Getting to the root of things to reach understanding.
I enjoy making things, but that's not what makes me an artist.
I am an artist because I ask questions. I am an artist because my values fuel my decisions. I am an artist because I fall in love with people, places, and ideas. More so than a maker, I am an observer and a seeker. My work is the response to the conversations I have been a part of. It is a return of value. It is a thank you.
I value curiosity and observation. Artists don’t need to be starving, but we do need to be hungry. We need to desire more than we can accomplish in this life, to give when we do not have enough for ourselves, to get out of our comfort zones and explore, ask questions, and chase new discoveries.
I value the confidence to be genuine. To know and share who we are requires us to pare ourselves down to our basic elements. It’s easy to look good on paper, while under the nice resume and nice pictures is a reality that has no substance. Authenticity is scary, rugged, and absolutely necessary if we are to reveal the true beauty and simplicity of what's important in this life.
I value reciprocity. Infatuation is the elevator pitch--quick, shallow, and short-lived--because its perspective is one-sided. Love is the conversation. The act of returning love is vital to the depth of our understanding and the prosperity of our relationships.
We could replace the word “artist” in the above paragraphs with teacher, designer, engineer, human being...it doesn’t matter how we title ourselves. The real point is that we live with intent.
I am a firm believer in different cultures and disciplines working together to inform and help one another, because it is in the differences of our perspectives that we are able to build better, stronger connections necessary to understanding the purpose of what we do, and thus true human progress.
From 2011 to 2014, I had a commercial studio space in Milwaukee (Bay View), where I curated art shows, hosted fundraisers, led workshops, and hosted some pretty rad parties (pillow forts and Nerf gun wars, anyone?). I did this alongside my corporate career in lean manufacturing, a pursuit which ultimately led me to eliminate the position I was originally hired for and then a promotion in 2013. I moved to Madison in spring of 2014 for this job.
I learned many things from my deviation from art to focus on a more traditional career, not least of all, how integral my creative philosophy is to my understanding of business processes, logical systems, and work (or, really, any) culture. I can't help but wonder how different so many businesses might look if the people building and running them were educated in the beauty and artistry of process. This fueled the desire to make art the focus of my life again, and was key in making what should have been a hard decision much easier.
I quit my job in the fall of 2014 and since then, my studio practice has hit the road, from Madison, Wisconsin to South America. So what have I been up to since then? Making art, doing art residencies, having shows, giving talks, traveling, learning Spanish, and in general gaining a deeper understanding of the purpose of work, definition of value, and pursuit of happiness. Whether talking in a lecture room or a gallery, at my own table of local friends or in a refuge with fellow travelers, I am continuously amazed and humbled by how something as simple as a set of drawings is enough to pull people together, to converse and share in an experience that builds our trust in humanity and thus solidifies our community.
Everything we do has its roots in a desire to create, to challenge the way we see the world around us, and by this means, evolve and grow.
Have a question? Interested in commissioning or hiring me for a project? Send me an email and connect with me on the following social networks. I'd love to hear from you!