My Humble Background
I became an artist at age 5. The local mall held a coloring contest, and when I showed up to claim my giant bunny, the lady at the store said, “Are you SURE you colored this yourself?” A typically shy child, I took a deep breath and replied, “I can do another if you'd like.” Magic markers, as they were called back in the day, were just that to me—magic. I enjoyed the control I wielded with their fine tip and the sheer strength of the color left me feeling powerful. So much so, I still use markers today to sketch out illustrations before bringing them into the digital realm.
My official first job as an artist was painting sets and props for Disney in 1989. This experience helped me land my first design job (before computers!) for a large electrical sign company where I rendered signs on buildings and made full-sized manufacturing patterns. I still dabbled in set and prop design in the Bay Area while I launched my own design business in 1995.
While I love my computers as tools, real design is in the mind's eye. I joke with clients that they get lots of free design time when I hear about a project far ahead of its due date, because so much of working out design is intuitive and comes from some sub-conscious place. I feel fortunate to hold the key to that place. One thing I discovered about creativity on my own, is that you cannot always wait for inspiration. Just putting pencil to paper or pixels to screen, starts the process.