An artist by birth, a storyteller by soul, I use award winning illustration, design, writing and strategy to create digital and physical experiences. My goal is to make meaningful work that inspires others to think and challenges the norms of popular culture. I live somewhere between an internet meme and fine art.
As an illustrator I have worked on all types of digital and print media for: Books, Games, Video Games, Magazines, Comic Books, Posters, Storyboards, Concept Art, Trading Cards, Pitches for Ad Campaigns and more. In the indie comics industry, I wrote and Illustrated Heavy Metal Magazine’s first webcomic, Gates. I have also produced other comic series such as Tales of Honor, an Honor Harrington series for Evergreen Studios.
Worldwide, I am most recognized for my pop art series, CONSUME which has been shown in galleries and festivals all over the globe. CONSUME is a social commentary on greed, corruption, narcissism, materialism, consumerism, hatred & bigotry. Originally inspired by John Carpenter’s 80’s cult film, THEY LIVE, the CONSUME art series calls into question the concept of CONSUMERISM and how it dictates our everyday lives as human beings in the 21st Century.The CONSUME series has been shared all over the internet millions of times and has been covered by multiple news outlets, art, geeky, political sites and more.
In 2016 the CONSUME series was an integral part of the Shangri-La portion of the Glastonbury Festival. Shangri-La has been described as, ” a lawless, Mad Max-ian wonderland where anything goes,” by NME. By artistically focusing on the BREXIT event which happened during the festival, I was able to generate a lot of buzz and emotion. Shangri-La was branded with CONSUME and it was used to enhance the concept of the venue which was, “Media Hell, truth and lies.” Using printed posters, banners, video and animation the CONSUME series joined forces with other artists such as Shepherd Fairey, Darren Cullen, Pref, Steve Cutts and many more.
I’m always making new work In an effort to continue to push counterculture forward with art and thinking…
Tell us about your creative journey -Have you always been an artist? How did you first get introduced to digital art?
I have always been an artist. I got my first easel at three years old and never looked back. From there I went on to develop my skills in high school and once I finished there I went to college/art school. I got an associates degree in fine arts from Munson Williams/Pratt Institute in New York and then transferred to R.I.T where I got a degree in Illustration. RIT is where I first began creating art digitally in Photoshop and Illustrator and designing in InDesign. I was a painter mostly and specialized in color theory and loved vibrating colors to make my art pop. Photoshop was always my favorite and as the suite advanced I began returning to my roots in line art and comics and was able to explore new things and styles and grow tremendously.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
Study those that came before you. From their use of light, form and volume to color and techniques. You learn by emulating and studying others, then advancing these ideas you’ve seen on your own and merging them with your own style. In art school they told me to develop a signature style. While this does help in many ways it is also a limiting way of thinking and the antithesis of growth in art. Once I left art school is when my real school began as I had to learn on my own, from others and by doing. Trying and failing is how we grow as artists. So if you aspire to be an artist, just keep drawing or painting or doing what you do. Work on your craft every day and learn how to do it faster and better. Don’t be afraid to fail, start over, scrap a darling or move on when you need to. Ask people you trust for their opinions and take criticism wisely from those who matter to you. Ignore the internet’s toxic mouths and progress forward with your vision. Don’t let anyone tell you can’t do something.
How would you describe your style? How has your style evolved over the years?
I work in a variety of styles but my art is basically a hybrid version of comic line art meets design with some photo manipulation and texture additives. I pull from the necessary mediums I need to tell the story I want to in each piece. While my older style while growing up was originally acrylic and oil paints which evolved into digital painting. I got bored with that. It was once I finally admitted that I loved propaganda art and comic art and THAT is what I really wanted to do, my art progressed into what it is now. I reached my thousands of hours of craftsmanship and now I don’t think about style at all I just make art. I don’t worry about fitting in a box, just doing the art and what is the best application for the piece.
Can you walk us through your creative process from ideation to the finished product?
For the CONSUME series I am typically inspired by a pop culture image. So I find one that suits my message and is the most commercially known for the person I am “consuming”. From there I start with an outline when I draw the person as an alien from John Carpenter’s They Live. I craft them with the trademark eyes, skin, and teeth. My art is satirical so I don’t really take it as seriously as others do. I just try to have fun and make people laugh with a little bit of biting humor in each piece. So to accomplish this I try to add little elements of fun such as the Tesla symbol on Elon’s forehead. From there I color it, add texture and then animate it where appropriate. I approach all of my art in a similar way: 1) reference photo or inspiration 2) outline 3) color 4) finishing/texture
What are some of your proudest artistic achievements?
Selling my first batch of NFT’s was pretty exciting for me as I see this movement as a big middle finger to the traditional art world. So this was fun as I have always been kind of eccentric and on the outside not wanting to follow the norm. I have also had the great honor of creating Heavy Metal Magazine’s first webcomic called Gates which was incredible as a fan of the magazine/animated movie. Additionally my CONSUME series took over a large part of the Glastobury festival in 2016 and has been shown and shared all over the world. I also created an alternate reality game that I sold to google based on an occult logo I designed–which was a surreal experience. My art sits in the homes of several celebrities and I have received several awards so it’s hard to say what is the proudest moment. But in all honesty, I try not to focus on that stuff too much as I feel I have so many more things to accomplish. Staying hungry, humble and smart is what I try and do.
What/who inspires you?
I want to make this world a better place than the one I came into. So I use my art as a satirical weapon to call out some of the things that need fixing. I am working on a new series called the Serpentseed which is all about a solarpunk future that must overcome a cyberpunk dystopia that we currently live in. Solarpunk is an up and coming sci-fi genre that inspires me greatly. Additionally pop culture inspires me. I am a huge movie and series geek and love consuming content as much as I can to learn and regurgitate it as art. In terms of art, I am greatly inspired by the comic art of Moebius, the animation of Rene Laloux, the writing of Aldous Huxley, Murray Bookchin and the usage of color by artist Bob Eggelton. I love propaganda art and the color theory and design used to create it. Anti fascist and anti authoritarianism is also a huge driver for my work.
How did you learn about NFTs? What was your first impression vs how you feel about them now?
I had been following them for a while and I had bought Eth and Bitcoin early on so I have always loved this alternative market. Honestly, I was unsure how to break into the NFT market correctly and was waiting for the right time. I likely would have gotten in sooner but didn’t want to get lost in the shuffle. Then the right opportunity arose with Macroverse and Makersplace and here I am. My initial was concern was the environmental ramifications and NFT’s and am hoping that I can be a part of a greener movement for their growth.
Tell us about your latest Consume series – What is the story behind it? What do you hope viewers take away from it?
The series itself is inspired by the alien overlords in the 80’s cult classic, They Live by John Carpenter. These blue skinned aliens are only visible when you put on special glasses. So my art is a mashup of propaganda art, color theory and what it’s like to view celebrities with the glasses on. These pieces are all about the music industry and the artists making today’s pop music. However the concepts also comment on toxic fandom such as the Taylor Swift piece which uses words haters have used to describe her. I also used this same commentary to make the JayZ piece by examining the conspiracy theories of him being in the Illuminati. As for Cardi B and Nicki, those are all inspired by their lyrics and Kanye is just his album cover. I think the main thing I want people to see is to laugh at the world of pop music. I know my art is creepy and odd and kind of ugly but I hope it lands as funny. I want people to laugh but feel uncomfortable as I reveal the ugly side of consumerism. As humans we consume so much content that is just relentlessly fed to us and music is a prime example of this. So this series is an homage to that.
Your CONSUME series provides a deep look and critique at our consumer driven society – How and why is art an important tool for addressing social issues?
Even when I was a kid, I wanted my art either to make people laugh, gross people out or say, “that’s cool AF.” I just want to ignite an emotion and make people think. Some people get angry and threaten my life while others become lifelong fans. Art has always been and must continue to be a form of expression and protest to make people think. I know there are a lot of artists who make fan art and are well known or draw comics of Batman etc. I once wanted that for myself as a child but the more I saw how these people are paid and treated, I felt like it wasn’t for me and decided to take my art in another direction. I have problems taking directions from companies and people that I don’t agree with so I kind of had no choice. All good art should make people think or feel something. Personally I know my CONSUME art series isn’t for everyone and I accept that. I just do it because that’s how I feel and it’s what I want to do. However creating in the same style and the same message constantly, can be difficult in trying to be fresh. That is why I am constantly creating other things and my social commentary inside of the Serpentseed, the solarpunk series I am working on is much more subdued than the smash you in the face CONSUME series.
What should we expect from you in the future?
Well I have a series of CONSUME cards that I have created that actually comment on the world of NFT’s. These are all fully animated and IMHO are my best pieces in the series yet as they show a new style, design and animation that I LOVE doing. I cannot wait to release these and I feel like the community will love them too. Secondly as I mentioned before, I am working on a solarpunk series called the SerpentSeed. The Serpentseed is an episodic sci-fi, drama epic composed of multiple forms of media, one being a comic on the Macroverse platform.
ALL of the money I make from my NFT sales are funding the creation of the Serpentseed.
Set in upstate NY in the near future, the Serpentseed is a coming of age, cinematic series rooted in diverse characters and highly relatable social themes from today’s headlines. Through a futuristic, Solarpunk lens with the emotional connection of 80’s sci-fi/supernatural classic films, the Serpentseed explores humanity’s impending crossroads of its greatest fears and hopeful triumphs.
Humanity is in dire need of new narratives that advance beyond a dystopian apocalypse as the final destination for our story on planet Earth. The Serpentseed is exactly that.
The Synopsis: A teenage girl who communicates with plants, must harness the power of her murdered father’s controversial artificial intelligence to protect her family from a cabal of technocrats that covet it as a weapon of mass destruction.
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