I have been making art as long as I can remember, and I always knew when I grew up I would do something involving art. When I was in high school I decided I wanted to learn how to create images like those I saw in movies like Toy Story, and so I decided to go the Art Institute of Dallas to study Computer Animation.
After graduating with my Associates of Applied Arts in Computer Animation in December of 1999, I went to work for a local architecture firm. There I honed my computer animation skills, creating 3D renderings and animations for a myriad of architectural projects. In addition to architecture firms, I have worked for an engineering firm, a software startup, and a small, architectural visualization studio. I spent thirteen years working in the computer graphics industry. Along the way I also became extremely proficient in video production, video editing, digital photography, and digital illustration.
In 2011, I discovered a new passion and irresistible call to art education. I’ve been chasing this new dream ever since, attending the University of North Texas part time while working full-time and starting a family. At the beginning of 2017, I left my full-time job to finish my degree in Visual Art Studies at UNT. I will graduate in May of 2018 certified to teach art to students in grades K-12.
I still make art. My artwork has a certain graphical, illustrative quality to it—a holdover from a youthful obsession with comic books. I am also influenced by artists like Trenton Doyle Hancock, Billy Hassell, Ken Price, and Matt Wedel. The majority of my work outside of an academic setting has been drawing and digital illustrations, but I also paint, create sculptures, and work with ceramics. I strive to achieve a certain level of proficiency in each medium that I work with, especially illustration, sculpture, and ceramics. In this way, I am able to express my creative vision in exactly the way I intended. I believe the skill used in creating the art should be evident in the finished piece, and I aspire to bring a little bit of beauty into the lives of those around me with my art.
I also believe wholeheartedly in the transformative power of art education. Those who wish to succeed in the future must develop a number of new aptitudes, including creativity, pattern recognition, storytelling, and empathy. I believe art teachers are uniquely equipped to cultivate these aptitudes in our students and that instruction and practice in the visual arts has become even more instrumental in preparing our children to thrive in modern society.