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Working-on-Griff

A Little More About Me

Since you made it to this page I guess you would like to know a little more about me, OK here you go. I was born in Staten Island, NY, in shall we just say the early 1970’s. From a very early age I had an affinity for art and all things artistic. I was always drawing or doodling some sort of superhero or Star Wars character all during my childhood. I had a love for comics and cartoons that soon developed into a passion for film and motion pictures. I knew by junior high that I wanted to work in “the movies”. Now most kids who say that want to be actors, but I wanted to make the movies. I was fascinated by special effects. I watched every “making of” video or TV show I could get my hands on. As I entered high school I started leaning towards animation and the possibility of choosing that career, but as we can all see, I didn’t go that route.

Let’s jump ahead a few years as I took a few years after high school to blow off some steam and such. In 1995 I enrolled into the Industrial Design program at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. It was there that I learned I could sculpt. Sure I had clay as a child but I had never really sat down and tried to create something out of it before. I had found that I love to sculpt. It was that love of sculpting that forged my early career. After graduating, (on the deans list might I add) while many headed west, I headed east back to my hometown of NYC. Within a few months there I landed my first show, and not just landed it, I was Key Hair and Make up for the film. A few more smaller shows followed but I was quickly finding out that I had bills to pay and needed to find other ways to supplement my income.

There was dwindling work in NYC at the time for a non union FX artist so I needed to find something to fall back on. With the help of a few friends I started to teach myself the basics of Photoshop and the rest of the Adobe software of the time. I took a position as an apprentice graphic designer at a firm in NYC and learned alot about the business, but it wasn’t what I really wanted to do. Then I got a lucky break, a local toy sculpting company was looking for artists. I got the job and was soon sculpting all sorts of collectibles, from action figures to mini busts and statues. That all ended on Sept. 11, 2001. The company I worked for had to postpone work as our clients halted production of everything. I was laid off the next day. I returned to the graphic design world by taking a position in the marketing department of a Native American Casino in Upstate NY. Fast forward a few years and I was now a senior designer and doing well. But the cold of upstate NY winters were getting to me, I needed a change of environment.

I was soon living in the warm climate of central Florida, home to a few theme parks. I had a few small graphic and illustration positions at first, then I was hired by a scenic shop. I was assigned to the carpentry shop at first where I was building props and such for all the theme parks and television commercials. It wasn’t long before I was given the opportunity to sculpt some pieces for a project. I must have done something right because by 3 years later I was the lead sculptor for the shop. In 2010, I submitted a drawing for a contest to design the next starship Enterprise held by CBS and the online game Star Trek Online. In May 2011 I was awarded the grand prize. My design was used as the basis for the final in game design. A quick¬† jump ahead to January of 2012, the birth of twins, my son and daughter and my decision to move north once again to be near family and begin working as a contract and freelance artist. As a freelancer I have been doing concept designs and illustrations for various clients and most recently have had the opportunity to design some graphics for the band, The Original P Funk .

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