MFA, University of Hartford
MA, Syracuse University
BFA, Minneapolis College of Art and Design
Introduction to Studio Thesis, Thesis for Illustrators,
Advanced Digital Illustration, and Digital Portfolio
Illustration is the visual communication of a specific message to a specific audience. It is a visual clarification, illumination, and representation of an idea, story, service, or product. Illustration can be found in magazines, books, posters, packaging, advertisements, and apparel, on television and in films. Illustration can be decorative, realistic, descriptive, conceptual, informational, technical, and narrative.
This is a great question and I can cite so many reasons, but the one I always return to is the challenge, the problem-solving nature of the work. A client entrusts me to visually communicate their message in a unique and inventive manner. So I enjoy the puzzle/game aspect of the process, the challenge. I also really enjoy the mass duplication of the work. I remember specifically early in my career finding one of my illustrations that had been published in a newspaper laying in front of me on the sidewalk as I was out for a walk one day. Quite a moment. There I was, my work, consumed and discarded, a part of the mass culture.
Students need to understand a number of aspects related to the business of illustration. First and foremost is that illustration is a commercialization of art. This means that illustrators are by definition targeting their work to be marketable and able to be read and understood by their client's audience. Illustration is a collaboration between the illustrator and their client. Another important aspect is that an illustrator is entrusted to solve the problem, communicate the message, and work with the client to achieve these goals. There are many competent and talented illustrators out there vying for every job. The key is to be professional and to target promotions to the appropriate clients. Send a consistent message of quality and professionalism.
My illustration practice began in 1989 and quickly evolved from ink and paint into the computer. I was pulled along with the technological wave of the late eighties and early nineties, working with a slew of editorial clients including BusinessWeek, PC Magazine, The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, and Time Inc. Publishing among many others.
The work I create now is a mix of found, made, and digital materials. The process I use is akin to a collage method incorporating elements that are cut, drawn, and painted, both traditionally and digitally. My work mostly is about quiet, contemplative moments with a hint of unease and impending movement and change. Chance is an essential part of my process. It is a collaboration between me and my materials, my intentional implementation and direction of the work along with my acceptance of unexpected and forced accidents.
What's unique about CVA? Community. A small community within CVA allows instructors to become more familiar with each student and their work. And CVA's location within the unique and historic Ramsey Hill and Summit Avenue community is comfortable and friendly.