As an artist, I seem to have always approached my work with sincerity and raw passion. So I will spare you the positioning of talking about myself in third person and just share my thoughts plainly, as I am usually most comfortable doing.



I am an artist because I like to think.



I approach my work with curiosity. Figuring something out. Trying to understand a thing that I witness or I am subject to.

My 52 Inspired People project is a good example of this. I started it with the desire to paint people that inspired me. I wanted to do this because I felt it was important. And at the time, that was the best way I could describe my intention. And through the process of this project, I came to discover that it was the intimacy of inspiration that was the purpose.

This artist statement for the project best explains the outcome.  >>52 Inspired People

I figured it out. I love figuring things out.



I started my art career in the closet.



This is my mother's favorite story. I loved to draw as a kid. So much so, my mother was concerned for my social life and tried to force me outside to play with the other kids. Not to be deterred from my work, I would find a flash light and hide in my bedroom closet to continue the project. Only when I was called to dinner, my hiding spot was revealed. Apparently I did this often, and eventually mom would let me be in my secret hiding place.

I loved art as a kid. One of my greatest childhood fantasies was to be able to stop time so I could paint all the ugly walls along the free way to a vast variety of different cool murals. Then everyone would be happier, because they would wake up to color instead of drab and ugly systematic guidance.

Honestly, I still dream like this. Stopping time to do good is one of my favorite fantasies.



I eventually found myself at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.



There I learned the strength in concept and design. I consumed painting as a natural language only to elaborate. And danced giddily through new ways of expression like; video, graphic design, photography, print making, and carpentry. There was an opinion at this school that I had to become a certain type of artist. I had to choose my focus. I really repelled this idea; I found excitement in all craft and felt merging tribes of thought and expression was only natural. An artist defines their work, not chooses it from a few predetermined options.

Of course, I would like to say that I dropped out for these ethical reasons, but I simply ran out of money.

I moved on to Brown Technical college to get an Associates Degree in Graphic Design. I learned an incredibly valuable lesson here. It was a technical college--and at the time perceived step down from MCAD. It took a little time to kill that perspective. But when I did, I discovered that talent, passion, and ingenuity is in the individual, not their affiliations. There were very talented and hard working professors there as well. And today I still find talent in the unconfirmed.

This is hard to measure. So I don't waste time blaming MCAD or Brown. I find simple pride in the things I have learned in my fancy school time and my humble school time. This really reflects on the type of artist I am.



My focus stayed true, but my opinion changed.



As I started my career as a graphic designer, I continued to paint during the weekends. More projects and disciplines interested me, and in my free time I learned to code html and css, I took on a tattoo apprenticeship, started a daily comic, learned to video and edit video, etc. I am totally hooked on all things art. I had started to affectionately call it all art-dorking.

The idea that I eventually figured out was that all these disciplines were never a diversity in focus. They are all using visual thinking to figure out problems. Simple said, I am a visual problem solver.

I figured it out. I really love figuring things out.