Graffiti Art, a world that is at once terrifying and inspirational. 

And through my experience rubbing elbows with some of the most talented artists I've ever seen, while also dabbling myself, I was moved to begin work on my first novel, "FLAT BLACK," a work of fiction that examines and preserves this fascinating culture.

I've learned the power of social media.

My earliest connection to the social power of the internet was through the basic chatrooms through Compuserve. Though I was twelve at the time, and most of the conversations I engaged in revolved around Pogs and comic books, the foundation had been laid.

From then on out, I've been a part of everything from Melodramatic.com to the first incarnation of MySpace (I still have some pride in knowing I was one of the first 50k users). This early affinity for all things internet has stayed engrained in my brain.

I've grown up right alongside the internet.

Through these outlets I've gained job opportunities and began creating a large professional network long before I could fully appreciate the power of networking. Social media has afforded me the ability to connect with co-workers and potential roommates, as well as helped me form lasting and meaningful friendships. Further, the power of of sites like Twitter, Intragram and most of all, FaceBook, have given me a platform to promote not only my own work, but the business of the companies I've worked for. And not a day goes by where you will find any of my accounts free from at least one post.

Words are like fingerprints and I like to leave mine wherever I can.

I've reached the finish line...
...or is it just a jumping off point?

Though I firmly believe that my education will continue on indefinitely, these are the institutions that have helped me to grow, excel, and evolve.

PhD in Creative Writing - Fiction
Member - Association of Writers and Poets
University of Louisiana at Lafayette - 2017

Master of Fine Art - Writing
Summa Cum Laude
Member - Association of Writers and Poets
Pacific University - 2013

Bachelor of Arts - English 
Bachelor of Arts - Liberal Studies

Summa Cum Laude
President - Sigma Tau Delta, English Honors Society (2009-11)
Portland State University - 2011

Associate of Applied Science - Architectural Design
Portland Community College - 2009
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