I grew up in a small town in California. From a young age I felt that art was what my profession would be. Somehow while still in gradeschool, people started asking me to paint signs for them. First it was the local 4H clubs, then businesses around town would call me to do the exterior of their buildings. This felt right to me because I had a fascination with typography (not knowing what that word was) after finding my father’s high school lettering text book (dated from the 1930s!) on the bookshelf. The book was informative about the structure of each letter of the alphabet, plus some other samples of typefaces that I would copy — or see if I could match by drawing them freehand.
Typography was only a starter drug for me because I really wanted to be an illustrator due to my love for drawing. Firstly, album cover art was my main attraction. This combined my love for music and a way towards visual expression of the feeling the music gave me. Secondly, I wanted to do magazine editorial illustration. This led me to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena for my illustration training. My goal was to work for Hipgnosis in London, or to be a movie poster artist in Australia — don’t ask me why, since I was already living in L.A., and their was plenty of movie work done there too. I suppose I wanted to try some exotic destination.
At the time all of the illustration was done with traditional media. Drawing and painting from thematically costumed models in acrylic and oil. This was all pre-computer in the early 1980s. We were taught traditional hand paste up production design techniques for print as well. I was on my way to make a living with these skills, and they served their purpose for about ten years or so. Then the Macintosh arrived and everything changed! Digital work was the way to go, and I fully embraced it. This gave me an outlet for design expression with type, yet using my traditional painting knowledge for illustration, but now it is in Photoshop and Illustrator.