A B O U T
We all look for meaning in life. It was this search, coupled with a love for art, which originally drove me into the library in high school to pour over books on Picasso, Matisse, and the like. Inspired, I worked hard to create a portfolio that would earn me entry into CalArts, a place where rich, creative exploration was encouraged and revered. CalArts also boasted impressive alumni, multi-disciplinary opportunities, and connection to creative industry. So, after acceptance, I left the Pacific Northwest that I had known my entire life and moved to California.
Three teachers profoundly influenced my development as a young artist: Eva Roberts, Cornelius Cole, and E. Michael Mitchell. Mike was the key mentor and much of what I understand about art is colored by his input. His life drawing class, where I learned to value and trust my own eye, was the best attended course in the school because of his ability to discover and nurture individual voices in young people. After graduating with my BFA in 1999, my first job was assisting Mike in class; it was a great experience.
Mike's work was as nuanced and intuitive as his teaching method.
At CalArts, I began to look for a spiritual foundation for my own life. Through the inspiration of scripture (especially Paul's writings) and the love of the church (specifically, Christ Lutheran Church which is situated directly behind Calarts), I discovered that Christianity was not the shallow absurdity which I had once dismissed. On the contrary, its call to faith in Christ and in his work on the cross was richly profound. Turns out that meaningful existence is available through the faithful adoption of responsibility in the face of suffering... who knew?
The abstract potentiality of God was transformed into a knowable presence - peace which I had never previously known. This epiphany was multi-faceted, being intellectual, spiritual, and relational in nature. Moreover, God richly blessed me through CLC: there I found life-long friends, married the love of my life, baptized our babies, and raised up our family.
I interned with Walt Disney Imagineering while at CalArts and following graduation, went to work for them as an animator and conceptual artist. Some time later, corporate-wide lay-offs and a national recession changed my career arc. I focused my artistic efforts on freelance illustration, book publishing, and comics strips. And, to make ends meet, I found work in the landscape industry.
What started as a "job that I planned to quit" slowly grew into a sustainable, long term career. I was surprised to find that I enjoyed the work and I completed CSUN's program in Landscape Design. This unexpected pathway led me to leadership and management opportunities in an entirely new and complex arena. I am currently fortunate to serve as a Division Leader at one of California's largest landscape firms, Landscape Development, Inc.
In 2022, I graduated with an Executive MBA from California Lutheran University's MBA program. CLU's program was an enriching experience that further developed my leadership and business acumen. The benefits were legion. The staff and students inspired excellence. My writing improved. I came to appreciate and utilize research-based management. My professional identity was further developed.
My work on behalf of others' interests frees me to serve my personal creative interests. It is an ideal arrangement. While I've found some success as an artist and writer, commerciality is not the driving motivation (click here to see hear Jordan Peterson explain how creative people work). Art-making remains integral to the process of my wrestling with what it means to be human. It is a critical, exciting piece of life's grand puzzle and one more evidence of God's redemptive power in my life.
I believe that I'm called to share for the edification, encouragement, and renewal of others. The Apostle Paul makes it clear that we belong to a larger body in Christ; it is through communion with one another that we find meaning.
"Where one or two are gathered in my name..."
My career purpose is to successfully lead operations teams for great organizations, helping them to make the most of their people & processes in their mission.