Who am I and why should you care?

Fair questions.

I’m an independent artist just trying to spread a little laughter and nonsense in this often shitty world.

I consider a piece of art to be successful if I cracked myself up at least once while banging it out.

If you happen to dig it, well that’s pretty cool too. It means you have a dark sense of humor and we’d probably get along.

Like you, I’m a tattered pile of hopes and dreams, triumphs and defeats — yadda yadda yadda — that have made me the imperfect man I am today.

But maybe by shamelessly flaunting myself I can spark a little sum-sum in you.

Fly your beautiful freak flag.

And make time to laugh every day.

TL;DR: Through unexpected deaths, divorce, deceit, failed businesses, global pandemics, and other modern heartaches,
ya boi bobs and weaves and keeps on grinning. Because what is the alternative? Become a miserable bastard? No thanks.

My Core Values

• Tenacity: Chin up, it’ll get better.

• Flexibility: Oaks break, willows bend.

• Mirth: Shit doesn’t always have to be serious. About 20% works for me.

• Authenticity: Just be yourself.

• Kindness: Don’t be a dick.

How It All Began
  • I was born at the very young age of zero…
  • … in a flyspeck of a town on the flat side of Colorado. I spent my days riding bikes, catching bugs, skinning knees, and doing all that unsupervised stuff that Gen-X loves to congratulate themselves for.
  • It was pretty rad.
  • Dad was a Union electrician who had to travel around the country to find work in the late 70s and early 80s, so Mom raised my siblings and me pretty much on her own.
  • She did a really great job.
  • We moved cross country to the City of Milwaukee when I was 10, where my happy Hee Haw ass was tossed right into the “big city” mix. My life went from “Mayberry” to “21 Jump Street” in the blink of an eye.
  • I was bullied pretty much daily. No one seemed to like the fat little hayseed with the funny accent. I made myself as small and unremarkable as possible, read a lot, and learned how to play D&D.
School Daze
  • We eventually wound up in the burbs where I was homogenized into the John Hughes cinematic universe of late-80s school life.
  • I got along well enough with all the various high school archetypes, but never really ran with any one clique. I was the nerdy art kid who looked like a stoner and could make the jocks laugh.
  • My mullet was EPIC.
  • It was here where I learned that humor and art were the one-two punch to gaining acceptance. The real me started to emerge from the locker it had been previously stuffed into.
  • I was president of the art club, cartoonist for the school newspaper, and usually one of the top artists in the school. I’ve always been terrible at sports, but academic excellence came easy to me and I never had to study too hard to get solid A’s.
  • Though I did get an “F” my first quarter of drawing class. The teacher was all about precision and hyper-realism, and that’s just never been my bag.
  • I graduated top-ish of my class in 1992 and never looked back.
UWM (University of Whatever, Man)
  • During a tour of the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, the tour guide told me that “no one makes a living drawing pictures of Conan the Barbarian.” He was mostly right, but also: Fuck that guy.
  • Instead, I chose to attend the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I felt that getting a well-rounded education couldn’t help but to inform my art. In addition to the core art curriculum, I enjoyed classes in history, mythology, anthropology, philosophy, and Russian.
  • I also learned that I am in no way skilled in 8mm filmmaking. Fuuuuuuck. I was so bad at camerawork and editing.
  • As a commuting student, I missed out on the dorm experience and most of the usual college social life stuff. I skipped a lot and my grades were only so-so— a harsh break from my academic prowess in high school.
  • During most of my college career, I worked full-time as a night watchman at a big JC Penney warehouse. This was pre-smartphone caveman times, so I kept my nose buried in my sketchbook. After work, I’d go home, fire up the 14.4k modem, and waste a few hours playing a Tolkien-themed MUSH called Elendor. Think “World of Warcraft” with no graphics.
  • TW: Infidelity
  • Near the end of my college career, my long-time girlfriend of 6 years had an affair with my best friend. To add insult to injury, my friend was also my supervisor at the shitty rent-a-cop job we shared.
  • In five minutes flat I lost my first serious GF, my BFF, and my job.
  • That’s the closest I’ve ever come to harming myself or someone else.
  • But it was also the catalyst to getting off my ass and finding a “real job.” Despite being a few credits shy of graduation, I landed an easy gig designing catalogs for a company that sells mailboxes and school furniture.
  • It was also around that time that I landed my first freelance illustration gig for a Milwaukee-area publishing company.
  • Thus an illustrious career in The Arts™ was underway.
  • Eventually, I managed those last few undergrad credits and graduated with a BFA, specializing in Graphic Design.
  • Looking back, I could have been more patient, open-minded, and kind during this time of my life. Those lessons would have to come later.
Misadventures in Adulting (Maybe you can relate?)
  • TW: Death, Alcohol
  • When I was 20, my brother was struck and killed by a train. He was 5 years older than me, a U.S. Marine, and seemingly 10-feet-tall and bulletproof. This had a huge impact on my family, especially my mother.
  • I drank a lot over the following years and sort of hopped from design job to design job. Somewhere along the way I learned how to swing dance (which was all the rage around Y2k). I actually got to be pretty good at it.
  • At 27, I met a really cool, HILARIOUS, and talented woman while we were both auditioning for a community theater production of “1940s Radio Hour.” We got married on the first anniversary of our first date. Within a year, we unilaterally realized we’d made a huge mistake and got divorced, parting as friends. No kids, no harm, no foul.
  • Some friends and I started our own design agency shortly after 9/11. In hindsight, we could have had better timing. We scuttled the ship after a few short months and went back to working for THE MAN.
  • A few years later I found myself at once single, debt-free, sick of my job, and tired of the Wisconsin winters. So I did what anyone would do. I up and moved to TEXAS.
  • You don’t have to shovel sunshine, amirite? 🌞
  • I didn’t have a job lined up, but I found an apartment on Rent.com, loaded as much as I could (including two cats) into my ‘94 Wrangler and headed west.
  • 🎶 DON’T FENCE ME IN. 🎶
  • The nine years I spent in the San Antonio area were pretty great. I met some incredible people, ate my weight (several times over) in breakfast tacos and BBQ, and landed a really sweet job with a company that actually gave a shit about me.
  • I hunted ghosts and performed in an improv comedy troupe.
  • I tore up all the honky-tonk hardwood floors I could find.
  • My freelance illustration career was picking up steam.
  • That fresh start in the land of big belt buckles really helped me step into my authentic, larger-than-life self.
  • But I also started to get homesick, so I headed back to the frozen tundra.
Now, Where Were We Again?
  • There have been ups and downs, of course, but the current season of my life is the best one so far.
  • In 2017, I unexpectedly met a fabulous woman — I shit you not — mere hours after telling my friend that I was DONE with dating. It sounds like bullshit, but it was the same day.
  • Like some Hallmark romcom “You only find someone when you stop looking” platitude bullshit come to life!
  • We got engaged in 2019 and set a date for 2020 (great timing!) and although the pandemic greatly affected our wedding plans, we made it happen.
  • Outside, in a beautiful park with a tiny gaggle of our closest masked and vaxxed friends and relatives.
  • My wife Janelle is incredibly supportive, brilliant, and HILARIOUS (I guess I have a type). We crack each other up every single day and often break into spontaneous bouts of song. And our communication game is top-notch.
  • We’ve only ever had one serious argument, and I’ll own that as 100% my fault for being a drunken dickbag. It was over a game of Munchkin. Can you believe that?
  • TW: Death
  • Then my dad died unexpectedly in 2021, which came as a huge shock because he was one of the most vibrant, energetic, and health-conscious people I know. I often joked that he was going to outlive me. But it was quick and he did not suffer, and it happened out among nature which he truly loved.
  • Janelle and I have welcomed my Mom into our home, where the three of us binge terrible TV, sing off key (well, Mom and I do at least), and crack wise.
  • As for me? I enjoy making people laugh, a sip of good whiskey, listening to trees, and drawing Conan the Barbarian whenever I damned-well please.