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How did you become a designer/artist?
I guess it was inevitable, coming from a family of artists. Art was always a part of my life growing up in Austin, TX, but the first validation was in middle school from Ms. Gosdin who “personally” asked me to be in her Advanced Art class by the way of a xeroxed form letter . Later that year I led a group of fellow students to create a mural down the hallways of the school. I designed it, a naïve rendition of happy hot air balloons in the great wide open. Silly. I think I still have the original plans and drawings somewhere. In high school I took as many art classes as I could and quickly discovered photography, a bug I still haven’t kicked. I had heard of a vocational graphic arts class, a two year program. Having started the program when I was a senior, I requested an extra year of high school so that I could complete the art program. I had 2 senior years and during those two years I studied communication design and had more time in the darkroom. After high school I went to college in Austin until I had accumulated so many credits that I had to declare a major. One can get really comfortable just gliding through life working as a bartender while doing art on the side. It was time to do something drastic and a moment later I was accepted to the only school I applied to, Parsons School of Design in New York City to study illustration. Compromises were made, worldly possessions were sold and sleep was lost, but it was absolutely worth it. New York City has been good to me and I remain in awe of it.
Where are you from originally?
Born and raised in Austin, Texas. (imagine big skies, free love, Tex-Mex and good music)
What are you doing now?
If I had to choose between design, illustration, photography or web design I would not be able to do it. Shoot me now. In addition to freelance, I teach at and I am the Advisor for the Illustration department at Parsons. If you had told my 17 year old self that this is where I would be and this is what I would be doing I would have gone into hysterics on the spot in complete disbelief.
I am also the Founder and head of The Soup Group (www.thesoupgroup.net), a small group of artists and designers looking to spread a little cultural and artistic diversity into the world. Last year, in response to world issues, we put on “The Peace Show” in Japan which stopped in Fukui, Shizuoka and Hiroshima. The show was very well received and we look forward to doing more events.
What are your plans for the future?
In addition to nurturing the growth of The Soup Group, I aspire to somehow meld all my interests. Some might say it is fear of commitment, but I believe my passion is in art itself and not the medium in which it is produced. It looks like the creation of a multi-media production company is in my not-so-distant and highly mysterious, future…though life has a tendency of throwing curve balls so you never know…
What artist inspires you most?
Chuck Close. His amazing artistic abilities aside, his strength, love and persistence are a true inspiration.
What unlocks your creativity?
New York City. There’s an enormous amount of stimuli here. Enough to keep one busy for a long time.