What's my story?

I grew up in New Orleans, LA, the middle child of five kids. My parents told me that from a young age I spent a lot of time quietly lost in my own imagination, absorbing the world around me with a smile on my face. A mischievous smile, apparently, because they said I also always managed to find trouble. But when I wasn't trying to hide from my parents at the mall or locate and eat the medicine locked away out of my reach, I was content to play with my G.I. Joes and imagine.  

Around the age of 12 things changed for me when my dad introduced me to The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. It hooked me. Even to this day Tolkien remains my favorite Fiction writer. Something about his works inspired me to create my own stories, my own worlds, my own characters. It was around this time that I first heard about Dungeons & Dragons (it was still 3e then).

This was the style of the book my dad bought me in 1999.

D&D would prove a critical turning point for my art—or at least the focus of it! Prior to discovering D&D, anime like Dragon Ball Z, Pokémon, and Gundam Wing influenced my artistic tastes. It wasn’t until I flipped through the illustrations of artists I would later admire like Todd Lockwood, Jeremy Jarvis, Scott Fischer, and Jon Foster to name a few, that I realized an entire world of realistic fantasy art existed.

My drawings began to shift from fanart of Goku and Gene Starwind to portraits of our D&D characters and the monsters we faced. But it wasn’t really until Peter Jackson’s Lord of The Rings trilogy hit the big screens in 2001 that I considered a career in art. I can still remember my excitement when I saw The Art of The Fellowship of The Ring at Waldenbooks in the mall near our house. Seeing the art of Alan Lee and John Howe and so many other incredible concept artists inspired me to pursue the craft of my art.

From that point on, to this very day as I sit in my office writing this, now married to my childhood sweetheart, surrounded by four wonderful children of my own, my passion for art and storytelling and creating has only grown stronger!