I love the clean, simple lines of mid-century modern design and the cool sounds of West Coast jazz! and Blue Note jazz covers and the Abstract Classicists. I am a huge fan of the art movement, California Hard-Edge. Bold lines, organic shapes, colour and texture are all important ingredients that I employ in my own work.
I was doing a lot of collage in my classes (art and design at Art Center and Woodbury University), always experimenting and exploring with different materials, textured papers and found imagery, etc. I had the idea to use record covers and the paper sleeves that protected 45 singles, specifically packaging from 1960s. There is so much of it, an endless supply of material! It already contained such strong use of shape, line, colour and texture, (all the things by the way that I teach in my Basic Elements and Principles of Design Classes). There is something about the quality and feel of the printing from back then that cannot be rivaled! It seems ironic to me that it was the love of album cover art that made me want to pursue a career in graphic design in the first place, and here I am using it in a way I would never have dreamed of! Also, by accident, one day while working on my computer, from my living room window, I was watching the Clear Channel guy strip down and replace some billboards. I went down and asked him what he did with the remnants and he said they just trashed it, so help yourself and through some experimentation found that there was a lot of great colour, typography and texture to be had, and nice big areas of halftone dots!
My process is lots of experimentation! For instance with the billboard pieces, I break it down into manageable size pieces then soak it in the bathtub until I can peel it apart. The fun is always in the reveal, because there are so many layers, you never know what you are going to get! The record cover pieces are like a jigsaw puzzle, sometimes a piece will sit on my table for a few days, constantly moving pieces around until it feels right! There have also been instances where i have found the frame/frames first and created the piece specifically for the frame. One important factor is that I always use a square format, which relates to back to the album cover, be it 12 inch, 10 inch, 7 inch.
After graduating from school in London, my first job was working in a small print shop in Covent Garden. Then onto The Hugo Organisation, a boutique design studio also in London. New York was calling, and, after a brief visit, I headed down to Dallas to visit a very good friend. Three-and-a-half years and 2 design studios and various freelance gigs later, my creative career path as a graphic designer and art director took me to the West Coast. Since 1991, Los Angeles has been home. In 1993, I was given the opportunity to teach an evening class in the Art Center at Night program, employing traditional techniques (sans computer). Teaching those techniques led me to create hand-made work of my own, using every kind of mixed-media, including collage, cut and paste, pop culture imagery, found ephemera, etc. and other random sources. Since that initial class, I have gone on to teach Design 1 and Typography 1 at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Woodbury University in Burbank, The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in downtown Los Angeles, UCLA extension program and The Art Institute in North Hollywood. I also teach in the Saturday High program at Art Center and am a mentor. I have also participated in 2 study abroad programs, various hand-technique workshops including University of Southern California and the University of Monterrey in Mexico.
My artwork/collages have been exhibited in many shows over the last 5 years. A full list is available upon request.
I have received 2 design awards, Outstanding Achievement, How Design Annual, 2004, and Certificate of Excellence, Print Design Annual, 1990. My freelance clients have included Neiman Marcus, Pier 1 imports, JC Penney, USC School of Social Work, Art Center College of Design design office, Creative Domain, The Cimarron Group, SRC Advertising, Teleflora, Asian Ceramics, Wise USA, Samsung Records, Quango and Resonance records.