"Back in the day..." I learned to do visual design from an early age, with Amiga's DeluxePaint and PhotonPaint in the 80's, then onto Photoshop and Illustrator through the 90's. I've always kept up traditional illustration fine art as well.
All this dovetailed nicely with advancing my craft by doing design for websites as I came to better understand the limitations of code and more importantly, of the browsers to run them. BROWSER WARS, anyone?
I grew into the role of Design Manager/Art Director, leading a team of 12+ designers in creating designs for several automotive OEMs (Nissan, Infiniti, Scion, Toyota) and ensuring their level of quality once implemented in code for our template-driven website CMS and hosting services.
I also produced guidance for ongoing production of the Scion designs to ensure compliance both internally and by third parties.
I learned about the Global Style Guide for Nissan Automotive from Sapient while in Los Angeles and translated that into requirements and designs for Nissan automotive dealerships, again leading a design team in designing templates.
In the early 2000's I worked with 3D, video, audio, and photography to produce hand coded websites for small businesses. Good old days, indeed!