Click on the links below to view examples of my:
- Humorous illustrations
- Photoshop-generated artwork
- Comics and graphic novels
I remember watching Walt Disney’s animated Alice in Wonderland when I was in the second grade (a beautiful hand-animated movie like the ones Disney was making in those days), drawing a picture of Alice falling down the rabbit hole, and after that I never stopped.
I spent much of my time when I was growing up writing and drawing my own comic books, writing stories (science fiction mostly), drawing and painting SF and fantasy imagery, and painting images out of my dreams.
I drew and wrote and painted all through high school, then went to college, where I studied everything except art. I didn’t think there was a way to make a good living at it, at the time, so I focused on other subjects, like biology and cultural anthropology.
Also in those weird old days, the art classes were filled with students and teachers smoking tobacco, weed and whatever … this was before clean air standards… I remember walking into a classroom in a local community college back in the 1970s…. it was a strange darkened room, with students painting in the semi-darkness… I could barely see the instructor through the clouds of smoke. Those were interesting but strange days.
So I studied everything other than art for a few years, graduated with no clear idea of what I was going to do, then after a few months of futzing around, went back to doing what I’d always done, or a variation on it: drawing pictures of friends, drawing and painting fantasy and science fiction images, writing and drawing graphic novels, writing short stories, novels and stage plays, and working on screenplays (though I didn’t have a clue in those days if they’d really turn into movies).
To my surprise, I did actually start making a living from doing what I loved doing, as the years went by. My first real “job” in the arts was working as a portrait artist down at the Pike Place Market in Seattle. It was fun, and I was reasonably good at it, but I wasn’t fast, which you needed to be if you’re drawing people outdoors at the Market in the cold. I drew portraits of shivering people for a few months, then moved on.
In the mid-1980s, I started getting jobs doing book and magazine covers, drawing posters and advertisements, and writing and illustrating graphic novels and comic books. In the 1990s, I got back into painting. then got into computer graphics, and created a line of photorealist comics and graphic novels which were published in the United States and Europe. (And of course I was teaching through the Experimental College and writing some stage plays and screenplays around this same time).
My work as a visual artist has included:
- doing book covers and interior illustrations (acrylics)
- doing magazine covers and interior illustrations (pen, brush and ink)
- doing portraits & caricatures (pencil and charcoal)
- doing a little commercial art (pencil, pen, photoshop)
- computer generated artwork (pencil and photoshop)
- doing storyboards for movies
- doing storyboards for commercials
- doing science fiction and fantasy artwork (acrylics)
- comics & graphic novels (pen, brush and ink)
- cartoons and humorous illustrations (hand drawn, colored in photoshop)
The common element, to my mind, is storytelling. Whether I’m telling a story with pictures or words, using pencil, paint, ink, photoshop or a camcorder, the medium may be different, but the heart of the experience is the same.
If you’re looking for an art class, check out my upcoming courses which are cosponsored by the University of Washington’s Experimental College and my own program, Classesandworkshops.com: