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I pay the bills by art directing a small children's magazine but my passion is illustration. I live in North Carolina with my wife and 2 and a half-year-old son.


When did you first decide to become a graphic designer/ illustrator? Was there a pivotal moment?

I've always thought I'd do something artistic. My mom is a big reason for that. When my brother and I were small she'd read something somewhere that if you want to foster creativity in your children, you shouldn't give them coloring books. You should just give them blank pieces of paper. She did that and I've been drawing ever since.

Who or what inspires you?

Vintage children's book illustration from the 50's and 60's. People like M. Sasek, Tibor Gergely, Art Seiden, and of course Mary Blair. I'm also a big fan of Tim Biskup. The stuff he comes up with is just amazing. But my 2 and a half year old son is my biggest inspiration. I want to create things that will make him smile and hopefully one day make him proud enough to say "Hey, my dad did that!"

Where does your training come from? Self-taught? College/Art School?

As far as my illustration work, I'd say I'm somewhat self-taught. My first real art class wasn't until college. I graduated from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale with a degree in Visual Communications. There were art classes but at the Art Institute there was a definite emphasis on graphic design. I've been the art director of a small children's magazine for 6 years and I freelance illustrate as much as I can.

How do you keep "fresh" within your industry?

I try to draw something in my sketchbook everyday. I'm also constantly working on some personal project or another, like a children's book dummy, painting, silkscreen print, promo stuff, mural work, etc. I feel guilty if I'm not working on something.

What are some of your current projects?

Right now I'm customizing a Munny for a show at the Bear + Bird gallery in Lauderhill, FL. I'm also working on a small promotional booklet to send out to publishers for Valentine's day.

Which of your projects are you the most proud of? And why? (Can you provide links to images of said project?)

I had a piece in the I am 8-bit 2.0 show last year. It was one of my first shows, so it was pretty exciting to be in a show with a lot of artists I admire. (
I had a print sell out at Tiny Showcase (

Are there any areas, techniques, mediums, projects in your field that you have yet to try?

I'd like to experiment with acetone transfers and incorporate them into my paintings.

Any advice to the novice designer/ illustrator?

If you are just starting out, participating in illustration friday or Sugar Frosted Goodness' weekly assignments is a great way to build up your portfolio and get feedback. Plus, the deadline is good practice for illustrating in the real world.

Know what market your work is suited for and go for it. Never stop learning and be open to criticism.

What makes a designed piece or illustration successful?

50% concept, 50% illustration. I like my work to tell a story.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated and avoid burn-out?

I go to the bookstore and walk to the children's book section. I then locate the book, "Walter the Farting Dog" and say, if this can get published, I know I can make it.

And finally, what is the best thing on prime-time TV right now?

The Venture Brothers... so witty, funny and nicely drawn.
Little Britain... If you can catch it on BBC America, do it. These guys push the envelope on comedy.

Lost... ever get the feeling the writers are just screwing with us?
and one of the best show of all time (drum roll please)... Six Feet Under. Catch it on Bravo now.

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Vern Mercado said...

nice stuff. i really enjoy your artwork.

octavio diaz said...

Cool style, nice bio! Love the robot!

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