I think, as artists, there are specific points in our lives by which we can measure renaissance, growth, epiphany. “Lightbulb” moments, or, in retrospect, a trail of crumbs that has lead us to the ground upon which we stand today. I’m young so mine are small, but meaningful all the same.
When I was in kindergarten, I had to make a snowman out of torn pieces of paper. I couldn’t tear a circle, only squares. I vowed to get better…
A couple years later, I made this:
And by 5th grade, I was a staple in the school and town student art shows.
When I was 18, I drew these:
And a year later, someone stole the one on the right off the wall in my home (luckily it was recovered – thanks, Tiff).
I had more art stolen off The Fire’s restroom walls sometime between 2005-2008.
People paid for my art too, starting in 2005.
I was a featured artist at one of the local Starbucks in 2006 and (yet AGAIN!) had piece stolen right off the wall.
I made a serious tracking mistake when I got “this is war” tattooed on my arm. I vowed to study type & never make an error like that again.
A couple years later, requests for tattoo designs were coming in tenfold.
My photographs have been transfered to canvas and hang in others’ homes.
My ad design was seen in Chicago Social Brides magazine.
A poster I designed was part of a group exhibit in Chicago.
A self portrait I shot on B&W film was part of a group exhibit in Chicago.
I got hired at the Art & Design Portfolio center at Columbia.
Nickelodeon and Disney had real live copies of my design work sitting on their television show developers’ desks.
The government recognized me as a self-employed graphic designer and photographer.
And in between all those things, I was so inspired by Franz Kline, Sabrina Ward Harrison, Dada, the Situationist International, The Weathermen, Alphonse Mucha, Paul Rand, Emigre as a whole, and a few real good professors and colleagues. The little things are most important to me, the looking back & the recognition of my creative self. Pinpointing my achievements and realizing what’s meaningful. I’m more proud that my work’s been stolen than sitting on the desks of enormous corporations. I’m more proud that my work’s permanently on people’s bodies than on the walls of galleries. I like the ceramic birdhouse that I made in 3rd grade much better than I like the work I do for my corporate clients. I like the impromptu hipstamatic photos I shoot on my iPhone better than the planned portrait sessions I’ve been paid for. But it’s all good, it’s all my life and I’m happy…
“if it does not feed the fire of your creativity, then leave it.
if people and things do not inspire your heart to dream, then leave them.”