I have always been an artist, from the crayons and pencils on the floor in my parents living room, and on to ink and Comic Strip publishing, before I was 10. For me, as a child growing up in suburban or rural Texas, Art was always my solace, easy to impress people with a drawing, and I did it a lot as we moved across Texas from town to town, I was always the new kid, so I drew, and I fought, a lot.
I guess the first time I really remember producing something I was proud of must have been the drawing I did of my summer vacation, when I was in 1st Grade, it depicted my Grandpa’s big red fishing boat and our trip on it up the Trinity River. I painted in watercolors and crayons and had everyone in the boating party covered. I don’t think it sold. But it wasn't long before I was trying to make a living in Art.
I started a magazine company in the 3rd Grade mainly revolving around collecting Garbage Pail Kids. I loved the use of the branded image of the Xavier Roberts’ Cabbage Patch Kids, distorted and perverted into this trading card set. I was reading the comics in the paper, and watching lots of TV and reading MAD magazine, I was influences by Bob Ross on PBS, and others, while I sat there in heat of the Texas summer afternoons watching them hammer out painting of trees and reflective lakes, mainly in oils and I just figured that one day I could also make a living in art. I started in elementary school by producing drawings and buttons; expressly to sell, and the hot ticket with all the girls was New Kids on the Block, so I drew tons of images of NKOTB for all the girls, it made it easy to meet chicks when I was selling them a drawing.
THE POWER TO CREATE
I was beginning to understand what I liked about art, the POWER TO CREATE, and the instant credibility, and relevance when that created image registers with the human subconscious and they have to own it, meet you, and share that moment of creation with you, almost as if to bask in the glow created in turn by the image you created. This is what I do best, probably the only thing I really do well, so I love when other people enjoy the work I create, and I convey the feeling I intended with the Artwork to them as a viewer.
So I began to create for me and to develop my artistic skills. We had Art class but I did most of my drawing and painting at home or when I was finished with my class work, I kept spirals and drawing paper with me at all times, I received instruction at home from my mother, now an Art Teacher, and from her friend Grace Carey, also an Art Teacher, we worked on basic principles and techniques, but it was not a structured routine, I just did as I pleased and produced art. Then I had some formal instruction in Junior High, and High School. I made sure to take as many Art electives as I could, and got involved in Year Book/Annual Staff and was involved in One Act Play, and was always making the T-Shirts, or helping to design the sets, as well as acting in the performance. I began to get some guidance from J.D. Beltran, my Art teacher, in both Junior High School, and then for 3 Years in High School, before that next move. He taught me I was okay to use unconventional methods to arrive at new ideas, and to create Art for yourself, and if the World likes it, then great. So I decided that if I was going to be a great artist I had to be good at replicating the human form in a traditional realistic style. I figured that if I could draw a portrait of someone you actually knew, and you, as a viewer recognized that person when I was finished, then that proved the validity of my talent, and justified the art itself, as an intentionally created object, relatively close to the intended portrayal. That meant I was an Artist. So I drew images from Sport Illustrated, mainly Michael Jordan, I probably drew MJ a thousand times, I even have a few still. I also started to draw musicians and celebrities, etc, the vary basis of my work now, but then something happened, as I started to produce for my AP portfolio submission for college, and I really began to think about using Art as a career. I even taught some summer art classes and peer tutored kids in Art. I guess I was beginning to like working at producing Art. Mrs. Champion my last High School Art instructor, pushed me to produce, and to set up shows, I finally started to sell Artwork and had several exhibitions. However, I went to college and chose Landscape Architecture as a career. What was I thinking?
I was always drawn to the comics as a kid, just because there was no death or despair or half as many ads in that section of the Sunday Paper, I then started to see that there was so much more out there. As I got older I saw the way people were affected by art, whether it was a master like Rembrandt, or a revolutionary like Van Gogh, I saw that people were amazed. I understand Monet and Renoir. I was interested in Michelangelo and Leonardo; I was drawn to Dali and Wyeth. I was fascinated by Seurat and Picasso, but I really got excited when I saw what Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Jasper Johns, Jackson Pollack, Roy Lichtenstein and Rauschenberg had done, and what Jeff Koons, Chuck Close and Leroy Neiman are still doing. I wanted to be Picasso, and Warhol and Neiman all rolled into one, a guy that created artwork of celebrities and entertainment and sports, using existing images, blending them with my unique perspective, and then being able to sell these paintings to the actual celebrities depicted in the artwork themselves, or auction them off for charity and be a representative for the “Young-modern-contemporary art movement” that is just beginning in this country. I have laid in bed many nights dreaming of presenting portraits to all the A-List set, the influential people of this country in entertainment, business, and politics. I can just see myself there smiling and shaking hands as I present the artwork and it is unveiled. I want to pay for meals with sketches, do live art for fun, and I want to push the envelope as far as I can by combining this countries two driving forces, capitalism and artistic expression, and be famous and relevant in my lifetime.
I did great in all the design classes and in the drawing classes and in the design studio producing the models out of Museum Board, and sleeping there overnight in the building because I was up all night, and then have to redo the entire project again. I just didn't like the actual gig when I started my internships, I decided to switch majors, and transfer schools. I eventually settled on Stephen F. Austin State University, in Nacogdoches, Texas and received a BA in Fine Art, with a concentration in Drawing. I had great professors, including Gary Fields, I produce more pieces and took a ton of hours and then went on to teach high school and coach football, and this is where my life changed.
FOOTBALL and ART
I have had a few different careers since I left college. I was a High School Teacher, a College Football Coach, a Doorman at a popular club, I worked at a bank, two Architecture Firms, a catering company, as an extra on TV and in Film, Promoted Events on The Sunset Strip, and installed lighting for rock concerts and I even tried managing my sister’s career; and subsequently went back to the university system as a Football coach, and a Graduate Student, trying to become a full time coach at a major University, yet the entire time I was creating Art, just not in the quantity or quality I would have preferred, I just had no time for me to produce with Football. I worked 60-80 hour weeks during the season, and the off-season included recruiting and traveling, and meeting and planning and conditioning, etc, all I would have off was June, so I left the whole thing behind and came out to California to get into the entertainment business, and after paying dues here for a while and finally joining SAG I realized acting is fun; but not my passion, producing Artwork is my passion, and I truly believe my purpose.
SHARPIE and SHARPISM
I eventually arrived at a crossroads in my artistic career development, where I wanted to find my own voice and create my own move, net in art. I was always drawn to the versatility and finality of Sharpies. I had always had an affinity for line drawing and my concentration in my college studies was in drawing. I then began to allow my mind to be open to a whole new creation process. Sharpism is the use of Sharpie markers to create detailed original art, manipulating the medium to arrive at a range of effects. Analytic Sharpism is the creation of detailed vignettes that collaborate to form a second or third image while maintaining there own intrinsic appeal. I allow the images to flow from my subconscious and the stream that arrives to create the second of third images, never knowing the direction the piece will take until we are about to arrive at the composition. The finality of Sharpie work coupled with imaginative depictions contained in the pieces, creates a very interesting juxtaposition of the two main themes of the movement.
I have now decided to center my world around my artwork, whether it is an acrylic or a Sharpie piece I have for sale on my site or graphics I created for my clothing line.
I just want people to begin to recognized me and my artwork for our unique qualities, and as a result of that popularity, my message of creating Art for Art’s sake will infectiously fill the void that still remains here in Los Angeles, and around the world, for quality contemporary art produced by myself and other Artists that share that common strand of creation and capitalism, and attempt to do something “paradigm shattering” each and every time they pick up a brush or a marker.