TL;DR: Been an artist since I was eight years old and have created comics since 2009. New career as an art instructor since 2015. Married with one son and living in the St. Louis, Missouri, area.
1976: I’m in preschool coloring the sky purple in my Snoopy coloring book. My narrow minded teacher told me that I chose the wrong color because, “…the sky isn’t purple, it’s blue.” That really struck me, why must I restrict how my art looks based on reality? That teacher’s comment planted the seed and made me the artist I am today.
1978: It’s my birthday party and I snuck into my parents room to watch the “Star Wars Christmas Special” on TV. I was already a huge Star Wars nut before this, but something “clicked” in me watching that show. I started drawing everything Star Wars… a lot… you know, to suppress memories of watching that horrible special as well as quell future rage against George Lucas for destroying the franchise 21 years later with the Prequels.
1983: I started winning art awards and was the youngest person to be admitted into continuing education art classes at a local college.
1984: Created a comic strip that was a knockoff of several 1980’s cartoons. Only classmates in my Home Room class saw it. No copies exist. This is the last time I would create comics until 25 years later…
1990: Attended art college for a short time but had to drop out due to financial reasons. Biggest thing I learned there is I don’t need to go to art college to learn how to make art. Saved a ton of money.
1993-1999: Worked at a video/film production company and learned how to write scripts, story telling, shot composition, and character design. These are skills that became useful later in my life creating comics.
1999: For a couple years leading up to this I taught myself to be a graphic/web designer and left the production company to work for a couple of design houses. Made a small career out of it before the IT bubble burst in 2001.
2006: Shifted gears to become a stay at home dad. During several nights of sleep deprivation caring for my baby, I focused on digital mixed media abstract art and had some of my work displayed in a handful of galleries around the country a year later.
2009: Comics were the furthest thing from my mind when God planted the entire concept of my first comic in my head. Everything was there, I just had to get it on paper. FRIK is a medieval warrior who is forced to work at a medieval fast food restaurant and fights goblins and ninjas on the side. It was released online early 2010 and soon after in print.
2013: As my son was growing up, he would often say or do quirky things, and I would write them down in a notebook. Over time I had enough material where I created my next comic, HOLES IN IT, a story about an artist dad and his quirky son. About half of the comic is actual real events that happened, some word for word.
2015: Earlier in the year God popped in my head suggesting I start teaching a comic class to kids. I completely dismissed it because at the time I was trying to figure out how I was going to get back into the workforce now that my son was a full time student. “Stay at home Dad” no longer applied to me and I was freaking out about finding a job.
A month later my son bragged to his school’s art teacher about me making comics and she emailed inviting me to teach a one hour class to each of the third grade classes. At that point I said, “Ok God, I get the hint!” A meager six months later, I started teaching my KIDS COMIC WORKSHOP around town and my very first two classes filled up!
2016: I released my third comic line called THE NORMLINGS, in print and online. I also expanded my classes and teach after school and homeschool classes.
All three comic lines can be found on my SQUARE STORE and at comic conventions around the Midwest.
2017: Expanded my teaching empire and created several new classes. I also created a base camp for my classes that was centrally located in town and started having a regular schedule there, effectively tripling the number of classes I taught in 2016.