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I was born in Brooklyn, NY, as the youngest of five children. My family was and is a tight knit group. In chronological order there is Annette, Nedian, Peter, Carol and myself. I grew up watching my eldest sister paint, which encouraged me to pursue my own love of drawing. My inspiration came from comics such as ElfQuest, and the art found in role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons.
A third grade substitute teacher pretty much changed my life. I saw him drawing in class and asked what he was doing. After several questions and answers I came understand that you can draw for a living and to me, as a third grader, that was a great idea and all that I wanted to do. That thought was reinforced in the seventh grade, in art class, when I saw a poster for Pratt Institute. From then, pursuing a childhood love was the only thing I wanted to do and art school was the only place I wanted to go and Pratt was the only college I applied to.
How did you become a designer/artist?
I studied Illustration at Pratt for four years from ’90 to ’94, and before that at FIT for a semester. I landed my first job after college through a great deal of persistence, which finally got me in the door of Oxford University Press in Manhattan. There I was given the opportunity to take a Photoshop Class, which opened new doors and new possibilities. This then led to Web work, creating their first Web site and then an in-house CD.
Over the next five years I moved up the ranks of the design department of Oxford and then moved on to two other jobs in the Web field in Manhattan. After the birth of our second child and a great career opportunity to work closer to home, I left Manhattan and starting working in Westchester. Yet another opportunity presented itself and with the purchase of our first home we decided to take what I’d learned and start our own business (www.lewiscreative.com), which has been working pretty well for us.
What areyou doing now?
Enjoying the life that is my wife and two daughters Katherine and Aiyana. Taking care of Lewis Creative, the design studio founded and manned by my wife Anne and I. Completing a role-playing game that we designed, wrote, and partly illustrated. I also study martial arts with my wife. We both have black belts in Tae Kwon Do and are slowly moving up the ranks in Kung Fu.
What are your plans for the future?
Personally: To make sure that every step is a step forward or upward, to enjoy every second with my family, to remain humble and thankful, and to earn enough to give back.
Professionally: To be in a position similar to George Lucas. I have so many ideas and so many avenues I want to pursue but I know I can’t do it on my own. But with the right people anything can happen.
hich AMERICAN artist inspires you?
Todd McFarlane. From what I know he took HIS ideas and talents, believed in them and wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.
What unlocks your creativity?
Loud Music sometimes and Dead Silence others.