Monday, April 27, 2009
Back in 1997 while at CCAD my roommate Andrew Bawidamann and I stumbled across two books at a local shop called Spectrum 1 and Spectrum 3. He bought Spectrum1 and I bought the copy of 3, the one with the Frazetta cover. We poured over these two books for weeks admiring the art that we wanted so desperately to create; at the time only a few names were familiar to me, John Bolton was one of my favorites as I recall. At the time we had no idea what Spectrum actually was other than a collection of some of the most awe-inspiring artwork that we had ever discovered. It was in those early Spectrums that Andrew and I would get a glimpse of the art that we some day would be making. As the years went on we learned that Spectrum was an annual contest and book produced by two of illustrations most distinguished aficionados Cathy Fenner and Arnie Fenner. The function of the annual was to showcase the best in Fantastic Art including comic, science fiction, and horror.
Following my graduation I kept busy with many editorial projects channeling the techniques and whispers of Rockwell and my mentor Chris Payne while meeting deadlines and being rejected for my pale imitation of these truly great artists. It was in these terribly difficult times of stagnation that I was forced to start making the art I was suppose to be creating. In 2007 my Van Helsing illustration was finally selected for inclusion to Spectrum 14 and following the next year my Stake Out was selected for Spectrum 15.
This year I was privileged enough to get two pieces into Spectrum 16, which drops next fall. In the scheme of things I am still a relatively new player in the fantastic realms. I am still in the process of fine-tuning my artistic voice and expanding into new markets. While it has been a dream come true for me to be included with names like Sienkiewicz, McKean, Vess, Hale, Gustafson, Dorman, and Stout I know I have a very long way to go before I am battletested and can consider myself their equal. Regardless of this daunting task if my audiences feel a fraction of the passion I felt when lost in those imaginary worlds that I visited when I opened up my first Spectrum I will consider my life a great success.