About Secretdonkey

Secretdonkey is a collection of personal and professional creative work by Mark Gilmore, featuring photography, writing, design, music and a collection of other random interests. Professional pursuits can be easily identified on the galleries page by a hammer/tool thumbnail icon.


Secretdonkey? What the hell is that name all about?

Remember back in the '90s when the internet was all new and shiny, and we had to change our email address every time we switched local dialup internet service providers unless we settled for a patently-unhip AOL address? I decided to register my own domain name so I'd have a permanent home online. I made a list of available names and a carefully-selected focus group (my friends) laughed hardest at secretdonkey. Really, that's it. If it invites you to speculate about its meaning, then you get the joke. There is a story behind it but let's leave a little bit of mystery here, why don't we? If you're really curious, you can ask Howard Theriot of Catchlight Productions. The rest, as they say, is history.



I got started when I inherited my grandfather's old manual 35mm Minolta camera as a teenager. Thousands of clicks later I have a satisfying hobby and the luxury to shoot a lot of the stuff for my marketing and design projects. You'll find lots of photo categories in the galleries section. 

Design/Copy/Advertising Creative Work

There are plenty of great designers, art directors and copywriters writers in this world. I'm not one of them. Still I muscle through and get the job done, invariably in a fraction of the time it would take to collaborate with a more talented team. The proof is in the pudding with a long track record of successful projects. Find samples of my work in the galleries section.


I ordered my first bass guitar from a JC Penney catalog when i was about 14 so I could jam with the kid next door. It led to nothing but trouble if you ask my Dad, though in the end I know he's had some proud moments watching me on stage. I played in college-y bands in college, played pick-up blues gigs in some horrible places, and served as a hired-gun side man for some regional country acts. Around 2003 or so I began taking an interest in solo bass music after a few lessons with the venerable Trip Wamsley. The music samples found in the Things section represent a layman's attempt at bass-based music.


This obsession started in 1999 when I took a job with a 160-mile round trip commute. I bought myself a sporty car as a reward/consolation, and I've owned a series of sports cars since then. I developed an interest in a motor sport called autocross, where you can race a stock (or modified) car in a safe environment. I was most active and competitive back around 2002. These days I'll attend a race for fun every now and again to remind me how rusty I've become. And I still have that job I took back in '99, sans the commute.


About the Site / Legal Stuff

It's an experiment in bringing my personal and professional worlds under one roof. It's a work in progress and subject to just about anything you can imagine. Especially neglect. Contact me if you have any questions or concerns about content.  Some content (namely the various hammer photo thumbnails) may be licensed from others.

All content © 2012 by Mark Gilmore, or by license from others. Reasonable and respectful sharing is cool: If you'd like to repost a blog or use a photo to link back to my site, please do so, attributing me as the source. Repurposing any content or image without attribution, especially stealing my photos, is uncool, and I reserve the right to go all legal ninja on your ass.



Mark Gilmore

photo by Claudia Parker

photo by Claudia Parker

Dropped out of high school to work in construction where he soon had the epiphany that school wasn't so bad after all. Armed with supportive parents and a GED, he graduated college with honors in spite of a few fits, starts and semesters off to play with indy rock bands. Degree in hand he went to work for the family printing business, learning about desktop publishing,  real-world marketing and the nuts-and-bolts of print project planning and production. Still impractical in his youth, Gilmore meandered towards print design but found more traction as a copywriter.


In 1999 he went to work as a marketing assistant for a fledging national retail company. Today Gilmore serves as the company's ever-busy, hands-on communications officer. In his spare time he enjoys exploring new eats, writing snarky Yelp reviews, and pursuing creative endeavors like this site. He lives in Austin, Texas. He's been known to write in third person perspective. So he's told.


Sharing is good. Stealing is bad.