Bio shmio, who reads these things anyway?! Well, here we go with the nitty gritty details of how I came to be the artist and person I am today. Born on December 22, 1969 in Paris France. I'm sorry, that was a lie, I wasn't born in Paris but I am almost a Christmas baby. I took my first breath in the small college town of Athens, Ohio but spent most of my childhood between Boston and New York. From an early age I developed a love for art. I would watch Saturday morning cartoons with a big bowl of Cocoa Puffs and soak in all the great images on the TV. I would try to sketch the characters I saw but struggled with anatomy and perspective. When I was about 7 years old I was introduced to comic books and my skill and imagination began to grow rapidly. I would study every line and hatch mark in those comic books but more importantly, I began to learn anatomy and dynamic poses. I would trace Spider Man and Hulk art but never felt good about doing that so I worked hard to freehand draw and work on my own style. I didn't have much respect for fine art painters back then, I thought painting was boring, comic book artists were gods to me back then! From elementary to high school I would sit in the back of the class drawing with ball point pen. It's a medium I still like to use today.
I moved to central Florida in 1990 to escape the cold and chaos of life in Boston. Soon after arriving I enrolled at a local community college to study drafting, didn't think there was career for me in art but I would still draw and paint occasionally. I landed a job at NASA doing CAD (computer aided design) I enjoyed the new medium of the computer and sometimes it satisfied my urge to create. After a few years at NASA I began looking for something more artistic to do. By 1996, my skills as an artist were good enough I thought to try my luck at commercial art. I was walking through a Best Buy one fine day looking for old funk music on CD, I love that stuff man! I came across a great collection called Phat Trax from Rhino Records but I nearly passed over it because the cover art was so weak. I grew up listening to this music so I felt like I knew the vibe and the cover graphics on this funk collection damn sure wasn't it! I had some art with some funk to it so I took a chance and sent some cheap color copies to Rhino, didn't really expect anything to come of it. About 4 days later I was talking to the art director at Rhino, they wanted to repackage the very collection I was looking at using my art work!!! Needless to say I was thrilled and it was my first taste of earning serious money for my art, made about $8000 on the deal. The client list grew from Sony to Disney to national publications. In 1997 I bought my first Apple computer to catch the wave of computer graphics in commercial art. Today I use Adobe Illustrator and PhotoShop to do most of my commercial art.
And now on to painting, my new passion. I didn't really enjoy painting in the past, working with color was tough and I didn't like the fluidness of paint, pens allowed more control. Back in 1993 I was introduced to the work of Frank Frazetta and my idea of art changed completely. Frazetta had the uncanny ability to combine his skills as a comic book artist and a fine artist all into one amazing talent, definitely the best of both worlds. I began to study him and other artists like him in the genres of fantasy and sci-fi art. I would try oil painting for the first time in 1996, the experience would frustrate me to unbelievable lows, my house is littered with unfinished oil pieces. Looking for inspiration, I traveled to Italy in 2000 and stayed there for about 3 months studying painting and photography and explored several countries in Europe. In 2001 I began experimenting with acrylic paints, the frustration of my limitations was still there but not so extreme. I made small steps but still didn't really get it, however I would read books on painting and study color theories. I pressed on with the acrylics with the encouragement of friends urging me to paint more, especially influential was my talented friend Rick Piper. In the summer of 2006 I came to a crucial crossroad, try seriously painting one more time or never pick up a brush again. I chose option one but my approach would be different this time, I would stop trying to be the next Frazetta and start doing my own thing. My plan was to simple, paint big cartoons and eventually, as I got more comfortable with the paint, graduate to realism. My approach worked!!! I can't begin to describe the joy that comes from finally tapping into a talent you knew was already there struggling to break free. It's amazing, all those fine artist that I didn't respect when I was younger like Picasso, Rembrandt, etc. now I revere them, I finally get it! I plan to try oils again soon, I have a much better understanding about painting and I have more confidence now.
Can't forget my other passions, music and photography. Producer Pete Rock inspired me to try music. I have a small studio that produces phat beats for days!! I have a healthy respect for jazz, classic rock, funk and older RandB, I dig Russian pop too!! Photography is a fun hobby for me, maybe one day I'll take it serious and try to make a mark with it, for now I like learning and having fun with it.
Thanks for making it this far, hope you enjoy the experience of my art. If your inspired by the art then I've done my job, if I offended you then you know what your fears are now, deal with them you suckas!!