I grew up in a household with plenty of art supplies and art and craft skills all around me, so I guess it isn't all that surprising that this is what I'm doing.
I often get asked questions about my artistic schooling and experiences... soo.... here it goes!
Short: Environment, upbringing, a couple formal classes (3 photography, 1 painting and drawing), help from others, but mostly self taught through books, experimentation & general knowledge and online resources.
I've been collaging since I was quite young and it was one of the first things I got really into post-schooling. When I moved into my second apartment after college, on a daily basis I received up to 20 catalogs from the previous resident of my apartment. I have no idea what this person did to get so many catalogs even after moving away, but it became yet more inspiration to keep going with collage. It comes and goes and appears in less strict collage-only pieces in more recent years. I prefer the paper, knife/scissor and glue methods of collaging and the challenges of finding what you need and making it work.
Although I was exposed to black and white photography while quite young as well, I didn't really start getting into it until my last year of high school where I took 1 class. I quickly fell in love. Later I took 2 photography courses in college and spent countless hours on the weekends hiding in the darkroom. Once I finished with college, this fell away for digital photography, which while rewarding in it's own ways, left me missing the more physical process and the attention you have to pay when dealing with a limited number of exposures. On a trip to New Mexico in 2012, I decided to jump back into film photography, exploring medium format film for the first time. I've been in love with it since then and have explored other forms of film photography since then.
I'm often asked "why film?" 1) It's still relatively cheap for pretty high quality photographs/resulting scans, especially with medium format. 2) Shooting film has it's own beauty and visual qualities that are hard to find in anything but maybe some of the much more expensive digital cameras. 3) Having limited exposures still causes me to think differently and more carefully.
I develop my black and white film (both 35mm & 120) myself. So far I've been getting my color film developed locally at Rocket Photo Lab in Studio City, CA and Green Street Photo in Pasadena, CA. I then scan my negatives at home.
Painting was pretty intimidating for most of my life. I took a painting and drawing class one summer and painted a wonky looking Halloween colored tree. Over time I've let myself paint more and more, partially because I just enjoyed playing with the paint and blending the colors, which helped me improve my skills and get more comfortable with the medium. Now that I've better understood my skills and interests, I enjoy it much more.
I was pretty terrified of sewing with a sewing machine for much of my life. My mom would sew us our Halloween costumes and other things growing up and I felt ok tackling hand sewn items, but the machine just seemed a little like a crazy animal that I didn't feel capable of taming. After my first visit to Burning Man and seeing people's creative outfits, I decided it was time to pull out my sewing machine and learn. I've been sewing all sorts of things including gifts, baby items and clothes ever since then.
Everything else? I don't know.. I'm all over the place, constantly exploring new mediums, trying to take advantage of what I have on hand (I love being able to stay up late at night or for an afternoon and just jump into a project, only using what I have in my home at the time so I can just keep going and not stop to pick up something.) I find that certain mediums are easier for my brain at different times... sometimes I want to get something through quickly, other times I don't mind. Sometimes my brain has more to say that comes across in paintings or the gelli plate vs. drawing.
I do have a day job, but it does not involve any of the above. It would be awesome for it to be some or all of the above one day.
-2006: CD art for 30 Days album from Peppermill Records
-2008: Album art for 52 Weeks album from Peppermill Records
-2012: Art contributor for "Choose Art/Mating Shadows" art piece for Burning Man 2012
-2015: "A Simple Box" Photography exhibit at Burning Man 2015 Center Camp
-2015: "Soul Mirrors" painting assemblage exhibit at Burning Man 2015 Center Camp