Duration: Two years.
Location: Reno, Nevada.
Education: BFA in illustration and minor in typography from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
Artistic influences: My work is highly influenced by nature. I spend a lot of time hiking and camping around Reno and Tahoe, taking pictures of wildlife. These photos often serve as inspiration for my work. The different places I’ve traveled to and lived in also influence my art; I was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, but we moved around a lot while I was growing up, also spending time in Chicago, Denver, Brisbane and Reno as well.
I’ve always been drawn to scientific illustration and work from artists like John James Audubon and Ernst Haeckel. I love their compositions and how they breathed life into their illustrations of animals. I also find contemporary illustrators inspiring, including Jason Holley, Victo Ngai, Jonathan Bartlett and Sterling Hundley.
Career path: My mother is a graphic designer, and my father worked in printing, so I grew up spending a lot of time watching them work in their studios. They always pushed me to be creative. As I grew older, I realized I wanted to pursue a career in art. My art school professors inspired me to go into illustration by showing me that it’s possible to have a career creating art in my own style while still working with clients.
Favorite project: I’m really happy with the book cover I created for Norah Woodsey’s young adult novel Lifeless. I enjoy projects where I can incorporate type and design along with my illustrations. It was a fun challenge getting to create the full wrap for Lifeless’s cover.
Approach: I draw using nondigital tools instead of a Cintiq. The disconcerting elements that I infuse in my work make you look twice. I love making things dark and disturbing beautiful. My personal work often involves themes of death, regeneration and symbiotic relationships, and I try to incorporate these into my client work whenever possible.
Philosophy: Work hard and create things that keep me inspired. I don’t ever want to feel like my work is stagnating or I’m repeating myself, so I push myself to try new techniques and themes.