Born among the banks of the mighty Ohio River and rolling hills of southeastern Ohio I grew up on a small country road. As my younger self became enamored with the young farmboy and Jedi wannabe who looked longingly at the twin setting suns I also remember being a young farm boy myself longing for adventure and other galaxies to explore. I found my talent for art at an early age lost in the old books and legends I could discover in my small town. I would often venture into the wilderness where I would find a tree and read of the faraway worlds of comics, Dragonlance and Lord of the Rings. It wasn't easy being a creative mind in my small town country environment but my supportive parents, local shops like Criminal Records and The Alcove would feed my inner artist just enough for me to survive.
After surviving the brutality of High School I meandered my way to Marshall University in Huntington W.V. where I would go on to earn a B.F.A. of Graphic Design. Here as I worked my way through college as a service and tire salesman I met my soul mate, my shieldmaiden and the love of my life. In 1994 on the edge of giving up my college pursuits I met the lady who would push me to continue and complete my studies. I would go on to marry her in 1995 and be blessed with 2 wonderful wild and crazy cool kids. Our journeys would lead us to an internship with my friend and mentor Mark Phillips and then to a small advertising agency in Columbus Ohio. I learned a lot in my early career and was quite humbled that life and the industry taught more than I was honestly ready for. I returned to the halls of Marshall University in 1999 to begin studies towards a Masters with the man who would become my creative maestro. Stan Sporny A.K.A Cap'N Stan would lead me into the world of fine art, painting, and illustration. He would mold me into the artist and philosopher I am to this day. I miss ya Cap'N
"I'm NOT teaching you to paint... I'm teaching you to see." - Stan Sporny
I would graduate with an M.A. in Painting and Illustration in 2004 and life would once again teach me just how unprepared I was. June 14th, 2004 I was struck head-on by a 16-year-old girl who went left of center. She crushed my little car instantly trapping me and destroying my body in the process. My injuries should have ended my worldly journey then and there but thanks to the grace and mercy of an amazing God as well as the incredible doctors, first responders and trauma crew I drifted somewhere between life and death. I would go on to spend 24 days in a coma and a total of 39 in the hospital. Since 2004 I have endured 28 surgeries to put me back together. I had to re-learn my craft and re-teach my hand to connect with my creative brain. To say it was hard would be an understatement. Through lots and lots of pain, physical therapy and support from my family, I would push on and survive. Life is the greatest teacher. Pain is the second.
In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. ~ Robert Frost
Fast forward to 2015 and my transition from the hill country of West Virginia to the coastal wilderness of De Leon Springs Florida. My family needed a move, a change of scenery and it has been the absolute best part of my journey thus far. BTW it was all my wife's idea. It was my 5-year plan but she made the push and I didn't fight very much on the idea. She's always had a way of being brilliant. We now work together here in De Leon Springs with her being the brains behind this operation. She is my soul mate, shieldmaiden and office/business manager. I'd honestly be lost without her guidance, business mind, and insight. So here I am surrounded by horse farms and orange fields only minutes from the ocean waves I so love, creating for companies that I only dreamed of when I was a kid. Who would ever think that little country boy who grew up using tobacco sticks as a lightsaber would make art for Lucasfilm through the Topps company? I've been blessed and continue to be amazed at this journey we call life. Throughout my career, I can honestly say I've never been bored. I've worked as a production artist, a graphic designer, a sign maker/environmental designer, performance artist, and a creative director. I worked at tiny little agencies, sign companies, state-funded agencies and large diverse advertising agencies. All the pain indeed had a purpose. For more on my journeys both past and present please follow my blog here where I'll explore more in-depth. Enjoy the website of Queens Cove Creative.