|1. Would you
share with me what were some of your initial experiences with art?
As far as
tangible initial experiences, I guess that would be when I was a kid my
mum was always taking me to museums, art galleries, plays, and operas;
exposing me to a wide variety of different styles of art. And because of
that I have always looked at things a bit differently than others. I find
art in almost everything I see – whether it is nature’s beauty (landscapes,
nude women, wildlife), or a sculpture, a pattern, a song, a mundane object
that someone has discarded, or even an emotion. I experience art everywhere.
2. When did
you decide to be an artist, and how did you know?
Being an artist
is not something that I just woke up one day and decided to be. I believe
that I was born with an innate ability to create and tell stories.
As a young
child I loved telling stories by drawing detailed dioramas, and I was encouraged
by the fact that people seemed to really like them.
3. Where did
you grow up?
I was born
in the littlest state – in South Kingston, Rhode Island. I spent childhood
through Junior High School there. Then we moved to Tucson, Arizona where
I attended High School and became a “Cowboy” (horse shows, bull riding,
etc...). My family then moved to the little town of Burleson, Texas where
I finished my last year of High School. After graduating College from the
University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) with a BFA in film I worked in the
Dallas film and music industry for many years before finally moving to
Los Angeles, California – where I have now lived and worked for the past
4. What was
your family unit? Did you have brothers or sisters?
My mum and
dad had my older sister and then myself, but divorced when I was just a
wee lad of two. Both parents later remarried giving me loving step-parents
as well as step-siblings.
5. Did you
have artistic peers growing up? In high school? In college?
In High School
I was in the photo club, the drama club, and I mostly hung out with the
I was getting my Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts and some of the friends
I made there, not only became life-long friends, but are still working
in the art field.
6. Were there
teachers that influenced you? How so?
were teachers that influenced me, but to be honest, I cannot pinpoint one
specific teacher or moment because every moment in art has the potential
to be influential.
7. What was
the most important thing you learned in school?
important to teach you the basics, to help build the foundations, and to
help focus your mind, but being out in the real working world is where
you get experience, where you hone your craft, and where you actually “learn”.
8. Do you have
mentors or other working artists who influence you today?
my biggest mentor was my mum. No matter how bad or good my art was she
always said it was fantastic and encouraged me to do more. But even as
a mom she could see that I was (and still am) terrible at drawing and painting,
so she steered me toward the medium of photography - where I found my niche.
As an adult
my mentors are my close friends; the one’s who are not shy to voice their
opinions and discuss ideas, while at the same time they’re also not scared
to tell me whether my work is good, bad, or ridiculous, and why? It is
a huge help to have friends that are sometimes brutally honest with their
opinions about my work.
With both past and present artists, there are many who influence me – each
in their own way with their own genre of photography. I am also influenced
by a lot of artists that are not in the field of photography; painters,
sculptors, architects, musicians, etc...
I know it may
sound weird, but one of the most influential things in my life right now
is Pinterest; such a massive amount of art just waiting to be viewed.
9. Would you
say your occupation is the same as your career?
Yes, I make
my living as a photographer.
10. Did you
have any benchmarks in your career? By the time I’m X, I’ll have done Y?
No, I believe
that if you set benchmarks of achieving certain things by a certain time,
you put undue stress on yourself and will usually be disappointed.
Yes, I have
certain personal goals I want to achieve and I do work hard toward making
them happen, but I try not to put them on a time schedule.
11. Were there
any gatekeepers in the art world for you, people who either let you in
or barred the way as you were coming through?
a lot of gatekeepers that bar the way; agents, managers, gallery owners.
Most are only looking for the well-known established artist and will seldom
help the struggling up-and-comer.
12. Is there
any professional organization that you joined that you found particularly
helpful to your career?
13. What do
you think are the major turning points in your career?
from being published and winning awards; this always gives me motivation
to push myself further and try new things.
been your interaction with or relation to the public over the years?
I never had
a lot of interaction with the public because I do not let the public dictate
what I shoot, where I shoot, or how I shoot. But with the advent of Internet
I do appreciate the fact that if someone views my work either through Social
Media or through publication, they can voice their opinions directly to
15. What kind
of control do you think you exert over your own destiny as an artist?
what you make it and I exert complete control over my own destiny as an
artist: to shoot, to make art, to tell stories, to be happy.
16. What are
you own criteria for success as an artist?
make art for yourself, and enjoy your own creations.
17. Has money
or critical success influenced your artistic decision-making?
No, I’m not
a commercial photographer, I only shoot the subjects that I want to capture
and tell stories about.
18. Are you
satisfied with your career as an artist?
On one hand
I am very satisfied with my career, the work that I have accomplished,
and also with the projects that I’m currently working on.
On the other
hand an artist is never really satisfied and will always keep trying for
more, to improve, to push, to do things better.
19. What do
you think is your greatest disappointment in your professional career?
What has been you greatest success?
disappointment is not achieving the wide public success and recognition
that I wanted by this point in my career. Going back to question 10 – Don’t
set benchmarks, you will be disappointed.
success is learning to really appreciate and be happy with the tiny steps
and small successes that I have achieved in the art world.
20. What advice
would you give someone who wanted to be an artist today, as opposed to
when you started?
to play the social media game; sadly, a lot of artistic success today is
not based so much on your talent, but is based on successfully using the
people you know.
In the meantime,
don’t let critics diminish your visions, don’t expect others to like your
work and praise you – mark art for yourself, explore being creative, be
proud of your own work and accomplishments, just have fun, and most importantly,
treat everybody with courtesy, kindness, and respect.