The Really Long Bio!
Childhood & Adolescence
Since she was a child, Jina was an artist and creator, inspired and influenced by her artist grandmother. She spent much of her time drawing, illustrating, painting, creating paper crafts, and when she got her first computer, she tinkered with graphic and desktop publishing software. She began learning HTML in 1996, a little over 20 years ago when she was preteen.
In 2001, Jina moved to Memphis to study at Memphis College of Art for it’s close-enough-but-far-away-enough proximity to her hometown of Nashville. To afford school and to make a living, she did a work study (which include assisting in the computer lab and tutoring other students in HTML). She also worked for the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, in which she taught digital art with Adobe Photoshop to at-risk girls from the age of 12-17 through the Girls, Inc Summer Camp. Additionally, she did graphic and website design for small companies and a variety of local musicians and rock bands in the Memphis area. She volunteered as a designer for two music and entertainment production organizations to help pay for her internet (and she got to see a lot of shows).
After realizing that her hobby of web design could be her career path, Jina pivoted her Graphic Design major into a Computer Arts major (which covered Web Design, Digital Art, Digital Photography, Animation & Motion Graphics, Digital Film Editing, and other Multimedia.
When her Web Design teacher recognized that Jina was already creating websites, he put her on a different learning track and instructed her to read Designing with Web Standards. This book changed everything for her, and she ditched her image maps, spacer gifs, table-based layouts, and framesets for web standard XHTML and CSS.
In 2004, Jina’s instructor hired her as an Interactive Design Intern at the agency he worked at — one of Memphis’s top award-winning agencies, Oden. In her first project, she was asked to assist their technlogy vendor with HTML & CSS (they would build out the overall structure, and she would fill the pages in with all the content). When realizing the technology vendor was unable to make the website work in the required browsers, Jina was able to fill in for the vendor they fired by building out the entire website, thus saving the project. It was for this project that she created her first style guide, in which she documented the For the remainder of her internship, she then worked on other projects for FedEx, International Paper, Anita Kerr.
She was featured in the web design and CSS galleries like Stylegala and CSS Vault, and she was written about in a Japanese web design magazine and a Japanese book, both featuring CSS-based designs.
In 2005, Jina collaborated with her friend Vineet Thapar on a probono project to do early designs and CSS for the W3C WAI Web Site Redesign Project. She also worked with him in collaboration with Deloitte to design and develop Mass.gov (the official website for the state of Massachusetts).
In 2006, Jina studied Book Arts and Italian Language during a summer program in Florence, Italy at the Santa Reparata International School of Art. Shortly after that, she graduated Memphis College of Art with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She then landed the job she wanted as an Interactive Designer at inferno, a creative agency in Memphis that was winning many digital design awards. She began working with SitePoint to co-author The Art & Science of CSS with Jonathan Snook, Steve Smith, Cameron Adams, and David Johnson. After only 6 months at inferno, she set her sights on Silicon Valley.
In March 2007, shortly after The Art & Science of CSS released, Jina moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to work at Apple as a front end developer on the Apple Online Store engineering team. There, she led the remodel’s CSS architecture and development, moving the online store from table-based layouts to web standards. She also assisted the marketing and communications team with HTML & CSS help during product launches. She documented the CSS architecture through an online style guide she created which detailed the global styles sheet, along with its regional variants, country variants, as well as variants for business-to-business and education stores.
After a year of being a developer, Jina transferred to the User Experience team to work as a visual interaction designer. There, she did visual and interaction design and prototyping for features such as the mac configurator and comparisons, the iPhone purchasing flow with mobile service validation, the product galleries, create account and sign in, and cart and checkout flows. She created a design style guide for the team which she created in InDesign, then moved to the web.
She was invited to speak at her first conference in Portland, Oregon, and she wrote her first published article online which published on Think Vitamin (now Treehouse).
In 2008, Jina began studying part time toward a Master of Fine Arts in Web Design & New Media at the Academy of Art University, with the goal to one day teach web design. She wrote her first article about style guides for A List Apart. She then decided to move on from Apple to pursue more speaking and to be closer to school.
Crush + Lovely
After Apple, Jina worked at Crush + Lovely as an interaction designer. There she worked on a range of products as a front end developer, a visual designer, and social media specialist. She created many brand design guidelines for clients, and she began working on a style guide generator as a product (which unfortunately never released). During her time at C+L, she worked on projects for
Additionally, she is an active member in the Sass community. She leads the Sass brand and website. She was a tech editor for Dan Cederholm's Sass for Web Designers. She organizes The Mixin, a Sass & front end meet up which has hosted talks by some of the most prominent members of the CSS/Sass community. She also now curates and maintains Sass News.
GitHub, Engine Yard, and Crush + Lovely. She coauthored two books, Fancy Form Design and . She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from , studied Book Arts at the Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy, and and studied .
Jina likes interior design, dark and vintage fashion, traveling, fancy food, whisky, cigars, wine, Batman, and cats. Her side project, Art in My Coffee, is a curated gallery of coffee art.