Thank God for art! When I was in catholic grade school, I was horrible at math, science, history, English (I still can’t diagram a sentence!) and every subject except art. Art was the one place I excelled! I spent my whole childhood drawing and painting on anything I could get me hands on. If I wasn’t doing color by number paintings, I was model making. I really loved reading comics and drawing superhero’s, putting together a collection of art before I knew what a portfolio was. I just copied and traced Marvel superheroes with meatballs for hands (since I couldn’t draw fingers).
Unfortunately, it wasn’t until I was in college that I found out there were viable careers in the art and design field. I used to think I would never amount to anything because I wasn’t good at any traditional school subjects. Thankfully, my mother and father didn’t discourage me from doing what made me happy. Fast forward a few decades and lots of self-esteem building illustration clients later I realized there was a home for me!
I never thought of myself as a college professor, but in 1995 I was offered a class teaching illustration and I have been teaching ever since. My classes are for anyone aspiring to illustrate picture books, graphic novels, comics, editorial illustration, or story telling. I find that teaching has taught me as much as I have taught my students. The more you teach the more you’re able to analyze your own work. As a born introvert, It was more than a little intimidating to stand in front of college class for the first time. I stuck with it an eventually found out I loved sharing what I know with aspiring artists who want to follow a similar path. I eventually found my place as an extroverted introvert, who enjoys being alone working on my craft, but can “turn it on” when I need to instruct a class.
I love my family. When I’m not illustrating or teaching, you will usually find me on a lake in Northern New Jersey. There is nothing prettier or more peaceful than watching the sunset over a lake with family or friends. I never tire of the beauty of nature or the simple times shared with 3 brothers who love fishing as much as I do.
Life is good.