‘Art has saved me from being helpless in the world and not being able to support myself.’
“I come from a family of artists. It was always in my blood. I won ‘most artistic’ in school and all that, but my real passion was music. I was an honor student, and my mom said, ‘I’ll support your music aspirations if you go to college.’ So, I got a degree in sociology and anthropology and had no intention of using it! I was naive about my future as a musician.
“Concurrently, and through most of my life, I suffered from cluster headaches. It’s one of the most excruciating pains you can have. And they would come once a year for three to six weeks, five to 10 times a day. The music fizzled out, and I needed to find a livelihood, and I didn’t know what I was going to do. I was unemployable because of the time that I would need to work around the condition. It’s impossible to do anything during these episodes.
“At the time I was a musician, I was also handling the business aspect of the band, and I got into marketing. I started a graphic design company, which is where I make my living. My first intent was to service musicians … but they never have any money. I had to shift the game plan to small- and medium-sized businesses.
Concurrently, and through most of my life, I suffered from cluster headaches. It’s one of the most excruciating pains you can have.
“So, art has saved me from being helpless in the world and not being able to support myself. It’s a blessing that I have an ability to excite people with the stuff that I can create. And I take it more seriously now than I ever have because my wife and I are blessed with an amazing kid, and whatever I can do to give him a good upbringing is my main motivation.
“Selling art on the side and doing creative design for companies have really put me in a position where I could do that. I’m not wealthy, but I pay my bills. To those who have a passion in life, especially if it’s a talent that you think you can utilize to make a living, don’t be afraid to compromise a little bit in the beginning.
“The more that you get yourself settled, the more freedom you’ll have to follow those pursuits. My ultimate goal is probably to move away completely from advertising design and into fine art. Art to me is an expression of your thoughts and feelings in a palatable way — but it only has to be palatable to yourself. Painting is my way of escaping.”
Interviewed by Jay Max