Given the choice to do anything, I will always center myself around art. I am humbled and grateful for the unyielding enthusiasm shared with me by so many talented artists throughout my life.
Originally from snowy central New York, I attended the wildly immersive NY State Summer School of the Arts program. I earned my BFA in Illustration from Syracuse University under accomplished mentors Roger Demuth, John Thompson and Murray Tinkelman. While at SU, my work was selected for the Society of Illustrators 37th Annual of American Illustration and exhibition in NYC.
I relocated to South Carolina in 1997 where I served as an award-winning Senior News Artist for The Herald. A year later, I hired Zan — an unconventional reply to “How did you two meet?” that never gets old to tell. During that time, I began teaching as a Design & Illustration Instructor at Winthrop University, an opportunity I would cherish, whenever my schedule would allow, for the next 16 years.
In 2003, Zan and I cofounded our first design firm which eventually evolved into Social. The following year, we proudly launched “Up,” a gallery, store and frame shop that featured work from local and international artists for nearly a decade. In addition, I served as an Artists U facilitator for the SC Arts Commission, traveling the state to help fellow artists build balanced, sustainable careers.
Most days, I supplement my personal art practice in my second studio — the kitchen — learning to master the art of craft chocolate with Zan.
I owe much of my artistic success to my Mom and Dad. Artists in their own right, they gave me the patience, love and encouragement to freely pursue my creativity. I also credit my high school art teacher, the late Dina Hall, with teaching me how to express myself through art with skill and confidence.
In high school, I attended the SC Governer’s School for the Arts and went on to earn a Fine Arts degree from Savannah College of Art & Design with a focus in Painting and minor in Art History. Upon graduation, I spent time on Chesapeake Bay painting landscape and portrait commissions and rescuing Wyeth, the black lab pup that would become my devoted adventure companion for the next nine years.
Returning to the Carolinas, I put my figure drawing skills and Pro Disc light table to use as a “tweener” at the animation studio, John Lemmon Films. Eager to gain a firmer grasp on business, I moved on to a position in sales where I quickly learned about what I didn’t want to do, but gained a lifelong friend in the process.
I traded a company car to stoke my passion for the outdoors managing a local gear shop. In the late 90’s, the arrival of the internet closed the shop’s doors but opened another at The Herald. I worked as an award-winning Senior News Artist alongside my future partner, Tamara.