IN THE BEGINNING … there is drawing. It all starts with drawing, followed closely by art history, especially the history of painting. For me that means the Modernist painters of a century ago. I am forever amazed by Picasso’s revolutionary sense of design, Matisse’s lively sense of color, the magic of Edwin Dickinson and through it all, the ghost of Pierre Bonnard whispering in my ear, “Composition is everything!” These are the things that fuel the passion I have for what I do. My hope is to exploit that passion not only in my personal work but in illustration assignments as well. To do this, I strive to make my commercial work as personal as possible. I want a commissioned piece to feel as if it was created primarily for my own enjoyment, be it theme art for a restaurant chain or a portrait for Rolling Stone magazine. This can sometimes be a challenge, but one I enjoy. In the end, I want my clients to feel like the are commissioning a work of art from me, not merely the means to some end. A wise man once said, “The laborer creates with his hands. The craftsman creates with his head and his hands. The artist creates with his head, his hands, and his hear.” I’m totally confident as a craftsman. The biggest rush is when a client asks me to be an artist as well.