December 30, 2021
As I reflect on all the amazing things that happened in 2021, I can't help but be grateful. God has been so good to me and my family. There are so many happy memories. There is peace and joy in our home. Work has been going well. I've been incredibly inspired to make more art. My kids seem to be thriving. And I have lots of amazing friends.
I decided to start a blog on here. I wanted to have a place to put my thoughts. This is not my first blog. When I had a Wordpress site, I used the blog feature regularly. When I switched my site to Adobe Portfolio, I simply stopped writing. But I want to share my art journey with my fans.
Let's catch you guys up with how I got to this point.
I spent my entire childhood making art.
Graduated high school in 1997 thinking that I wanted to be an art teacher.
Started taking college level art classes between 1997-2000.
Dropped out in November 2000 in order to make money and take time to think about who I am.
I did art sparingly for awhile. I focused my efforts on the car business from November 2000-May 2006.
My wife was accepted into veterinary school in St. Kitts, so we moved our small family to the Caribbean. I decided to go back to college and was accepted at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh's Online Division Fall of 2006.
I did a lot of art until graduation in 2009.
And then I made things sparingly again.
I had switched from the car business to retail in 2007 when Amanda transferred to Oklahoma State University to finish her vet degree.
I stayed in the business world. We moved to El Paso in 2010 when my wife accepted an Army scholarship. I started managing a Target store in October 2010.
I only did a few art projects for the next several years.
We transferred to Las Vegas in 2012. She got out of the Army in 2013 and we moved home.
I started managing a Starbucks store in the summer of 2013. Quit at the very end of 2014.
Started selling cars again in 2015 and decided to start Blue Creations in 2015 as a side hustle. After only 4 months back selling cars, I quit to pursue Blue Creations.
In 2016, I decided to get my MBA and go back to work at Target. But by November of 2016, I realized that I didn't really want to work at Target. God gave me a crazy dream and I knew that I was supposed to be a pastor and an artist. I had done small things with both of these passions of mine since 2002. But I never fully committed to them, and God was telling me it was time to leave retail behind. So I resigned and started pursuing ministry.
In 2017, I got my first paid job in ministry as a Kids & Families Lead at my church. I started doing art more regularly as a way to connect with kids.
In 2018, I asked my friend from high school (Danielle Rimbert) if she would teach these free classes with me in the community. She happily agreed.
She asked me if I was painting. I told her that I was too afraid to paint - that I feared being bad at it. She told me that was ridiculous, she encouraged me in my talent, and said I could do it if I just tried. So I tried.
The hardest part was trying to figure out what kind of painter I would be. Historically, my interests lied in comics, movies, and cartoons. But, I remember watching Bob Ross when I was in the first grade, so I decided to start with landscapes. By that time in my life, I had been to a lot of places and seen a lot of beautiful things. I had a bunch of reference photos to work from, so I started there.
And over the past few years, I created several paintings. My first real body of work. Not a bunch of individual projects like I had done from 1997-2018. But an intentionally cohesive body of work.
I started touring every art gallery and museum in my area to be inspired. I started following lots of artists on Instagram. And I started trying more challenging projects.
And then I started to sell some work. I started to believe that I could actually do this.
In 2019, I started working for Youth For Christ and realized that this is the place I want to work the rest of my career. I want to help local youth find hope. I also want to continue making art. Both of these things - helping teenagers and making art - bring me great joy!
So that brings me back to the present. What will happen in 2022?
I have a lot of ideas in my mind on where to go with my art. I can continue to paint the landscapes that I love so much focusing on all the beautiful areas in Washington State. I also have an idea to make a series of modern Christian inspired art showing what Jesus would do if He was physically here among us today. And another idea that has been on my mind is making a series of art inspired by my childhood in the 1980s and making viewer feel like they are looking through the eyes of a child. And I have a million other ideas - comic art on large canvases, abstract art, graffiti art, northwest animals, or a series of different images that show all my hobbies and interests.
I'm not sure which direction I will go yet. But I will make that decision soon.
I will be posting my decision in the next blog post.