I was born and grew up in Boulder, Colorado. I had the Rocky Mountains in my backyard, and I got to see the “summer of love” through the eyes of an eleven year old in a college town. I watched Lost in Space in the third grade, when G.I. Joe was new, and Star Trek after that. Ray Harryhausen’s movies were favorites. Science Fiction and Fantasy consumed my childhood. In my teens I discovered Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and Dungeons and Dragons not long after. I’ve been Role-Playing since 1977. As an adult I became fascinated with Mythology, particularly transformative mythology and the hidden meanings of Myth. Joseph Campbell is my guru. Google him.
I started drawing before I can remember. One of my earliest childhood memories is of sitting on my dad’s lap as he drew funny cartoon animals for me. Throughout my childhood I drew, and wrote stories, and combined stories and pictures in comic books of my own making, for my own entertainment.
After High School, I attended the Colorado Institute of Art in Denver. It was primarily a design school, but they taught all of the important basics. I worked in advertising for fourteen years. Toward the end I began to plot my escape—Iwould either get a better class of work, or I would hang up my brushes and get a real estate license. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) for me, I got a better class of work.
It was at conventions, especially Dragon Con, that I met the people who would open the door for me. One thing led to another, and suddenly I was moving my family to Illinois, across the border from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where I was the newest member of TSR’s art staff. It was a skinny little window of opportunity that opened for the briefest moment. I dived through.
Later, Wizards of the coast bought TSR and moved us to Washington State.
It was here in Washington, that my work began to really excel. Designing the look and feel of Third Edition Dungeons and Dragons was one of the high points of my professional career. How could I possibly have more fun than designing dragons for D&D? I am very lucky, and very happy in my work.
Washington became my children’s “home town,” and honestly—I love it here.
In 2000, Hasbro bought Wizards of the Coast and at the end of 2002, dispensed with their art staff. One of the new CO’s was heard to say that “fantasy artists are a dime a dozen.” Ouch.
In 2003 I released my first art book, Transitions, from Paper Tiger. The Tiger went belly up not long after my book released, and so it is difficult to find.
Since then I’ve been freelancing, doing work for publishers and gaming companies and for private commissions. I did twenty-plus covers for R.A. Salvatore’s Drizzt books, for C.J. Cherryh, Tad Williams, Marie Brennan, and others. In the last few years my old story-telling muse was reawakened. I’ve sold short stories, and am working on a novel for DAW Books, to be released in May of 2016. There are other projects in the works, including another art book.
Stick around—the best is yet to come.