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This picture was taken at "Burning Man" when I was 32 years old. If you look closely, you can see a fine layer of dry dirt all over me. I had just endured my first dust storm in the Nevada desert that lasted eight hours. Later that night, the man was burned along with many memories in my mind of the great experience I had there.
I started drawing and coloring at a young age just like most children. When school started, most of my focus went toward that - school. Growing up, my father always kept Playboy magazine lying around the house. Around the age of 13, I became deeply fascinated with the female form. I became obsessed with making my drawings look as good as the photographs that I drew from. In the beginning, I was not happy with my work and progress was slow. When I entered high school, I took a couple of drawing classes, but I was not happy with the instruction. There was always a plan that the teacher had for us and there was little freedom. Even when I did get to draw what I wanted, there was no one to mentor me in the direction I wanted to go - photorealism. I continued to draw here and there, doing portraits of girlfriends and women I thought were beautiful, but I didn't spend a lot of time at it until I was 19 years old. When I went to college, I thought the drawing instruction would be better, so I took a life drawing class. It was a beginner course and I thought I might be one of the top students - I was wrong. I was the worst student in the class. We spent class time drawing nudes and we were required to draw in a fixed amount of time - at most half an hour. I had never drawn a live model before and I was not fast. My frustration with myself and the way the college art world worked, pushed me to become better. Since I was doing so horribly, the teacher decided to give me an extra-credit assignment - draw what ever I wanted, due at the end of the course. I looked through magazines and found a picture of Anthony Hopkins that was taken during the time "silence of the lambs" was out in theaters. It was a great photo and he had a great deep, staring, serous look. I had never drawn the male form before and I decided I would give it a try. I spent a month on that drawing (about 40 hours), which was longer than I had ever spent on a drawing before. I turned it in on the last day of class and the professor asked me if I had done it. I asked her what she meant. She said to me, "you didn't draw this." I was stunned. I said, "of course I did. That is my signature." she went on to accuse me a putting my signature on someone else's work. There was no formal charge of plagiarism, but my art schooling ended that day. I've never taken a class since. I drew off and on for about ten years after that for my own enjoyment as a hobby. When I was 30 years old, I was working as a card dealer at a Native American casino in California. One of the players approached me one day and asked me if I did anything else besides deal poker. I told him that I drew portraits of people. He asked me how much I would charge to draw him and his wife from a photo. I told him that it would cost $1,000, thinking that he would never pay that much for a drawing. He paid me $500 cash upfront to start the drawing and he paid me $500 when I was finished. That was when I knew I could be an artist professionally. A few months later I quit my job and threw myself into my art career. I've had many commission drawings since and I have been doing it full time ever since.

My chainmaille art work began when I was 19 years old. I saw the movie "Braveheart" and I was interested in how they made shirts made of metal rings. I started dreaming of one day making my own shirt made of metal rings. This was just before the time when most people had internet access. So, I had to ask people in the jewelry industry how to do this. I was lucky to find the right people that helped me and I created my first vest in six months. I started making jewelry out of chainmaille weaves soon after. My fascination with chainmaille is in the weaves/patterns. The mathematical connections of the rings meshes with my personality well. When I turned 30 years old I started doing chainmaille full time along side my drawing. I am really grateful to have many outlets for my creative side. It would be very difficult for me to do only one form of art work every day. This way I can switch things up and never get burned out in any one area. It is very difficult to be a full time artist in this culture and in this time. We are taught from a young age to learn a trade in school - a certain way. Our motivation usually comes from external circumstances. It is very difficult to motivate yourself everyday without someone there to push you. You have to push yourself and most people give up early. It all comes back to really getting to know yourself on a deep level. When you start to really understand yourself, then you realize that art is in everything and it is everywhere. Nothing is boring anymore - walking across the living room becomes - dancing. My friends watch me wash dishes sometimes and ask me how do I wash dishes so artistically?

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