Where were you born? Year, Country, State. Where do you live currently?
I was born in 1973 near my hometown of Sycamore, Illinois (60 miles due west of Chicago) and recently moved from New York to Minneapolis.
What initially drew you to drawing pretty pictures?
Both my parents draw and my uncle was a pretty exceptional artist when I was growing up. I apparently started correcting my father’s Lego creations at about 3. I drawn since childhood, but made it a goal to “draw every day for a while” two years ago. My skills have greatly improved through this exercise.
Who is your favorite skateboarder, living or dead? Any ties to skateboarding?
I’m a huge fan of David Gonzalez. He’s fast, stylish and crazy daring- all the things you need to be a great skateboarder. That Possessed to Skate video is out of control.
I skated non stop through my childhood/youngadulthood from 12 or 13 on. I slowed down when I really hurt my ankle really badly ollie-board-sliding a good sized handrail. I never had the death wish the true greats seem to have. I was ok in my prime though. We still have a ramp in our office in Brooklyn. A one and a half foot half pipe. Great fun.
Who is your favorite artist, living or dead?
Tough question. I read a biography of Michelangelo as a kid that really changed my life. He and Da Vinci were my favorites for a long time. I think the fact that Da Vinci was also an inventor and had such a crazy creative mind makes him my number 1. Currently I have to say I love seeing all that Jamie Hewlett does. His instagram is one of my favorites. Wait- Klimt. I may have to go with Gustav Klimt. So frickin good.
When you're not creating amazing works of art, what do you enjoy doing?
Spending time with my family, my wife, my kids. I direct commercials, music videos and short films for a living (The Saline Project - the company I own and run with my brother) so that definitely is something I spend much of my time either doing for pay or the love of it. Walking, going to see movies- a lot of my time is either spent filmmaking or making art though for sure. A pretty great way to spend a life.
Who are your biggest influences?
It depends what I’m working on. Lately I’ve been really into working on this graphic novel project and into Paul Pope, Jamie Hewlett and Katsuhiro Otomo. Art wise, I’ve been kind of blown away by this architect Lebbeus Woods’ drawings. McBess also kind of blows my mind…
What mediums do you enjoy working in?
Pen and ink. Resin- I’ve been developing this style of layered dimensional drawing/painting/collages that are pretty exciting.
The pen and ink drawing every day thing is my current favorite. I can be having a terrible day and not want to draw then force myself to and have my whole day turned around by the creation of whatever it is I make. I also love the fact that nobody has any say in what I do on any given day. I do it for the love and feel super free and alive in the act of making. It’s killer. It is one of the greatest things in my life right now.
Anything else you want to tell?
I don’t think so. Maybe the fact that it’s been a dream of mine since I was probably about 12 years old to make a skateboard deck and have people be able to buy it, hang it or ride it or whatever- this is a life long dream come true. I love the board I made for the show and love the fact that it will be produced for others to enjoy. Thanks for the opportunity ArtDeckCo. You rule!