1. What was UPR like? What made you choose grad school at SCAD?
UPR Mayagüez, was fruitful but not in a professional manner. I ended up in UPR out of persuasion. It’s a very prestigious university. My father went there. Ever since I was young he made it a deal to push for it. I knew it was a bad idea but I didn’t question him at the time. I ended up there.
This school specializes in engineering and sciences. By the time I switched majors, it was too late for me to transfer to an art school without losing almost my whole bachelor’s degree. I switched to the UPR Mayagüez Art Department. I think at the time the whole department had less than 100 students. The program was scattered and classes were very difficult to find. The university itself doesn’t care much for such a small department, which sucks, cuz the faculty is stellar and what they provide for the students is many times what the university provides for them to teach.
What I took from UPR Mayagüez was a group of friends that I love and relationships with professors that I deeply respect for their incredible efforts to educate under the circumstances the college provided. Both groups of people contain some of the most intelligent, hard-working people I will ever meet.
Unfortunately, my BFA left me with few marketable skills. I had to go to grad school to cover many gaps. I chose SCAD cuz they’re loud. It wasn’t the best reason to choose a grad school but I lucked out. I ended up in SCAD Atlanta under the tutelage of Rick Lovell, Julie Mueller-Brown, and Bill & Lee Mayer. In a few years they prepped me entirely for the business. Seriously, it’s kinda crazy how those four people turned my flaky portfolio and had me freelancing for big clients in less than three years.
2. What were the most difficult aspects you faced in school and how are they different now?
My damn, embarrassing attitude! It was tough for my teachers to deal with my fluctuating moods. I vacillated from being overconfident in my (few) skills to being absolutely self-deprecating when I remembered how little I could really do. So technically, I’d start a project with full confidence, not accepting much direction. Then critique came and I notice how incredibly bad my project had turned out and how little I had learned.
Teachers weren’t mean about this though. Little by little they opened my eyes. I’m very happy to say that now, although my highs aren’t particularly high, I don’t experience lows often anymore. I’m confident in my work but I know I’m countless miles away from those that are best in the biz. And here’s the useful result: I don’t freak out about that anymore. I just work to try and keep up.
3. What was working at Puerto Rico Sea Grant like? What did you learn?
It was fun and it helped with the bills. Ultimately, it was a federal grant and space for growth is hard to find within those. I really miss those coworkers though.
I learned to wake up every morning and draw for a living. Sounds easy enough, but truthfully the routine can be very difficult to build.
This job also helped me define a next step. The tasks were split between illustration and design. The illustration aspect was much more fun for me. So when it came time to choose between a masters in graphic design vs a masters in illustration, I chose the latter.
4. Did you have a secondary job while you built your freelance career?
I became Bill Mayer’s assistant while still in grad school. Once I graduated, I had to quit as I had enough freelance and it was time to let someone else have the chance of working with Bill. Shortly after, I got a part-time teaching job. I stopped recently though cuz freelance reached a point where it won’t let me share my time anymore.
5. How has your work evolved?
I guess at first I depended a lot on draftsmanship and figure drawing, while avoiding everything else. Then I started honing my draftsmanship skills and drawing a lot more stuff than just figures in ethereal abstract environments. Recently, I felt that was covered enough for me to hone more advanced painting skills, and that’s where I am right now.
Thanks so much for asking! It’s very kind of you. Sure thing, go ahead.
Hey there! Thank you!
ImagineFX is gonna publish an issue on pinups and they will provide a couple of my speed paintings and some answers to a few questions. I can’t seem to find a link just yet, but it’s coming out soon.
There is no room for privacy in art. #art #musings #thoughts #minisketch #penandink #blackandwhite #ithinkthereforeifart
I couldn’t agree more.
Oh my god! Are you kidding me? Terry Moore is amazing! Strangers in Paradise was one of my gateways into independent comics. I’m also really enjoying Rachel Rising.
Me fascinaría! La verdad es que los cómics fueron la razón por la cual comenzé a ilustrar. Pero luego de varios años haciendo arte, me di cuenta que, por el momento, carezco las habilidades necesarias para hacer cómics. El problema es que no soy muy bueno dibujando imágenes secuenciales. Por encima, no tengo la rapidez que mis colegas en esa industria han desarrollado. Aún así, sigo practicando. Ya he trabajado con BOOM! Studios haciendo portadas. Estoy comenzando a entender mejor como producir imágenes secuenciales. En otras palabras: pronto!