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CV & Skillsets


Charlie Athanas

2951 Central Street • Evanston, IL 60201 • 847-924-1671 •



Confident and motivational leader who can inspire internal teams and customers to think bigger and reach higher.

Over 15 years of experience in the Art, Entertainment and Technology industries, including roles as a leader (Creative Director, Manager) and contributor (Designer, Animator, Composer, Business Strategist). Extensive range of knowledge and skills that includes conceptualizing and formulating the business strategy, driving product and art design, and implementing marketing initiatives.

  • Highly successful in translating top-priority business goals into powerful, easily communicated images and messages.

  • Wide variety of technology experience, including the application of UX experience to product design and development.

  • Excellent problem-solver who can respond quickly to immediate challenges as well as create proactive strategies.

  • Background in designing and publishing books, curating and managing art galleries, and building websites.

  • Excel in connecting and unifying individuals with various talents to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

Creative Direction & Leadership; Product Conceptualization & Design; User Experience (UX) Design; Product Development; Project Management; Business Consulting; Print, Online & Social Media Marketing; Team Building & Leadership; Customer Loyalty & Retention; Client Needs Analysis; New Market Penetration; PR; Design Best Practices; Event Planning & Execution


Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Fine Art, Trinity University – San Antonio, TX 


BURNING CITY – Chicago, IL – 1995-Present

Director / Artist-Designer

Oversee all aspects of company specializing in contract work for social media, web design, logo design, film props, and general project management. As Art Director, manage design and production for visual and user side of products, including computer games, websites, social media, and book publishing activities. Consult with innovative organizations and high- profile artists, including U2, Interval Research Corporation (Paul Allen’s think tank), IDEO, WildClaw Theatre, and others in such areas as marketing, product, game design, UX, and GUI strategies. Current projects/engagements include:

  • Wilmette Chamber of Commerce – Provided on going business and design consulting, including updates on their website as well as graphics (e.g. posters for business-centered events and advertisements).

  • Persimmon – Contributed to multiple business development and marketing initiatives for a retail design boutique, including social media campaigns, web design/content/marketing, and print work.

  • Shimmering Careers – Provided business consulting on overall strategy, website design, and social media for an industry-leading career and job search coaching firm, resulting in increased website visits and sales.



Manager / Curator

Recruited and hired to create an actual retail operation within the gallery as well as curate/hang shows and market exhibitions. Directed all day-to-day operations of the gallery, reporting directly to the owner. Created both traditional and online marketing strategies, including print, distribution, and online web site/social media initiatives.

  • Increased sales and awareness of the gallery by instilling retail environment and business practices, curating and launching shows that did not exist previously, and implementing marketing solutions.


27 LIVE – Evanston, IL – 2011-2014

Manager / Director of Special Events / Construction Foreman / Designer

Brought on board to aid and drive start-up efforts for a restaurant and entertainment complex in Evanston (downtown restaurant, separate bar, and 250-seat live event venue). Booked and managed special events venue for concerts and private functions. Functioned in multiple roles, including Performer Liaison, Technical Coordinator, Soundman, and Construction Developer/Manager. Reported directly to the owner. Designed websites and created posters/magazine ads.

  • Played key role in creating a visually appealing entertainment/restaurant space, assisting in designing and building the entire complex from the ground up (including a unique design for the stage/concert venue).

  • Contributed to a high customer satisfaction rate for special events. Negotiated agreements, hired staff, set up venue, arranged catering, and worked on multiple strategies to attract customers.



THE DEVIL’S CANDY STORE – Evanston, IL – 2005-2009

Creative Director

Established and led all creative activities for a publishing and consultant placement company with both veteran and emerging illustrators and concept artists. Worked jointly with artists on designing and producing products, including books, apparel, and accessories. Planned and managed budget. Coordinated and managed industry convention appearances.

  • Built international stable of award-winning artists as well as art-directing award-winning artwork and publishing an art book.


Art Director

Initially hired as a business strategist and evolved role into Art Director for a software company. Managed the art team and reported to the CEO. Introduced design principles, interface best practices, and user experience techniques into the software development and product design process. Maintained relationship with sole customer Blockbuster.

  • Created and assumed the role of Art Director to fill need area. Improved the UI design on thec ompany’s kiosk and created an internet version of the product.

HANNAHODGE – Chicago, IL – 2001-2002

Business Strategist

Researched and identified new business opportunities as well as participating in team primary and secondary user experience research activities. Worked directly with the team to analyze UX research and develop client solutions.

  • Developed methodology using pop culture references and art examples to explain research findings to clients, providing them with clearer insights into the User Experience.

  • Introduced Biotech as a potential new market as well as contributing significantly to a team building atmosphere through various office projects.

D.C. TRUE, LTD. – Evanston, IL – 1990-1995

Director / Artist-Designer / Animator / Composer / Sound Designer

Oversaw all creative activities, including game design, product development, concept art, animation, sound design, music composition, packaging, advertising, public relations, and business strategy planning/execution.

  • Produced animation for the John Madden Football II PC game, the first simulation in games. Used algorithms to simulate real football players (D.C. True served as a developing house for EA).

  • Added improved storytelling and voiceover realism to products, as well as a new 3D toolset to game production and UX design in UI and gameplay.

  • Created additional state-of-the-art products that earned awards (listed in Awards & Activities section).


CYBERJUDAS – Computer Game Simulation (D.C. True, Ltd.)

  • PC Games Magazine: **** (4 out of 5 stars)

  • PC Entertainment Magazine: **** (4 out of 5 stars)

SHADOW PRESIDENT – Computer Game Simulation (D.C. True, Ltd.)

  • PC Games Magazine: “Editor’s Choice Award”

  • Consumer Electronics Show: “Innovation 1993 Award”

  • 1993 EDUCOM: “Distinguished Social Sciences Software Award”

  • U.S. News & World Report: “1993 Top Ten Entertainment Software”

  • Game Players PC Entertainment, 3rd Annual Game Awards: “Excellence Award”

  • 1993 Software Publisher’s Association Awards: “Best Simulation Program Finalist”

RALPH THE PUNK – Music Video

  • 2nd Annual Chicago Music Video Contest: Top Ten

  • 10th Annual Festival of Illinois Film & Video Artists: Best of Festival Screening

WRAPAROUND – Interactive CGI / Game Installation

  • Japan SIGGRAPH Exhibition (with Sally Rosenthal and Copper Giloth)



  • Co-Founder/Board of Directors/Illustrator/Set Designer, Wildclaw Theatre – live theatre company

  • Co-Founder/Networking Host, FTF (Face to Face) – created a tech startup networking event 

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