Where did you learn how to draw/paint?

I'm a completely self taught artist. I learned how to draw at an early age from studying comic books, pinup illustrations, anime, and Disney art. I never took art classes in school because I was not encouraged in that direction and my family had very little money so college was not an option for me. I continued to draw for fun until my late twenties when my best friend bought some acrylic paints, a small brush set, and a canvas at the local art store, literally forced them into my hands and said, "You need to do this!" The rest is history.

Who and what inspires your artwork?

I'm hugely inspired by illustrative and graphic arts. Art nouveau is my all time favorite style. Alphonse Mucha, J.C. Leyendecker, and Gil Elvgren are my three favorite artists to look up to. I've always loved art that focuses on aesthetics, sensuality, emotion, surrealism, and fashion. I'm also very inspired by digital and tattoo styled artwork because they are both mediums that I doubt I will ever be able to comprehend or master.

What materials do you use to create your work?

I work in traditional media and use almost anything I can get my hands on.

Drawing: When sketching I use basic Staedtler drawing pencils on sketch paper. I use a light box to trace my sketches onto bristol paper and use either a mechanical pencil or Prismacolor Verithin colored pencils to turn them into cleaned up line drawings or value studies. I use Prismacolor Premier pens and F.W. brand acrylic inks on bristol paper for ink drawings.

Painting: For acrylic paintings, I use Trekell brand acrylic paints mixed with an acrylic medium to add fluidity on a wood panel, canvas wrapped panel or illustration board. For watercolor paintings I use Trekell brand watercolors on watercolor paper. My favorite paint brushes to use are Trekell brand Golden Taklon series brushes. I have yet to try my hand at oil painting, but it's on my list of media to try next!

How do you turn your drawings into paintings?

I don't start a painting until I have every single detail of the piece drawn out first. I work out all of the details on paper before I transfer the finished drawing to a prepped surface. When I'm ready to transfer, I flip the drawing over onto a light box, put tracing paper over it, and create reverse image by tracing all of the lines that I want to transfer. I use a mechanical pencil for this step to keep my lines cleans. The graphite transfers best by using a softer lead. When I'm finished creating the reversed transfer drawing on the tracing paper, I flip it over onto a prepped surface, pencil side down, position it it where I want the image to be and tape down the tracing paper to secure it. I then use a blending stump to rub over the back side of the lines to transfer the graphite from the tracing paper to the surface. After the drawing is transferred I clean up the line work with a hard lead pencil to secure the lines and then remove any loose graphite with a kneaded eraser. Then I'm ready to paint!

I know this is an old and somewhat tedious method but I prefer it because it creates an exact copy of the image and forces me draw it several times which allows me to make any changes needed along the way so the only thing left on the surface is a super clean line drawing. Enlarging a drawing to make a bigger painting requires scanning the image into a computer, printing it out larger and then using the tracing paper method. I will sometimes use a projector for a much larger painting, but this requires a lot of set up and space and can sometimes elongate or warp the image if it is not lined up exactly with the surface.

Do you do commissioned/requested work?

Not at the moment. Unfortunately my schedule rarely allows time for me to do any commissioned paintings or requested drawings. If and when I become available for commissioned work I will make sure to publicly post about it.

Can I use your work for a tattoo?

Yes! I consider tattoos of my artwork a huge compliment and honor whether it be a direct copy of my work or inspired by my work! However, every artist is different and I would absolutely recommend asking permission to use anyone's art for a tattoo. The reason I personally do not require permission to use my own art as a tattoo is because I consider it a display of sincere appreciation for my work and not used for monetary gain. In any other circumstance I strictly require permission to use my artwork.