For the past 22 years, I’ve spent most of my creative energy designing messages and creating advertisements to sell something. I’ve recently wanted to express more and have found my way back to creating art simply for enjoyment and the feelings and joy it creates in the eye of the beholder.
I’ve been creating from a young age – from doodling and recreating cartoons to finding rocks and bits of scraps like wire and wood lying around my dad’s garage and hot gluing them into a rudimentary form of sculpture. I was lucky enough to have parents who encouraged my creativity. Crayons on the wall might have met a harsh punishment in other households – in mine, it resulted in art lessons and better ways to focus my creativity.
I took drawing lessons at an art school in Allentown, PA, and painting lessons from an artist working out of her home studio. In high school, I was the kid carrying around a large (I mean large, like 24”x36”) pad of paper with sketches from art class and sitting in homeroom stippling away while my classmates threw me odd looks.
My dad worked in the advertising industry and I remember him working with the old-school tools of the trade like spray glue, drafting table, paste-ups, etc. I remember when he started working on the computer. We soon thereafter got a computer at home loaded with Photoshop and Illustrator. I got to learn and play in this environment when I was early in high school. I really got into graphic design and screen printing t-shirts.
I was taking higher-level art classes and graphic arts classes at my high school. I was lucky – our high school had printing presses and I even got to work on printing items for the school. I joined the school newspaper where designed the whole paper in Quark Express. I received awesome mentorship from the folks at Rodale Press. During my summers, I got a job working at the local amusement park, Dorney Park, airbrushing t-shirts. Sure it was a lot of shirts with hearts and names, but I also got to do some pretty cool things like a giant portrait of Jimmy Hendrix and another of Steven Tyler… oh and about 3,000 Wu-Tang symbols, too. Afterall, this was the ’90s.
I went to Kutztown University in PA and continued my creative development. I ultimately ended up with a communications design degree but some of my favorite classes were life drawing and oil painting. Since then I spent the past 22 years working in the advertising industry as a designer, creative director, web developer, interactive director, brand strategist, and business owner. You could say I love to learn new things and that has led me in a lot of really cool directions.
I still work in advertising and marketing. I run an agency, Fifty/Fifty Consulting, with my wife Laura. In the past year, I found my way back to creating art and I’ve fallen in love all over again. My current obsession is oil painting. I’m experimenting with styles, though most would classify my art as realism or impressionistic realism. This site is to share my work and my creative journey with others. Don’t get me wrong, I love creating just for myself, but it sure means a lot when others enjoy the work, too.
Self Portrait – Oil on Linen panel 8″x8″ 2023