I’ve always loved to draw. When I was a kid I would put my sketchbooks aside for doing drawings that were really good, which means they remained blank most of the time. I didn’t want to run out of paper so I drew on everything else; my shoes, my pants, the door of my bedroom, the walls, etc. This wasn’t that important as my career aspirations at the time went from being a rock star (I discovered my Dad’s Buddy Holly and Beatles records and played along on the guitar I made out of giant Tinkertoys) to being a reconstructive surgeon (thank you PBS) and architect. I grew up in Denver and then Salt Lake City, leaving for the east to go to Swarthmore College and thinking I would never be back. Moving on and up. I studied engineering thinking I would be an industrial designer and loved the projects, but when I found out I didn’t need the degree to be a designer I switched my focus to a pre-med track taking art classes on the side. The design and surgery directions appeared to be roundabout ways to do art in a more practical (and dramatic) way.
With some sage advice and a great professor/mentor I dropped the pre-med studies, well into my study of organic chemistry and physics, and switched to studying art full time. Somehow in spite of finding my inspiration in music, films and pictures being an artist didn’t seem like it was a valid career choice. It seemed to run into conflict with some sort of puritan work ethic I had in my head. I think it feels too much like playing to be legitimate work, probably another reason I didn’t go with rock star either.
My definition of what it means to be an artist has expanded from traditional drawing and painting to include community activism and education and is still expanding. My current projects include painting commissions, directing a documentary and being an artist in residence at a charter school that has an art and project learning emphasis.
The documentary film, called Art and Belief, is about a group of Mormon artists as they strive to find balance between their faith and their art. We are currently editing the film in preparation for festival entries and screenings and are fortunate to have local and international film giants, Sterling VanWagenen and Geralyn Dreyfous among our executive Producers.
I was drawn back to Salt Lake City by the siren song of the mountains. I live with my wife/muse, Marian, and our two ridiculously amazing kids and live in the 9th and 9th area.