I am an artist. This is probably self-evident from the rest of this site, but the fact remains, that "an artist" is just about the only title that I can claim with any certainty. If I could sum myself up in a single image it would look a little something like this:
Or maybe this:
Then again, there should probably be a little of this in there too:
I realize that’s three images, not one, but I couldn’t narrow it down any further and I have the right to change my mind mid-bio if I want.
Perhaps the first image is the chaos of ideas in my mind, the second image more my own character, and the third image is just there because there’s not enough of a digital presence in the first two.
Let’s go with that.
I have been an artist for as long as I can remember. When I was a child, if anyone asked me “What do you want to be when you grow up?” my answer was always “An artist”. I could never quite pin down exactly what type of artist I wanted to be, but I always knew the overall category that my job would fall into. As such, I spent my childhood and adolescence exploring as many different types of art and craft skills as I could. I studied the obvious things such as drawing and painting and sculpting, but I also learned how to sew, carve wood, and decorate cakes. In my adolescent years I expanded my pursuits to include digital artwork with early versions of Photoshop and Flash animation (back when the program was still called Flash and owned by Macromedia rather than Adobe).
When it came time for me to go to college I was still unable to settle on a particular field, so I spent my undergraduate years pursuing a bachelor degree in Photography and Media from California Institute of the Arts, all the while taking as many courses on animation and illustration and wood shop and bookbinding and video as I could squeeze into my schedule. I am very proud of my photo work from that time and I continue to use the medium for personal projects, but I eventually came to realize that I just am not passionate enough about photography to make a living at it.
What I have always been most passionate about is animation. Animation makes something new, then brings it to LIFE… and my mixed media skill set is perfect for it. I can illustrate concept art, build sets and characters in 3D, on paper, or real life, animate those characters, and render & edit the video. There’s only one small problem: animating is TEDIOUS. I am unlikely to ever complete an animated short on my own because I just do not have the patience for animating. I have the patience to sculpt thousands of tiny scales on the back of a dragon, but I can’t bear the time it takes to make it move millimeter by millimeter. So, I undertook the task of pursuing an MFA degree in 3D modeling at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. I spent my years there learning to design, paint, sculpt and render characters and props with the highest level of detail, and I leave the actual animating to my colleagues.
I try to give my creations as much of an illusion of life as I possibly can. I love to create things that don’t exist in the real world, but I strive to make them feel real. I find the most interesting patterns and textures that I can and use them as inspiration. I create contrast, variety and unexpected details in all of my most passionate projects.
After graduation I joined the character modeling team of a video game production company and expanded my knowledge of low poly modeling techniques exponentially. I have been on the management team of that same company now for over three years, and I continue to love what I do. A collaborative environment is easily the most fertile ground for creativity, with the best ideas coming from many people working together, bouncing ideas off of each other to create something that none of them could have come up with on their own. This is the type of environment that I work in. I thrive around creative people, and hope that, in the end, I can contribute as much to their artistic process as they do to mine.