I’ve been creating visual art for the last 10 years. Originally from Michigan, I live in and work in Thomas, WV, a place of compelling, if not incomparable magic. There, i co-own The White Room where i show work with other regional artist and friends. I also keep a personal showspace down the street from there named “Creature” which acts as a studio, gallery and imaginarium for my work.
I’m self taught, didn’t go to art school and never really thought of myself as a visual artist until about 10 years ago when i realized it was the way i was spending most of my free time. This is an important part of the story for me because i grew up believing that i couldn’t draw or paint and that i wasn’t a visual artist at all. It wasn’t until i stopped trying to make any particular kind of art and just made work that i related to, that i began to feel confident in my process. I feel lucky that i could have faith in my early work (which was literally populated by stick men) and that i kept doing it for the joy of creation rather than being discouraged that i wasn’t technically skilled. A lot of times, that stuff follows after but the most important thing to me has always been that i enjoy the process.
Half of the work shown here is hand drawn with fine art permanent markers and the other half is mixed media collage. The most common phrase i use to describe it is “conceptual cartoon.” This is the type of art i’ve always been drawn to. That being said, I deeply appreciate the work of Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, Saul Steinberg, Ralph Steadman, Edward Gorey and Luigi Serafini.
There’s a lot of daydreaming and pondering that goes into the work, two things i find quite indispensable to the enjoyment of my time here. Most of the characters presented are over-saturated concepts derived from musing on things i’ve experienced, things i’ve watched occur, or things i’ve learned from little stories i’ve picked up along the way. The inspiration for the work is much like a little windup up musical box, popping out suddenly, at random as i wander about.
I try to deal with concepts that are far reaching and relatable at the same time. I believe that most of the really important things we deal with, we share, regardless of our place in society, our upbringing or our age. Kids at 7 years old and folks at 50 have a lot in common when you get down to what they’re really seeking from this life or pondering from day to day. That being said, I like to walk the line between a simple children’s story and a worthwhile book of poetry. The majority of the most meaningful revelations that i’ve come to in my life are, at once, deeply profound, oddly silly, and quite simple. I attempt to reflect some of those things in my work. It’s an extremely gratifying task and i’m perpetually grateful that i get to spend my time working on it.
Notes containing inquiries, comments, suggestions, stories and further ponderings all can find their way to me by electronically mailing a virtual data letter to this invisible mailbox: firstname.lastname@example.org