- Amerikan Made Prints
- Art Buyer Magazine
- Art Order
- Association of Illustrators
- Cartoon Art Museum
- Cartoon Brew
- Design is Kinky
- Drawn and Quarterly
- Fantagraphics Books
- HOW Design
- Hi-Fructose Magazine
- ICON The Illustration Conference
- Illustration Class
- Illustration Friday
- Illustrators Illustrated
- Juxtapoz Magazine
- Lines and Colors
- National Cartoonists Society
- Plan 59
- Project: Rooftop
- Society of Illustrators
- Sugar Frosted Goodness
- Taught by a Pro
- Today's Inspiration
- UPPERCASE Magazine
I was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. I grew up at the beach, surfing, swimming, and building sandcastles. When I'm not at my computer working on projects or standing at my easel painting, I'm out in the surf enjoying life. Surfing, for me is not a sport or past time, its a way of life. I get a lot of my ideas and inspiration from the ocean. Its my way of getting away from the worries on land. Plus the rest of the family surfs and lives in Hawaii. I know, I know, its a very hard life I lead.
When did you first decide to become a graphic designer/ illustrator? Was there a pivotal moment?
Ever since the day I was born I think this was what I was supposed to do. As a kid, I was in love with cartoons, more than most little kids. I remember watching them, then going back to my paper and drawing the characters for hours. The funny thing is, I never really kept my drawings. I always gave them away. So, I guess you could say I've been freelancing since the eighties. In high school, I'd get in trouble for drawing during class. In my math classes (which I never got above a C in) I'd turn the corners of pages into flip books and daydreamed about getting to my art class and what I would do there. So I guess I've been walking the path to becoming a full fledged Illustrator for a long time.
Who or what inspires you?
Wow. What a question. First off, my mother and father. They have supported me with every decision I've made in becoming a professional Illustrator/ graphic artist. They keep me going. I have a lot of people who inspire my artwork. Of course some of the greats like Jeremy Lipking, Tex Avery, Jack Unruh, Walt Kelly, Maurice Sendak and Winsor McCay, just to name a few. Some guys that inspire me to get better and try new things are guys like James Jean, Thomas Herpich, Dave McKean, Jim Mahfood, Mike Mignola, and Jillian Tamaki. My friends that I graduated college with inspire me a lot too. They are a group of very talented people whose opinions I respect dearly.
Where does your training come from? Self-taught? College/Art School?
I graduated from Ringling School of Art and Design last year. When I was in high school, that was the only college application I wrote for. I got in as a transfer student and spent three years there. It was a very valuable experience, I learned a lot from those guys.
How do you keep "fresh" within your industry?
Well, I'd say I myself am a little "fresh" having just gotten out into the professional business world of things. I just send out my portfolio to anyone who will take it. Also, I try to keep an eye on the news and stay in touch with other artists. If you keep up with new stories and popular headlines, as an illustrator you should stay "fresh."
What are some of your current projects?
Well, since I surf and I'm an artist, I got sick of painting and drawing on my boards and having the art rub off or get scratched. So we have started our own graphic art company that specifically does artwork for surfboards. Its a new way to put artwork on boards besides the traditional airbrushing method. We can get much more detail and as technical as we or the client wants. Its great. I did about 50 or so different designs for our catalog. Each one having a different style and look. I'm also working on around 30 other custom designs for clients right now.
Which of your projects are you the most proud of? And why?
Well, I'd have to say starting that company. It was a huge task to take on. We just got done with the Surf Expo in Orlando and had great responses from surfboard manufactures and surfboard shapers. The Surf Expo had a contest called "launch." It was for new companies who just started and could enter to win a free booth, press coverage, and plenty of exposure. We made it into the finals, but did not win. Even so, I'm very proud of what we have accomplished in the little amount of time we had. It's been very exciting.
Are there any areas, techniques, mediums, projects in your field that you have yet to try?
I just did a CD cover for a small UK band called "Muted." I had yet to do an actual CD cover. It was fun and the client was easy to work with. I have not worked with gouash yet. Even in schooling, I never used it. I'm pretty happy with acrylic and never had a problem with it. We'll see about the gouash thing, I might try it with my next idea.
Any advice to the novice designer/ illustrator?
Practice, practice, practice! You know that old saying "Practice makes perfect?" Well, its true. Avoid the couch and television. Do not let rejection kill you confidence or stop you from reaching your goals. Make drawing or painting become a habit. And most importantly, draw anything and everything.
What makes a designed piece or illustration successful?
What make a designed piece or illustration successful is when your client is happy and when the idea or message you are trying to relay come across clean and understood. Its not always an easy task, and some people have a problem with it. But I think communication is key and when you and get that right, your successful.
What do you do to keep yourself motivated and avoid burn-out?
I like to look at other Illustrators work, but not limited to just illustrators. Other artwork like furniture designs, architectural, and sculptures help get your eyes off the same old thing. It also keeps me looking at things differently and thinking about new ways to approach a project.
And finally, what is the best thing on prime-time TV right now?
Prime time TV, well, "24" is really good, I like to watch Jack beat up bad guys. But I really enjoy "MythBusters", "Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe", and "Dog Whisperer". They are three shows that I could watch all day. Some how I got hooked on watching an old season of Survivor. I dont know how that happened? I watched a couple shows of Heroes on NBC, that was pretty cool. I usually stick with watching a good movie.
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