About why I make things!?
I am fortunate to have grown up in a creative family environment. We were not well off and my mother encouraged me to make things. I was happy to make furniture, Art, gadgets anything! I went straight into construction work to make money. Again I was fortunate to land in areas where the old timers mentored me. I was taught everything from framing homes, laying concrete, electrical, piping, welding, metal work, to wood working. I was interested in anything where I could learn more about the field. One of my most beneficial times was working in Asbestos Abatement where I worked with old “Iron workers”. The money was decent and I learned a lot. On many occasions I found it exciting to do demolition, and I was good at bringing the walls down! Everything I learned about construction started to seem like it could lead someplace. I then enrolled in college, majoring in Architecture and Product Design.
While in college, I was fortunate once again to find product design as a sub-focus as well as furniture design. This was real design not just “woodshop” or basket weaving! During my education as a designer in Architecture, product design, product illustration I found airbrushing and finally a range of digital media. 3D quickly became a focus of mine since I could use it for all my studies. I read the entire set of 3D studio manuals at the school and soon began reading every book I could find on 3D. My degree is a 5 year program, so in the 4th year I did an internship with a prominant Architectural firm, Heinlein Schrock Architecture (Now 360 Design). I was initially doing redlines for about 6 weeks, which I hear is normally what entire internships and careers can be filled with. But that didn’t last long for me. As soon as they saw I was able to create 3D Stadiums I worked on 3Dfor the rest of my internship! I had the pleasure of working on the Seattle Mariners, Miami Heat, Ohio Hockey, and several other stadiums. After graduating I felt 3D might be more of my career aspiration. I began doing contract work for Knoll Furniture and a little VFX shop in Hollywood. Next I accepted a fulltime position as a VFX Artist at Fearless Eye Animation in Kansas City. I spent some time working on Sprint videos and Kansas City Chief promos and such. I learned 3D Compositing and editing on the Avid and Velocity systems during this time. I left Fearless to write a book on Maya and did contract work for my own company for the next year. I was also contacted by some old friends who set me up with a gig at Discreet demoing Max and Combustion at SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles. That was a great time and I met several of the people who had written the max books I learned from initially in my career at school. I was thrilled! And I also taught perspective drawing at Parkhill College for a term. That was a busy year so I decided to focus more by returning to work at a studio. I was hired by Sheperd’s Pie Production, and they moved me over to Atlanta, Georgia. We worked on a fully CG animated feature named “Summer Camp”. I spent my time there as Lead Artist and delved deep into the working of Maya more than ever. My wife and I have two kids by this point. And soon after this we finished up our family by having two little boys. Right about here It was about time to take on an Art Director position at FATS, now MTSI. We use video game like technology and real weapons to train military and law enforcement. So essentially the largest video game wall you’ve ever seen. On the system and a M16, M4, whatever your choice weapon is, and blowing away stuff in Cry engine doesn’t get much cooler. That’s it for now. Rest assured it’s not over yet!