Me

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I’m originally from Iowa, studied graphic design at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design, and graduated with a BFA from Indiana State University. The first ten years of my career were spent on the other side of the table as an art director and creative director.

It has been a privilege and a real treat to create images for some of the best-known advertising agencies, publishers, corporations, and design firms. Many of the images have been recognized by NY Director’s Club, Communication Arts magazine, Print magazine, Society of Illustrators (NY and LA), Graphis, and Step-By-Step magazine.

I have served as the President of the Indiana Art Directors Club, Board member for the Graphic Artist Guild (Indiana), member of the Society of Illustrators, member of the Society of Typographic Arts, member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the Illustrators Partnership of America.

There have been lectures at schools, institutions, conferences, events, and organizations across the country and have enjoyed teaching as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Georgia, Portfolio Center, IvyTech, Hollins University, and the Creative Circus.

Me
image asset
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I’m originally from Iowa, studied graphic design at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design, and graduated with a BFA from Indiana State University. The first ten years of my career were spent on the other side of the table as an art director and creative director.

It has been a privilege and a real treat to create images for some of the best-known advertising agencies, publishers, corporations, and design firms. Many of the images have been recognized by NY Director’s Club, Communication Arts magazine, Print magazine, Society of Illustrators (NY and LA), Graphis, and Step-By-Step magazine.

I have served as the President of the Indiana Art Directors Club, Board member for the Graphic Artist Guild (Indiana), member of the Society of Illustrators, member of the Society of Typographic Arts, member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the Illustrators Partnership of America.

There have been lectures at schools, institutions, conferences, events, and organizations across the country and have enjoyed teaching as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Georgia, Portfolio Center, IvyTech, Hollins University, and the Creative Circus.

SCHOOL VISITS

A visit to your school, library, or organization is a memorable event for students of all ages, and those interested in creating stories and learning about that process from an artist’s perspective. I really enjoy meeting students and staff and look forward to sharing my passion for illustration and creativity with you!

VIRTUAL VISITS: Budget limited for an in-school visit? Virtual Visits through the magic of technology. Sessions range from 10 minutes to an hour.

Click here for details about scheduling a visit, lecture, or workshop for you.

Ten Tips for a Perfect Author Visit (by Michael Shoulders at Nerdy Book Club)

School visit video

CLIENT LIST

Young & Rubicon, Amoco Oil, Churchill Downs, GTE, Southwest Airlines, Grey Advertising, Scott Foresman Publishing, Hyatt Hotels, Newsweek, Richards Group, Sleeping Bear, RCI, Oxford Press, Citibank, Sprint, Saturn Car Company, IBM, Melvin Simon, Cincinnati Zoo, Proctor & Gamble, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Ford Motor Company, Denver Zoo, Scholastic, Herman Miller, ProServe, Fifth Third Bank, Atlanta Brewing, Creative Press, Herald Printing, Neenah Paper, Meredith Publishing, Realty Resources, State of Indiana, ACAD, Land’s End, BBDO, Hillcrest Landscaping, Phi Lambda Theta, Bell Telephone Research, Mid-Ohio FoodBank, CBIS, Indianapolis Magazine, Emory University, Eli Lilly, Hammermill Paper, Jann Church Design, Braniff, Sports Medicine Magazine, Friendly Restaurants, Grey Advertising, General Housewares, Adweek, Chiat-Day, Anheiser Busch, Ralston Purina, AAU, Pentagram, Florida Trend, Regency Electronics, TBCW, Fallon McElligott, Mead Paper, Atlanta Opera, Indiana University, Disney, Lerner Publishing, Phizer, Make-a-Wish, Frito-Lay, Outside Magazine, SpringAir Mattress, Psychology Today, ISU, Marten House, PanAm Games, Warner Bros.

THE PROCESS

It begins with a our conversation. Fill me in on what your project is about, who is it for, and the audience you want to reach. Do you have any thoughts on how you would like this approached creatively? We need to discuss deadlines and any other parameters you feel are important. Once all that has been established, we’ll discuss your budget for the project.

After all that, it is pretty standard. There are thumbnails, sketches, and a final delivered on time. Together, with everyone’s efforts and thoughts we will create a successful outcome that meets (with the goal to exceed) everyone’s expectations.

DOWNLOADABLE IMAGE & BIO

Click Here for JPG Headshot.
Click here for PDF Bio.
Click here for PDF Tearsheet.

FAQ

Who/what are the inspirations and influences for your images?

This is a tough one to pin down because I keep adding new things. This almost always comes up, so I will try to narrow it down, not necessarily in order, to a list.

  1. Ding Darling, the editorial cartoonist for the Des Moines Register & Tribune, opened my eyes to the possibility you could actually make a living drawing during his visit to my junior high school class.
  2. Mad magazine.
  3. I’m a sucker for a quest that doesn’t have an end in sight.
  4. Ms. Brentlinger, Mr. Laska, and Rob Lawton,  teachers that stoked the fires and set a bar.
  5. I absolutely LOVE living indoors and eating, as well as satisfying my financial obligations regularly.
  6. The excitement the prospect of an opportunity to find and explore new inspiration with a sketchbook or new assignment offers.

What media and tools do use to you use to create your art?

Like most artists in school, I was introduced to creating images using a variety of media. This was essential to my survival in the beginning. It opened the doors to a lot more opportunities. Markers, pen and ink, watercolor, acrylic, oil, airbrush, collage, and even some linocuts. In high school, I was introduced and learned the basics of painting using pastels, but was told early on this was not a very viable medium for commercial work. They were right, there was no call for images created with pastels. Fortunately for me, I went to high school with someone who became an art director that offered an assignment to create images in pastel for an ad campaign. The campaign gained some recognition and have continued to create in pastel since. These days the computer has been integrated into the process at the sketch stage and some editing of the final image. There are assignments that call for a digital solution, in those cases, I utilize primarily photoshop and a selection of brushes. No matter the medium, it is all held together with drawing and composition. I still really enjoy the opportunities to work, and frequently do, in other mediums.

I have a story idea, would you be interested in illustrating it?

In the process of publishing a manuscript, it has been my experience, the author does not get to choose who illustrates their manuscript. Your publisher will have a vision for what will best communicate your story, to give it the best chance for success. My best advice is to secure a publisher that wants your story and see where it goes. Be sure to check the publisher’s guidelines for submission. This can usually be found somewhere easily on their web site. They will choose an illustrator that best communicates that vision. Don’t get me wrong, you are welcome to offer my name, but understand the final decision is solely theirs.

Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?

  1. Stay curious and fascinated about the world and what it has to offer in regards to information, resources, people, places, and things. The web makes this so easy. Go down “rabbit-holes” to see what’s there.
  2. Put yourself out there. Let them know who you are, what you do, and where they can find you. Have a good web presence. This also includes being social, meeting people, other artists, art directors, attend openings or sit in on lectures. Network a bit.
  3. Always be polite, friendly, and respectful. Everyone’s time is valuable. Look at creating new relationships, not jobs. This all begins with your first “Hello”.
  4. Deadlines are not a suggestion. If you have agreed to a deadline it is a commitment that affects many people, not to mention the art director that has put their reputation on the line for you. Don’t commit to something you cannot deliver. Delivering your best, on time, is a good foundation for a good reputation and long relationships.
  5. Keep creating. Maintain a sketchbook. Make a point to keep making new stuff.

Do you do school visits?

Absolutely! I have spoken at numerous schools, conferences, and events across the country covering a number of topics depending upon the audience and venue. I love it and look forward to those opportunities. Please contact me for my availability.