I grew up working with my family as a cutter in the garment industry beginning at age 11. I left home by 14 because of ongoing mental and sexual abuse, however, I continued to work for the family business.
Luckily, I had somewhere to go -- an older friend who helped me in a time of real need. She allowed me to stay with her for a while, and thus began my life of couch surfing. I hovered wherever, within a network of friends, in and out of my parents' house, and tried desperately to fend for myself.
Making it on my own was made worse by the fact I had less than a seventh grade education. I changed so many schools as a kid, I wound up falling far behind and so quietly educated myself at the public library. I finally got my GED at 19.
I've worked just about every job you can think of: server, T-shirt printer, retail manager, bank teller, commercial cleaner, drug counselor, and was even a paid picketer for Larry Flynt (long story). I also played drums for 15 years. I've toured the U.S. and Canada, and performed for large audiences. I specialized in groove/R&B/Hip Hop with rock n' roll, and studied with notable drummers, musicians, and producers. Everyone I've ever known has influenced me in some way in all my artistic endeavors. Those known in music: Prince, the Beatles, Stevie Wonder. In art: Paul Klee, Vincent van Gogh, and more a contemporary, Amy Sillman. Charles Bukowski and John Fante are huge influences in writing.
In my art, I'm looking for answers, evolving and discovering. Most of my compositions begin as crude, existential, or ambiguous ideas. At times they are absurd. I thoroughly enjoy the handmade. I get inspired while I am working, and it's the media that drives me forward. Making art is like a personal redemption for me. It's a methodical, visionary activity I use to distract myself from a damaged past to create anew. No matter what I'm doing, I'm interested in telling stories. I like expressing narratives in oil paint, collage, bold color schemes, and patterns. I love to work in watercolor as well, and have been messing around with video in recent years.
I'm known for creating Artist's books, too. They've been widely collected and placed in major collections around the world. Additionally, I write in various genres. My debut creative nonfiction book, Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley will be published in the spring of 2019.
Over the years, many happy people have purchased my work. I've collected a few testimonials here.