Like a lot of artists, I began drawing at a very young age. I was always known in school as “that kid who can draw.” The truth was, it was the one thing I enjoyed and the one thing I was good at. I wasn’t good at sports, or at paying attention, or at getting good grades. At the age of 20, I even dropped out of art school. But, I still loved drawing pictures and telling stories. So I stuck with it. Today, I am blessed to be able to say that I get to draw for a living, though it wasn’t an easy road.
At first, many frustrating years came and went with no success at breaking into the publishing world. In 2012, just when I was ready to throw in the towel on my illustration career, I saw my first published illustration. I was hired to do one drawing in the John Carter of Mars anthology, Under the Moons of Mars, by Simon & Schuster. I spent all that I was paid on that project to fly with my wife to NYC in the hopes of visiting publishers. Abrams Books was one publisher that invited me in, and a year later I was offered Dr. Critchlore’s School For Minions, by Sheila Grau, which later became a 4-book series, with Book 3 set to release in March of 2017.
In 2014 I illustrated The Warden and the Wolf King, the long-anticipated finale to Andrew Peterson’s critically acclaimed Wingfeather Saga. My most recent addition to this legacy was illustrating a short tale by bestselling author, N.D. Wilson, in the Wingfeather Tales. In 2014, I also joined as a contributor to The Rabbit Room, an online community inspired by the works of C.S. Lewis and JRR Tolkien, among other great authors, artists and musicians. That same year, I also became a contributor to Story Warren, an online community with the intent of fostering creativity in the minds of children.
While in Memphis in October of 2016, my wife Gina and I had the honor of touring St. Jude and Target House. Our tour of Target House concluded with a stop in their art room, where I had the privilege of drawing with kids and families staying at Target House. It was truly a life-changing experience for both Gina and me, and an unforgettable marker along the journey of our lives.
On December 12th, 2016, I celebrated the release of Word Of Mouse, by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein, which I illustrated. The book was warmly received by both fans and critics, far and wide, some of which compared my art to my personal hero, Garth Williams. What a tremendous honor that is! I can hope for my art to be remembered as fondly as his is.
I have many projects in the works, some authored but each illustrated, all of which I will share in time. Thank you, all who have encouraged me through handshakes, hugs and kind words, as well as for purchasing the works I am a part of. The people I get to meet along this journey are often the greatest blessings.