Having grown up heavily influenced by Jim Henson, George Lucas, and (the late) Stan Winston, I always had aspirations of doing special effects in a creature shop. All of the VFX shops were out in Los Angeles, and since I was born in Ojai, CA, I was yearning to return to the West Coast. So, after I graduated from Edgewood College in Madison, WI where I acquired a BA in fine art, I moved out to Redondo Beach, CA with my fiancé in 2003.
In 2004, I landed an job at the legendary Stan Winston Studio, a visual and make-up effects studio known for their work on the Terminator series, the first three Jurassic Park films, Aliens, the first two Predator films, Iron Man and Edward Scissorhands. This was a dream come true. I quickly learned the techniques of the practical effects business. I worked at Stan Winston Studio for two years molding and casting sculptures and parts, running foam latex, fabricating suits and creatures, painting, sculpting and eventually doing concept designs for a number of commercials.
In December 2007, I was offered a job as a graphic designer and illustrator for Dave Furano at The Studio El Segundo, an art and design collective. Much of my work involved illustration, product and logo design, web design, and 3D environment renderings for restaurants and bars. Many of the concepts helped to develop what is now Rock & Brews, a rock & roll themed beer garden co-partnered by Dave Furano, Michael Zislis and Gene Simmons from Kiss. At The Studio El Segundo, I worked with numerous clients and helped to design their brands and merchandising campaigns. Such clients include: Rock’n Fish L.A. Live, Manhattan Beach Brewco, Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros, Floyds Barbershop, Mandy Ingber, Z Gallerie, Leftbank Art and HD Buttercup.
Following my time at The Studio El Segundo, I spent two years working for Eddie Yang Studios where I served as a concept artist and an artistic reviewer at THQ. While at THQ, I worked closely with the Art Director and the Senior Character Artist on guiding outsourced vendors in China on how to improve assets for the UFC 2010, UFC 2011, SVR 11 and SVR 12 video games. Along with a team of outsourced reviewers, I helped to direct the vendors on how to fine-tune the game character likenesses, anatomy and general appearance in the games.
In 2011, after a year of teaching myself Maya and Zbrush, I returned to Legacy Effects as a full-time digital artist. I spent a year at Legacy creating concept designs, sculpting and 3D modeling digital assets for feature films and commercials. These digital assets were often 3D printed and sent to the back of the shop to be finessed, painted and assembled as they appeared in the original concept art.
After the birth of our daughter, Gemma, my wife, Katy and I decided it was time to head back to be closer to family in the Midwest. I currently reside in Milwaukee, WI where I continue to work as a freelance concept artist, 3D modeler and graphic designer.