Duration: Three years.
Location: New York, New York.
Education: BFA in communication design from Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri.
Career path: After graduating from school, I got a job as a designer at a print shop and moved to a town in Pennsylvania where I could either draw or do nothing. My illustration skills got better while I was there, and I landed a couple of freelance jobs through people I had met at college. Fortunately, I was also hired to write and draw a short graphic novel while I was there, which allowed me to move to New York a few years ago. Since then, I’ve worked for a video production studio, a greeting card company and as a freelance illustrator.
Cultural influences: For a while, my influences were just Euro-American comics, paintings and movies. For the past year, I have been focused on reading more books. Some interesting history books—with long names—that I have read recently are Chitralekha Zutshi’s Kashmir’s Contested Pasts: Narratives, Sacred Geographies, and the Historical Imagination and Sunil M. Agnani’s Hating Empire Properly: The Two Indies and the Limits of Enlightenment Anticolonialism.
Approach: For me, it is important to make emotionally motivated, sensitive drawings—especially when dealing with the macho subject matter I often draw. The illustrations have to communicate a clear concept, but I don’t generally want to make drawings that are cool or clever without an empathetic underpinning. A lot of it is about specificity and tone.
Aspirations: In five years, I would love to be working on more projects like book covers or movie posters. Making singular, impactful combinations of typography and illustration is always challenging and rewarding. I am also working on a couple more ambitious comic projects, which I hope to have under my belt by that time.
Philosophy: Catch as catch can. Be real kind.