Growing up on the banks of the mighty Ohio river I had the pleasure of experiencing Ohio country living at its finest. Here, As I explored the vast wilderness that surrounded me, I found my love of art through the magnificence of nature. My daily explorations of dirt trails and wilderness hikes would feed my ever-expanding imagination. My earliest memories are crafted in the best of the 70s and 80s nostalgia. I remember watching Star Wars A New Hope with my father at a very young age and became consumed with the sci-fi genre. Like every child of the 80s, I enjoyed the big-haired rock bands, adventures of Michael Knight and Kit, Optimus Prime and the Transformers, Thundercats, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Battlestar Galactica, and of course the best classical westerns a boy could enjoy. My childhood included no helmet bike riding, skinned knee no pad tackle football, grass-stained pant adventures in Ohio hill country, and enough trouble to keep any child of the 70s,80s in constant danger of just how far ya push your luck before an ER trip. It was good to be a child of the 70s and 80s.
The 70s and 80s eventually faded and I found myself a young man of the 90s trying to decide what path to follow in life. The new grunge sounds of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Stone Temple Pilots helped energize my inner artist and after surviving the brutality of High School I meandered my way to Marshall University in Huntington W.V. Here I would go on to study the art of Graphic Design with such amazing artist as Mary Grassell, Pete Massing, Robert Rowe, and Stan Sporny. While working my way through college 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 later down the road. 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. This wise sage of Old Main would lead me into the wonderful 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 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 trapped me and destroyed 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, 6 months in a wheelchair, and another year learning to walk again. 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. Never take your next breath for granted.
Fast forward to 2015 and my transition from the wild and wonderful wilderness of West Virginia to the coastal bliss and endearing countryside of De Leon Springs Florida. Life has a way of returning you to your roots. I may not be a native Floridian but my feet once again follow dirt roads. Here in De Leon Springs, I continue to master my craft. Here on sandy old dirt roads, I find myself surrounded by horse farms and orange groves. I find absolute delight in being only minutes from the ocean waves I so love, creating for companies that I only dreamed of when I was a kid. Who would have ever thought 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 my crazy mind and creative craft. Enjoy the Journey!
L. Jason Queen - Owner QueensCove Creative