Frequently Asked Questions

Will you do an art trade with me?

I'm sorry, but I don't have the time for art trades.

Do you take requests?

No, but I do take commissions!

What is the meaning behind your art?

I get asked this all the time, and quite honestly…I don’t really know. When I create a piece I don’t usually have any story I would like to tell, or complex vision I wish to illustrate. Usually I simply have a desire to paint a specific subject (like a wolf, a bear, a lion, an Amur leopard, a chicken, etc) and I see where my imagination takes me from there. Other times I have a purpose of creating something big and showy for an art show, or a symbolic piece for someone, or I have been commissioned by another to do a custom piece of art for them (a lot of my art nowadays is commissions) and I see what shows up in my head for that. My art does imply that there is a definite story going on, but that is just how it comes out of me. I think perhaps something higher than myself is trying to speak in this way, and I think the story is left up to the viewer. My art speaks to each person individually, so while I do not have a background story in mind for the piece, perhaps there -is- a story and you, the viewer, are meant to discover it.

Do the symbols/glyphs in your art have a meaning?

Once again, I honestly don’t know. I make up symbols out of my head, what I think would look neat with what’s going on with the character or their surroundings. I like to imply that perhaps the symbols have deep meaning in their culture, or for themselves personally, but I don’t have a story about that, or meanings for the symbols. But in this world, I couldn’t say. They just come to me and look neat in the piece.

When did you start drawing/doing art?

I “started” drawing as soon as I was able to hold a crayon. I have always loved creating, and I remember growing up that it was always remarked upon that I was “good for my age” but I didn’t really start seeing that in myself until I was in Jr. High. Art classes were more readily available in Jr. High, and being inspired by the Fantasy and Science Fiction novels I had started to read I began drawing (and writing) in earnest. I took all the art classes I could, and I really began to see major improvement in my own art by the time I was in High School. My teachers and artistic influences also kept me going, hoping to reach their level someday. My progression from there has been gradual but steady.

How do you draw like that?

My ability to draw has been from many years of teaching myself how to see. How to -really- see. To look at a subject and see past what my mind sees to what is really there. A muzzle isn’t just a number 3 on it’s back. A muzzle has a form and shape all it’s own, made up of bones and muscles, skin and teeth. A tail just isn’t a stuffed sock, it has bones and sinew, limitations to it’s movement, depth of fur, etc. A paw isn’t just an arch with a claw stuck to it. A paw has form all it’s own made up of bone structure and padding, depth of fur, stretch of skin, and length of sinew. All these things I have had to train myself to really, truly see, to study. I study ALL of my subjects through photographs and real life. If there is something about a subject I don’t understand, I research it, study it, and sketch it until I have the subject down pat. And even then I still use reference when I draw.

Can you teach me how to do art?

Learning to do art is a long, long process with many factors involved. To be able to teach anyone how I do what I do, I would have to teach classes. Lots of classes on everything from how to draw a circle, all the way up to composition, anatomy, and using layers to get effects. I simply do not have the time for this. If you honestly want to learn how to do art, and do it well, seek courses at your school or university. Or, you can always check out Art Instruction Schools (as seen on TV!). I was a student of theirs for a little while when I was 13. They are a reasonably priced institution that really does teach you some awesome stuff. I recommend them highly.

How do you get your ideas/inspiration?

Inspiration is a fickle mistress as any artist knows. Sometimes inspiration comes in a flood, driving you mad with the need to create, and create a lot, all at once. And then there are the times where inspiration is as elusive as a ghost, taunting you with the need to draw while chaining your hands. For me, often times inspiration is fleeting at best. But sometimes I will look at a piece of art, or a photograph, or I will be looking at the land around me and be reminded of something, and instantly an image forms in my mind. I can see it like I have already created the piece, and then it begs to be set free onto paper. I never know when this is going to happen, and it happens to varying degrees. Sometimes it’s like lightning, and sometimes it’s like a whisper on the wind. But inspiration, whatever form it takes, is always a blessing to me, like it was heaven sent.

What/who are your artistic influences?

I am influenced by a lot of people, and things. Wolves influence me because I am obsessed with them, with every part of them and about them. No other subject makes me as happy as when I am drawing a wolf. Other animals influence me with their secret beauty, and grace, or personality. I can also be influenced by something on TV, or in a movie, or music. Music is very inspiring to any artist as it brings scenes and scenarios to mind while listening. I am greatly influenced by books as well, whether they are reference books or a romance novel. Reading is a great treasure, and it can inspire as much as music can. I think the thing I am most influenced by, however, are my fellow artists. The artists I am most influenced by are: Michael Whelan, Carl Brenders, Bev Doolittle, Susan Seddon Boulet, Alphonse Mucha, Ron Spencer, JC Amberlyn, Therese Larsson, Dark Natasha, Stephanie Lostimolo, Kyoht, Jaime Sidor, Jennifer Miller, Tracy Butler, Robert Bateman, Larry Fanning, and a few others. I also find influence in art magazines such as Wildlife Art, and Southwest Art.

How long does it take you to make your art?

It really depends. I find the hardest part of any piece for me is the drawing phase, so even for something small like an ACEO, the drawing part can take most of the time. Also, it depends on how much time I am able to take working on a piece. If I only have a couple of hours in a day to work on art, that is all I get to work on a piece, so a piece might take me eight or so hours, but that is over a span of a few days. That said, just a simple line art drawing can take me anywhere from an hour, to six or seven hours, depending on how well it is flowing for me, and also the level of detail and complexity involved. A fully colored ACEO can take around 5 to 8 hours. A full color 9 X 12 piece will probably take me anywhere from 8 to 20 hours, depending on the complexity, and a full acrylic painting can go anywhere from 10 hours to 30 or even more. Again, depending on the complexity, my availability of time to work on it, and how well things are "flowing" for me.