"A lifetime as a working artist... and it never felt like work."
My interest in art began, as it does with so many, in my youth, with an intense interest in learning art skills. In 1966 while serving in the military and working flight line maintenance on the SR-71 Blackbird, I was given a temporary assignment as a Squadron Illustrator.
Simple graphics (safety posters, procedural guidelines, etc.) that were managable for a yet to be trained graphic designer, firmly set the personal goals for my life's work.
My last year of service, 1969, was as a Crew Chief (SSgt.) on the F4 Phantoms in Ubon Thailand.
During this time I also trained in Tae Kwon Do under Grand Master Byung Hoon Park to the level of a black belt.
freelancing wasn't easy...
During the early years, I took on many different job descriptions to ensure a steady revenue stream. I worked on the G.M. Riveria body line in sub-assembly and as a quality control repairman, as a General Foreman at A.S.C. (Auto Specialties Corp.), a G.M. vendor, a car hauler (Complete Auto Transit) truck driver for Chevy Truck plant, and as a finish painter at many auto body shops.
While working for G.M. Buick after military separation, I began learning the airbrushing skills I needed to make an income, breaking into the custom car/motorcycle painting that had exploded in the early 1970s, and managed to obtain two years of art school on the G.I. Bill.
Surviving in the freelance arena of art was either feast or famine but suited my need for complete freedom from a time clock and the ability to change direction when necessary.
That was a lifestyle that seemed to work for me.
In the early 1980s I opened my first art studio in Ft. Walton Beach Florida.
Emerald Coast Graphics
Just one block from the beach and the Miracle Strip, tourism generated great demand for art. Although t-shirts were the most in-demand art, I chose to continue painting custom cars and motorcycles.
I began working with a local advertising firm creating tourist maps that were distributed to cities throughout the southeast from Pensacola to Orlando.
Working with local screen printers added that ability to my skill set as well.
I became interested in tattooing. It was not something I focused on at the beginning, but as the demand grew, I began to devote more time to this area of art.
The first judged tattoo (Orlando, Fl. 1986) show I entered led to a job offer to work full time in Hawaii. I accepted and moved to Waikiki Beach in the late 1980s to try it full time.
In the early 1990's I composed all of my paintings and designs using traditional methods. Pencil sketches then color pencil, gouache or watercolor to develop a commission or a client request often took more time than desired.
I began using Photoshop and Illustrator during that time frame to speed the process of composition which allowed the completion of a larger number of finished projects in a much shorter time. The ability to quickly change a composition according to the clients demands nearly doubled my output.
I eventually gained enough skill that I ended up selling more prints of digital art than original paintings.
On opening SatGraphics Art in 2000, I purchased my first large format printer and began offering canvas prints, large posters and banners on demand.
I recognized the internet would be crucial to my business and began studying coding around 1995.
This was an after work sort of training as my day job provided the income I needed. I met of couple of other people who were just beginning while I was renting computer time at a Honolulu print shop, and learned much of the basics during that time.
Adobe Pagemill, though, becoming available in the mid-nineties, was my path to understanding not just the structure of a web page but also provided the means to easily visualize and modify the content.
PageMill made it easy to create the tables and frames needed to contain the graphics and images needed into a page. With support for form interfaces, it became very easy to lay out a page.
I transitioned to Adobe GoLive in the late 1990's, then later to Adobe Dreamweaver when it became the editor of choice. Each successive version allowed one to keep up with the fluid and ever changing needs of building and maintaing a properly structured web page.
The art of coding provide a perfect balance to the traditional arts. It allowed my to show my work in a new way, to market and sell that work to a much larger market, and provided a perfect counter balance to art.
Left brain-right brain equalibrium had been achieved.