TL;DR: Been an artist since I was eight years old, created comics since 2009 and digital mixed media abstract art since 2006. New career as a children’s 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. Teacher told me I chose the wrong color because, “…the sky isn’t purple, it’s blue.” That really struck me, why must my art be based on reality? That teacher’s comment planted the seed.
1978: It’s my birthday party and I snuck into my parents room to watch the “Star Wars Holiday Special” on TV. I was already obsessed with it 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 knock off comic strip 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.
2001: Created my first digital mixed media abstract piece of art, titled, “Define Your Reality.” I made it for my desktop background, so the resolution makes it too low to print. It wouldn’t be for five more years before I created more with the intention of showing/selling.
2006: 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 within a year had some of my work displayed in a handful of galleries around the country.
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!
Within weeks of these classes, I was literally and figuratively thrown to the lions and was hired as a long term substitute art teacher for a Charter school in town while the real art teacher was on maternity leave. The experience made me realize that that was NOT my calling.
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.