Professional Comic Artist
I am an international comic artist, certified art teacher and award winning sculptor. I am the main artist for Focus comic which is part of an autism awareness and acceptance campaign. Focus Comic features an autistic super hero, art by professionals including interns with autism. My mission is to remove the stigma associated with autism. I am the internship coach and head art teacher for the Focus comic free art summer camp for autistic kids and young adults. I help students fulfill their creative potential. I am responsible for helping three of the worlds first autistic comic book artists get their work published. In 2018, I had over 1,500 art students. I am an autism awareness advocate and I love inspiring hope through my work and teachings.
In July 2019 I was honored by ABC15 Arizona News with a Hero award for my contribution to society through the Focus comic project.
As far back as I can recall my artwork has centered on my own imagination. Although I derive most of my inspiration from animals and organic forms in nature, I habitually examine the question, “what if”? That inquiry sparks a sort of randomness in my brain limited only by the imagery that is invented in my mind. The result is my work.
My recent work combines a complex array of form and texture with a very controlled, frequently complicated , hand-painted acrylic finish. In contrast to the end product, however, the idea behind each sculpture is really very simple. All of my pieces begin with the concept of one existing animal mounted on a base the resembles topography found in nature such as trees, log, or coral. The terrain is generally quite textured (but not always) and practically never mirrors the animal’s natural habitat. When creating the creature itself, I make a boundless attempt to augment and distort its structure and surface until it is virtually unrecognizable from the beast it once was. I take the very same drastic approach when selecting the final color application and finish. The only exception being my early, single, solid color, glaze work which feature a very conservative color choice.
I love all things visual arts- drawing, painting, and sculpting. My art is influenced by surrealism wherever it can be found in the art world, and I hopes viewers “… interpret my work with an open mind and take away a slight sense of bewilderment.”
I grew up in Berkley, Michigan where I successfully acquired my BFA in drawing from Siena Heights University in 1999 and did my graduate work at Wayne State University. I acquired my teaching certificate at Wayne State in 2006 and moved to Phoenix, Arizona where I teach art at Amberlea Elementary and adult hand building and sculpture at Desert Dragon Pottery Art school in Phoenix.
I am an award winning ceramic sculptor earning First Place in the Arizona Artists Guild Associates Body of Work Juried Exhibition and was an AAG artist of the month candidate. In 2015, I became a board member and sculpture group head at the Arizona Artists Guild.
I love drawing and sculpting at every opportunity I can.
Wayne State University, Teaching Certification, Art Education, 2006
Siena Heights University, Bachelor Fine Arts, 1999
Ace Comicon Arizona 2018 – Focus Community Outreach Advocate.
Greater Austin Comicon 2018 – Focus Panel Speaker and Focus Guest Artist. Special guests attending the Focus Panel included Tony Todd. Art teacher for the community coloring competition.
Ace Comicon Seattle 2018 – Focus Guest Artist. Art teacher for the community coloring competition.
Ace Comicon Chicago 2018 – Focus Guest Artist. Art teacher for the community coloring competition.
Ace Comicon Arizona 2019 – Focus Guest Artist. Art teacher for the community coloring competition.
Fanx Comicon Salt Lake City Spring 2019 – Focus Panel Speak and Focus Guest Artist. Special guest attending the Focus Panel included Tony Todd. Art teacher for the community coloring competition.
Ace Comicon Seattle 2019 – Focus Guest Artist. Art teacher for the community coloring competition.
San Diego Comic con 2019 – Focus Industry Professional. Participated in a Sketchathon and promoted Focus Comic at the Cartoon Art Museum booth.
Fanx Comicon Salt Lake City Fall 2019 – Focus Panel Speak and Focus Guest Artist. Art teacher for the community coloring competition.
Stan Lee’s LA Comic con 2019 – Focus Panel Speak and Focus Guest Artist. Art teacher for the community coloring competition.
2015, “Body of Work” Juried Exhibition, Arizona Artists Guild, AZ
2011, DesertBotanical Garden Permanent Exhibit
1999, BFA Student Exhibition, Klemm Gallery, MI
Works held in several private collections in the United States
2018 – Present, Art teacher, Amberlea Elementary (k-8)
2018 – Present, Internship Coach & Head Art Teacher for Focus Comic and Focus Comic free art summer camp for autistic kids and young adults.
2017-2018 – Art teacher, Charles W Harris Elementary (k-8)
2007-2017 – Art teacher, Hurley Ranch Elementary (k-8)
2012-Present – Advanced Hand building and Sculpture, Desert Dragon Pottery
2015 – Sculpting techniques in paper clay workshop, Arizona Artists Guild
2019 – Present Head Art Teacher for Focus comic free art summer camp for autistic kids and young adults.
2018 – Present, Internship Coach, Focus Comic
2015-June 2019, Program Director, AAG Sculpture Group, Arizona Artists Guild
2015-June 2019, Board Member, Arizona Artists Guild