johnny

 

Useless information about me:

I’ve never been a full-time illustrator. Never really wanted to be. If I was, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have 3 weeks paid vacation, a 401(k) and heated underground parking. It’s something I do on the side for vacation money, and to maintain and consume an inventory of quality of micro-brews. But that doesn’t mean I don’t take this art stuff seriously. What I dig doing most is illustration and design for bands & musicians, because it allows me to combine my interests in music and art.

Early on, my goal in life was to be Rock Star (capital RS). Yep, I was gonna be the next Neil Peart. I actually wrote a report about Rock Star as a valid career choice when I was in 9th grade, and my teacher fell for it. Amazing. Anyway, a couple things got in the way of plan A.

Plan A:  Become a Rock Star

I’m a drummer. This was a good choice since I have virtually zero melodic aptitude. But I’m a pretty damn good drummer, and I still play in a few bands to this day. Anyway, back in 9th grade I practiced my ass off to get good enough to be in a band, and by 11th grade I was in a band making money. Eventually I was in a killer full-time road band, playing all over the place and having a heck of a good  time. Right up until I realized that I hated road life. Enter a case of Viral Meningitis, 10 days in the hospital, and plan A came to a screeching (yet welcome) halt. The meningitis eventually went away, but my friendships with the guys in that killer band endure to this day.

Plan B: Become a Science Fiction Illustrator

I love to read. Mostly SF, but a bit of fantasy, with the occasional techno thriller, and a lot of Stephen King. I though it would be cool to be one of those cats that did all the book covers. Two things derailed plan B: I can’t paint people worth beans (a critical skill in SF/Fantasy art); and I soon learned that there were far more NFL starting quarterbacks than successful SF illustrators. Now, I dig art, but I’m not about to starve for it. Enter Plan C.

Plan C: Reality

Reality is not some sort of gloom-and-doom, give-up-your-hopes-and-dreams nightmare. It’s actually pretty sweet. By day I am a mild-mannered Design Director for a small yet successful branding and marketing firm. I love my job, it allows me to live in a nice house, drive a nice car, and I love going to work every day. And in my spare time I get to create dragons and aliens and all manner of global armageddon, usually for a bit of extra pay. And I still get to pound away on one of my absurdly large drum kits every now and then. Did I mention I have a hot wife, too? No complaints over here in Plan-C reality land.