1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
I’m originally from New York City and lived there until I was in 4th grade. During 9/11 my family and I left NYC and ended up moving to Spring Lake New Jersey. The Jersey shore is where I did my growing up. The shore was definitely a place that helped inform the trajectory of my work. There are a lot of surfers / beach people and I never quite felt like I fit in and it comes through my work In my character’s reactions.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
I’ve always liked cartoons such as Popeye, Scooby Doo, anything on Cartoon network and Nickelodeon. In college I got into Robert Crumb comics then started to dive into the zine and comic culture as well as looking to smaller run presses. I love absurdity and strong concepts. I like for things to be funny but have a reason why they are funny not just funny for what’s on the surface but to have something deeper. I love King of the Hill and anything Mike Judge does, it so beautifully depicts normal and there are so many layers to each joke.
3. What is your favorite medium and why?
I only use 3 things religiously so watercolor, pens and digital (Photoshop). I use pretty crappy watercolors and have been using the same kind for years. They’re the Windsor Newton Academic brand and I use Faber Castell pens for inking. Sometimes I’ll use 3d objects in my work but that’s few and far.
4. What is your artistic process like?
A lot of thinking, I really try to approach everything I do with a very well thought out plan but leave room to improvise. I’ll generally think about a concept for a long time and try to hammer out all the details as well as how it will be perceived by different people. If after thinking about it I still can’t make sense of it I send it to people I know to get their opinions and perceptions. To me it’s all about how things make sense in my world. But sometimes it just make sense out the gate and I’ll get right to work. A big part of the process is figuring out what medium to use, whether painting or digital will be most successful and if I’m painting are there objects that I can add to better convey my point.
After all that I’ll start sketching on white 8.5 x 11 computer paper and once that’s sketched out I’ll either start inking with pens on tracing paper to scan into Photoshop or trace onto watercolor paper using a light table to paint.
I never use sketchbooks; I’m not sure why I’ve always found 8.5 x 11 computer paper to be the best space for sketching. You have more freedom and it feels less confined.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
My parents have always been the driving force behind a lot of my ideas. The way they talk, the way they describe people, the jokes that they make and their opinions of the world around them have always been fuel for my work. My roommates have always been a big source of inspiration as well as my girlfriend Sarah. She is a painter in the realm of fine art and I pull from her constantly.
I big source of inspiration is the immediate world around me. I love to approach everything satirically, especially when depicting my own emotions. I love to make fun of myself. A lot of my work pokes fun at the world and deals heavily with people’s emotions. I use myself as jumping off point to show my perspective of what I’m satirizing.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
My artwork represents how I see the world. The way cars are built , people, scenery, buildings etc. are all represented in my work the way they make sense to me. Something that I’ve made a point to figure out is how I see the world and the best way to communicate that through my work. I wanted to make my own world. My work has changed my perception of the world maybe through my vision of what reality is or could be. Everything is something that can contribute to my world that I’m creating. Everything is now potential components to a painting or illustrated joke that I’m working on. I love how it’s molded me into always being on the lookout. I try to make everything specific and almost a parody of the world outside my own.
7. Where did you study?
University of the arts in Philadelphia.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Continuing my artwork, meeting new people and trying to move around a bit to help keep my practice progressing because my work is very autobiographical so I continually try to put myself in different situations weird or other to inform my work.
9. What about in ten?
That may be a little far out for me but the only constant is that I’ll continue making work.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
I really enjoy making people laugh and want my artwork to be a positive force. I believe that a lot can be said with humor as opposed to being serious all the time. I want my work to convey strong concepts that not only sometimes show my opinions but can also make someone laugh when they’re having a bad day or help get a specific message across. Whether it’s something being made fun of or something important I want them to be something a lot of people can read.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
That’s tough!! I love Italian food, there’s a place by my house called the Victor Cafe it’s a very nice sit down restaurant that has amazing pasta dishes and live opera. Can be a little crazy sometimes but the food is worth it.
12. Favourite book?
Maus by Art Spiegelman, there is a series of them but they are all equally amazing.
13. Favourite genre of music?
Lately I’ve been really into Elvis, frank Sinatra and some random older gunslinger type country music. Marty Robbins is fantastic, I love that they tell a story from start to finish and that they’re talking about their own experiences. But on the total opposite side I love bands like Wavves, Colleen Green, and more kind of post punk garage. I also really dig bands like that adolescents and the x-ray spex. I’m really open to anything honestly.
14. What are your hobbies?
Reading, writing, hanging out with friends and family I don’t have many hobbies I just like to play everything pretty loose and see what happens.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
Hmm I’m not sure, maybe working construction I used to do that a little. I’ve always worked tons of jobs, all dead end jobs but I’d like to think I’d figure something out. Maybe I would get a business degree or do something in marketing. But, it’s hard to think of my life without doing what I’m doing now because it’s basically who I am in my entirety.