Over the past twenty-plus years I have been creating drawings that in the simplest terms, tell people’s stories. It has taken me over a decade to understand the power within these visual translations. They cross multiple boundaries, and speak of deeply personal commitments and commemorations. They stretch beyond commissioned works of art into collaborations that reveal people’s hopes, dreams, and passions in and for life.
When I am asked to do a commission, I work very closely with my client through the entire process. First, we begin with a conversation to explore their ideas for the piece. I ask for descriptive words, colors, dates, imagery that might be significant, places / maps, etc. Then I spend time creating a preliminary sketch with colored pencil and pen that my client can comment on. The next step is to create a layout of the piece with actual imagery, text and visual elements, all the while communicating with my client and sending photos of the progression of their piece. Again, they are welcome to comment on changes they might like to see, or present new ideas that have been sparked in this time. Finally, I go ahead and complete the work. It is always a fulfilling and unique experience. For most artists, this may seem an unorthodox approach, but my work has always been about connections.
Sometimes commissions go beyond a singular work and become collaborations with groups of people - even classrooms of kids. I work as a teaching artist with the TAPAS program of the Asheville City Schools Foundation, creating customized projects with classroom teachers aligning directly with their curriculum. I also create customized residencies on my own with schools or organizations of any size.
If you would like to set up a time to meet about an idea you have for a commission or a collaboration, please send me a note. I look forward to listening to your story and creating something together!