My Work

I’m inclined to avoid talking about my work, for fear of over-explaining it and dissolving the mystery.  Then I think of science only enhancing the wonder, so I don’t really mind.

I work primarily with traditional materials, pen and brush and ink, graphite, collage, gouache, watercolor, acrylic.  Physical materials are key to my work, as they allow for equal parts play and virtuosity.  Real materials allow for fun accidents as well as the capacity (more often than not) of exceeding my vision.  Proper india ink, with a nib dip-pen and/or brush on paper are my favorite, creating an aesthetic that is often mimicked by never surpassed by other tools.

What motivates me to create?  I used to subscribe to the role of a “visionary” in that I would construct visions based on vague images that would pop into my head through playing with materials or engaging the world.  These days I’m more of a formalist, composing drawings, comics, paintings, etc. based on essential pictorial needs, as well as focusing on craft (the way I handle the materials.)  All my work has had a narrative purpose underpinning it, however obscure or specific.  This is all silly since much of my work has cute animals and weird creatures.  Client-based work is a keen and welcome challenge, providing me a means by which I must summon my best skills to communicate an idea for someone else with very specific parameters.  As a teacher of art, I constantly push my work in concept and craft to keep me on my toes!

Nature is my greatest inspiration, though I refuse to record it through mimetic means.  Human culture is something that stymies and frustrates me, so I inavoidably comment on it.  I like to consider my work as stemming from an illustration background (classic cartoons, old school cartoonists and comics masters, and children’s book artists) filtered through the Surrealist and Dadaist ideas, garnished with a heavy dose of kitsch (rock and roll music, monster movies, 80’s pop culture for kids.)  But then, I’m an insider!