1.What’s your story? Where are you from?I am from Bellingham, Washington, but I currently live in Sonoma County, California with my wife and infant daughter. I teach English at a middle school, but I was a butcher before that, and a cook before that. No matter what my day job has been, I have always felt the need to create, either through writing or through some sort of visual medium.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.Icons and media tropes subverted in a dark but (hopefully) funny tone, often with a rough collage look. At the moment, I have drifted towards figures set against minimalist backgrounds. In high school, I read a lot of the beatniks, and William Burroughs permanently corrupted my aesthetics. His cut-up method of writing affected my outlook on art. His use of comic book and sci-fi imagery for his own agenda was not lost on me.
3. What is your favorite medium and why?Photoshop / digital collage. I find the process to be incredibly streamlined, which allows me to get as many images out of my head as fast as possible. It's very therapeutic for me.
4. What is your artistic process like?I sit down in front of the computer, sometimes with an idea, sometimes with some half-formed narrative in my head. I create a 16" x 20" canvas, put a plain background on it, then go to my files. I have two folders with hundreds of images I've collected. I start putting something together until I feel it's time to stop.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?My fascination with comic books, sci-fi book covers, 80s cartoons, Atari 2600, horror movies, folklore and Futurama all inform my work. Again, William Burrough's collage aesthetic really affected me, too. He has this passage in a book that says “So I am a public agent and don't know who I work for, get my instructions from street signs, newspapers, and pieces of conversation I snap out of the air..." I like that mentality. It's the only way I know how to really allow myself to just start creating and allow the process to work itself out.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?I feel my best after I have created something. It makes me pay attention to the world more because I'm always on the lookout for what I can use to incorporate into a future piece.
7. Where did you study?I am self-taught. I bought Photoshop a couple years ago because it was a mystery to me - I wanted to know just what it was and how it worked. I have not looked back since.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years? Working in an agency?I have just begun my career as a teacher, so I see myself as a veteran classroom teacher in five years. Ideally, I'll be progressing in my art in the meantime.
9. What about in ten?Maybe still teaching, but hopefully designing book covers, album art, and posters. I would love to design book jackets.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?I don't have an artistic goal, other than to keep making art for as long as I can.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favorite food?Mac-n-cheese.
12. Favorite book?Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon.
13. Favorite genre of music?I like rock, bluegrass, and turntablist/DJs like Kid Koala... Do podcasts count?
14. What are your hobbies?Been pretty busy helping to raise our baby daughter, so I think right now my only hobby is my art.
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?Writing short stories and watching Magnum P.I. reruns, probably.