What’s your background?
My family moved a lot when I was a kid, and my parents always encouraged my brothers and me toward anything we became interested in. They always helped me find resources and people to learn from. Around the age of 14, I started studying with a local painter (a sort of apprentice/wizard situation). I learned very antiquated painting methods and went on to study painting at ASU.
What got you interested in the arts to begin with?
I can’t single out a turning point really. From time to time I’ll feel revitalized or encouraged by discovering a new amazing artist, but I’ve always loved to draw, and gravitate toward the role of artisan/creative in most every situation.
When did you decide to dedicate yourself to art?
The time I spent in the antiquated painter’s studio helped me realize that, whatever the reason, I couldn’t not paint and draw for the rest of my life.
Do you remember your first piece of art you were really proud of? The one that made you say yes I am an artist!
I drew a hummingbird and my parents seemed genuinely astounded. I was 12 or so at the time, and I was proud because they were proud.
Do you collect anything?
I collect musical instruments that I have grand plans to learn to play someday, but still haven’t :p.
Do you enjoy collaboration work? What qualities do you look for in collaborators?
Yes, I enjoy collaborating. It’s best to join forces with people who are strong where I am weak and vice versa. It gives everyone a chance to learn from each other and make something awesome in the process.
What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?
I always have a hot cup of coffee nearby, no matter the time of day. Also, when starting a project, I sketch thumbnails before ever looking up reference images. Then I’ll only gather reference to fit and develop the ideas I’ve sketched. It helps keep the overwhelm monster in check.
What sacrifices have you made on behalf of your art career?
The honest truth is, none of us do this for the money. Artists constantly take the risk of sacrificing their financial stability to strengthen their art career. Dedication and hard work pays off, so it’s worth it.
Do you ever feel like giving up and doing something else? If so, why and how have you overcome that feeling?
I have come close to it recently, simply for the financial stability issue. For a time, I had to expend all my time and energy into working and set aside art. It was tough, and I did almost throw in the towel. But I came through it with a bit more financial stability and a new appreciation for the time I can now devote to art.
What is your dream project? If there were no time/money restrictions what would you create?
I would love to create a hand-drawn, 2D animated short someday.
What themes/ideas do you pursue?
That’s hard to say :p. Sometimes I’m not entirely sure of the idea I’m trying to convey. The simplest answer might be that I love to give glimpses of other worlds.
Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
It’s nothing original, but my first painting teacher (the wizard to whom I got to be apprentice) said. “You need to paint every day.” He only said that when he’d decided I had a genuine interest and aptitude for it. I thought that was way overkill at the time, but now it defines me.
What is the most vital/indispensable tool in your studio?
A coffee maker :). Without it, I’m lost.
What are you working on right now? (Other than this project) What are you currently obsessed with?
I’m working on a comic (first time ever) with a friend, and I’m doing some illustration and book cover work for publishing. I’m currently obsessed with tiny people and mushrooms.