has a big tasty brain
I grew up loving to draw. In my teens, my parents bought a cheap computer on clearance and I couldn’t stop messing with it. I was the only 14 year old that knew how to set up a spreadsheet.
I spent hours drawing and reading comic books. Later my parents bought me a computer of my own and I started tinkering with hardware. As I graduated high school, I figured computers were the only way I could support myself. Art doesn’t pay, right? So I went to community college as a computer scientist.
I did amazingly well in my first programming class; the teacher recognized my love for problem solving with code and gave me freedom to proceed as I wished, but I was miserable otherwise. My second programming class had a different teacher, who expected us to learn programming without a computer in front of us. I quit. I took jobs around town. I worked tech support. Hey, you want to know about misery? Work tech support, you’ll learn all about it.
A friend convinced me to try art again. My parents had always supported it, but I’d always felt defeated by economics and by my lack of interest in high-school. I didn’t think I had the grades – or money – to go to art school. I applied to two of the best art schools in the country, expecting nothing but crushing rejection. I was accepted.
My parents took extraordinary measures to give me a freshman year. It went well. I threw myself into it, both academics and art classes. Best GPA I’d ever had. Parents couldn’t help much after that, so the rest was on me. I took a job on campus. I took student loans. I finished college. It was the proudest moment of my life.
Since then I worked as an artist and designer in the newspaper industry like my father, and as a teacher of digital art at my old art school. Being on my own made me nervous, so I kept looking for staff jobs in familiar fields, and held back from things I really wanted. Print design started looking shaky so I went back to web design, which I’d first dabbled in during my years as tech support. It’s art + design + code, right? So I enjoy it. I helped found a news-media startup in south Florida. Unfortunately we couldn’t get enough of a revenue-stream to continue it; we couldn’t get any investment capital, so we had no marketing or ad-sales people on staff, and I was busy keeping the site functioning and attractive.
Now I’m starting over. I’m in Connecticut, near New York, looking for work as an artist, a designer, or both; freelance or staff-oriented. I want to create art. I want to build websites. I can rock a print design. I’m more interested in comics and storytelling than I have been since the ’90s. Are you involved with any of those things?
You and I should work together.