My drive to create art is more than an interest. It is not a hobby. It is a compulsion. It continuously consumes me, leaving me broken, sleep-deprived, and unsatisfied. This yearning to create, although exhausting, however, is the most rewarding pursuit that I could ever envision. In each artwork, I discover new attributes about myself. I explore new philosophies. Each work allows me to perceive reality in a slightly different light. It also allows me to share a touch of beauty with the world that has the potential to inspire and bring joy to a great number of people.
I have every intention of realizing my dream of becoming an artist and I will dedicate my life to the creation of my artwork in service of this vision. Like an “aesthetic monk,” I have undergone a process of renunciation, uprooting all of the aspects of my life that distract me from my art practice. Art making, aside from the occasional concert and my job as an art store employee, is sole activity that occupies the entirety of my time.
I was born and raised, and continue to live, in Mill Valley, CA. At the age of 12 I began to pursue art as a career goal. By the age of 13 I was attending art workshops throughout the country studying airbrushing and concept art. A breakthrough in my artistic development came about at the age of 14 when I discovered a vast network of aspiring artists on the Internet who encouraged academic studies as a supplement for artistic development. Around this time I began to study anatomy, attend figure-drawing sessions, and routinely draw self-portraits as well as still life arrangements.
Music has always been another subject that I feel exceptionally passionate about. Beginning in 2008, I have amassed a collection of near to 1000 vinyl records (coupled with a finely-tuned hi-fi stereo system) which consist of an eclectic array of genres spanning from progressive, experimental, and psychedelic rock and metal, to folk, jazz, classical, and ambient. Most recently I have been exploring the psychedelic underground of the 1960’s and 1970’s with strange and near-forgotten acts such as Magma, Can, The Zombies, and Syd Barrett. I have also been exploring a burgeoning contemporary psychedelic sub-culture and it’s many mutated forms of electronic dance music including psytrance and IDM.
In high school I discovered the metal underground of black, doom, and death metal and became deeply engrossed in it’s morbid creativity. Around this time I began to contact record labels and bands around the world as well as make friends and connections within the thriving metal culture around the Bay Area. Over the next several years I was fortunate to be able to create art (as album covers, screenprinted gig posters, logos, and t-shirt designs) for some of my favorite bands including Opeth, Wolves in the Throne Room, Devin Townsend, Yob, and Negura Bunget. Although my tastes have shifted away from metal and towards the psychedelic, I continue to work with that community and I am currently working on the album cover of an exciting new “supergroup” featuring the members of several prominent underground metal bands.
My true artistic passion, however, is for Visionary Art (which is closely affiliated with Fantastic Realism, Art of the Imaginative, Neo-Surrealism, and Psychedelic Art.) This summer I was awarded a scholarship to study for a week in New York with the visionary masters Alex and Allyson Grey. I was invited by the couple to attend Burning Man, where they performed live painting and gave several talks about creativity and its place in the evolution of human consciousness. At Burning Man I was also exposed to the works of Andrew “Android” Jones (who I have known since I was about 14 years old from my participation in art workshops at which he taught,) Amanda Sage, Kevin Divine, Luke Brown, and several others who fully ignited my inspiration. Other visionary influences of mine include Robert Venosa, Zdzislaw Beksinski, H.R. Giger, Odd Nerdrum, and Ernst Fuchs. It is my immediate goal to “break into” the community of visionary artists that exists within the Bay Area and around the world and to show my artwork within their facilities and events.
For now I am studying at the Academy and attempting to build the most solid foundation of classical techniques possible with which I can most accurately illuminate my imagination. When I am not at the Academy I am working on commissions and my own personal work. Hopefully my intense and dedicated workload will result in my becoming an artist of great skill. I fully abide by the theory that it’s “better to burn out than fade away.” Truly, however, there is nothing I would rather be doing than creating artwork.