I was born in San Diego, California in 1970. I’ve been an artist every since I could hold a pencil. Creativity is in my blood. When I was six years old, I drew a picture of a Native American. On the back of the piece of paper, I drew the back view. My Grandparents had it hanging on their fridge for years. When I was in high school, I wasn’t the popular kid, but everyone knew me because of my art. When I graduated, I won several awards and scholarships.
In college, I studied fine art, art history, typography, color theory, life drawing, graphic design and animation. Later, I studied 3D animation and character animation and even became certified in Autodesk Maya (it was actually owned by Alias at the time) at Studio Arts near Hollywood, California. I was trained by animators from Disney and Warner Brothers who worked in feature films. Needless to say, it was an awesome experience.
These days, while I still do a lot of print design, I’m primarily doing creative work for online websites and applications. I started out using WYSIWYG tools like GoLive or Dreamweaver, but these days I code everything by hand. I’ve gained extensive experience with HTML, CSS, JS and JQuery.
Anyone who knows me will can attest to this… I am a Star Wars nerd to the core. When I saw the first movie in 1977, it changed my life. Ok, I admit, I’m a little obsessed with Star Wars. Not only do I have a huge collection in my office, I also have several Star Wars tattoos, including my entire back (which took 30 hours to complete). Some people are addicted to substances, but I’m addicted to Star Wars.
I love listening to music. Ever since I was a little boy, I have embraced music. My parents subjected me to all genres of music early on in life. From classical music to rock-n-roll. Music plays such an important part of my life, I listen to it every day. I listen to it when I drive and I listen to it when I work. In fact, I must have tunes on when I am working. The kind of music I am listening to depends on the type of work I am doing.
Tattoos! Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve been fascinated with tattoos. I’ve always thought it was cool to see people decorate their skin with cool looking artwork. Every time I see a person with nice tattoos, I feel inspired. I think we are finally living in a society where tattoos are considered acceptable. Not everyone with tattoos is a gang member, pirate or some other bad person. More and more people are expressing themselves with body art these days. There are a lot of great tattoo artists out there and I have seen some great work. I always tell people: “Never get a tattoo on impulse! Plan it out first, and get something with meaning.” Naturally, I started getting tattooed myself several years ago. Being an artist, I like to design my own pieces. I’ve been going to the same artist for every piece so far. Rob Sampson from Patriot Tattoos does excellent work! He’s done an great job transferring my own art onto my skin. They look identical to my original designs. I always draw them by hand first, then finish them on the computer. I then bring the color version and a line-only version for him to use. I’ve also designed tattoos for other people.
Since I stay cooped up indoors day in and day out, while doing my creative (and sometimes not so creative) work, I try to spend my time off outdoors. After work, I like to take my dog for walks around the neighborhood to clear my mind and get the blood flowing again. I also like to go hiking (also with my dog) on the weekends. Another thing I like to do is off-roading or riding ATV’s. I currently own a Yamaha Raptor 660, but someday I plan on upgrading to something that’s less abusive to my bones (I’m not getting any younger!). Soon I hope to get into a Polaris RZR XP1000. It’s fast, it’s safer and I can take my dog! Another outdoor activity I enjoy is Kayak fishing. My dog even likes to go out on the water with me. There is nothing like being out on the water trying to catch dinner, after a long week of web design/development.