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Why did you become an author/illustrator?
I became an illustrator for a few various reasons. I think it stems back to childhood, when it was easy to escape into one's imagination. Then I was able to spend countless hours not only dreaming up new worlds, but also practicing the skills to become a better craftsman. During college, I chose illustration because of its versatility. Illustration has no medium constraints, but does focus on something that I found important in artwork: message. Through the use of thoughtful concept, and astute image making, illustration provided a reason to be for my art.

Who inspired you and how?
It is easy to answer that all the great past illustrators or artists inspired me: De La Tour, Seurat, N. C. Wyeth, J. C. Leyendecker, Gorey, McCay... but I think being able to work alongside fellow students and peers was what pushed my dedication to a higher level. I think that is why it is so invigorating to be back in the collegiate setting. Students have such a great desire to grow.
What are the greatest challenges in your field, and what is something about your work that most people do not know?
The greatest challenge sometimes changes. Mostly it is being able to finish assignments within the required deadline. But lately it has been trying to grasp what will the recent technology and economic crisis do to the craft of illustration? We are in an era when phrases such as "print is dead" doesn't sound so preposterous. Being able to stay on top of the latest skill set within illustration is going to be an absolute necessity. 100% of my artwork is with traditional media (acrylic and oil), but I do also respect and utilize digital tools especially in self-promotion.

What is a memorable moment in your career and why?
I think the only way to answer this question would be signing my first book deal. It was a moment when I truly started to believe that I could become a professional illustrator.