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Warheads, 2017

Tank, 2018
Ink, Graphite, 7″ x 5″

Tanks. Tanks.
I’m tanking and tinkering
while lingering
on a thought
that I’ve fought
for a time
until I stopped.
I bought into a life
that bleeds strife
Got caught in a life
and I was blind.

My mask of defenses –
Add shading
to all of the angles.
See reality fading.
The truth lies behind
the lies we find
to comfort us.

The triumphant ones I find
leave their masks behind
and stay true to the Divine.

Become as a shield to bounce off the energy not meant for you,
but don’t hide so deeply that you forget to introduce yourself.

Thanks for taking the time to read my poetry – illustrations are available for purchase in the Shop.

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Community Solutions/Agraria

I spent the summer of 2018 as an Americorps volunteer at Agraria, a farm that had recently been bought by Community Solutions through a massive effort of fundraising through the Yellow Springs community. They bought a commercial corn and soy farm that had been sprayed with pesticides and chemicals, which are now still depleting nutrients from the soil. Through regenerative processes such as permaculture, they are not only providing education to the community but also combating climate change.

I created a series of small icons which could be used on both their website and their print materials such as a map outline of their plans. The illustrative aesthetic was chosen as a visual cue of the organization being in an ideation phase with Agraria. It also helped staff, key stakeholders and visitors to visualize what is to come of this farmland.

If there is something that Community Solutions is not shy of, it is big ideas. I wanted to encapsulate how important their work is as they have many initiatives that improve their community and environment at large. Before beginning my time as an Americorps VISTA with them, I was dedicated to going to their events and conferences while also volunteering my time with physical labor on the farm. It was through these experiences that I learned a lot about our environment and the politics associated with protecting it. I wanted to share this information with anyone who finds themselves so lucky to step foot upon Agraria, and so together with their directors, I designed three large posters to hang in their barn, the meeting place for most of their events.

Finally, to further educate visitors about the many species on Agraria, I formulated a few pamphlet templates with a systematic design. Upon my arrival as a VISTA, Community Solutions had just worked with a designer to brand Agraria, but their flyers and informational documents all looked different. Working within brand guidelines, I designed a template that information and be added and adjusted to over time. If you are interested in illustrative print design, I would love to hear from you. I think especially for organizations that are embarking upon new territory, an illustrative element can express the ideation process in a way that makes sense to outsiders.

Contact me if you have a project in mind and don’t forget to donate to Community Solutions so they can continue to put down their roots!

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Glen Helen

I had just gotten back from cycling with my little family from Pittsburgh to D.C. in an effort towards fighting for environmental justice. Exhilarated by the endorphins of over 200 miles, I set out to find work with a mission: to help care for our planet. I started working with Glen Helen in June of 2017.

Yellow Springs, Ohio is a small town like no other I have been to. As an environmentalist, it is no wonder I landed here for some time – Yellow Springs is a nature-centric town located in the middle of rural Ohio. Throughout history, it has served as a place of rest and healing for people as notable as President Lincoln. Myths and anecdotes throughout history tell of a Yellow Spring whose water heals; whoever drinks of this spring will return to it at least once more. When Glen Helen’s project manager, Ann, asked me to create a “hipster-looking t-shirt,” my goal was to highlight this spring to the new age hipsters who are looking for some natural healing and nourishment.

I illustrated much of Glen Helen’s natural environment and inhabitants while I was there and eventually people started to notice. I was asked to draw Glen Helen’s raptors, which would go on to be used for marketing materials to draw more people to the Raptor Center.

I have two distinct styles that my clients can choose from – one being simple linework and the other, more intricate color and detail. I typically will make an example of each one side by side then throw it to a vote for the organization to choose which they like best. It is my goal to get as many details in the beginning, so we don’t have to waste time backtracking and recreating. I know that working with designers in the non-profit sector is not only unaffordable in most cases but also can be exhausting when your designer doesn’t understand the aesthetic you are looking for. This is why I offer a discount to non-profits and have a process of discovery before we start.

If you are interested in working with me, please place an inquiry. If you’re as passionate as both Glen Helen and I are about preserving the planet, please donate so that they can continue to do their work!

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Concerning: Gentrification, 2016

Concerning Gentrification, Hermosa Walls, 2016
Mural, 20′ x 8′

In April of 2016, I painted a mural at Hermosa Walls, a mural project where each month, a different artist’s work was featured. Due to the nature of the location, I thought it would be fitting to make a comment on gentrification in a neighborhood where it is happening. Gentrification is sweeping our nation and displacing lower-income families. This mural uses simple symbols to reflect a complex topic. The displaced person has had his identity stripped as he tries to hold on despite the force of wealthy investment.

This issue is unraveling the economics of our country, leading to a massive homelessness crisis. There are roughly 18.6 million vacant homes and only 600,000 homeless people in America. The wealthier of us in America see homes as an investment opportunity – a way to achieve the “American Dream.” In so perceiving this way, we strip the identities from long-time homeowners and residents while keeping lower-income families out through discriminatory rental practices. If we are to overcome gentrification, it boils down to first overcoming our own greediness while empathizing with the person on the other side.

Mural practice is a way to enlarge an idea so that it cannot be ignored. If you have a wall that needs painting, don’t hesitate to let me know.

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Destruction, 2014

This here is a throwback to one of the first works of mine that actually encapsulated the aesthetic and conceptual strength that I work to produce. I had been delving into Jungian ideas about our individual and collective psyche. I myself, at the time, fell prey to my own self-destructive habits and sought to look at destruction from the inside-out. How do our individual ways lead to collective strife? Little did I know, this piece was to take on a life of its own. Left in a storage room on the fine art floor, two frames and one drawing from this series were stolen. I shrugged it off, as it lends itself to its name, then brought it with me to Rescue or Destroy.

Rescue or Destroy is and interactive art event where the audience is invited to either buy a work or watch it be destroyed in front of them with an axe. The masochist in me was drawn to the idea of shredding apart my own work as an act of aggressive self-defeatism. Every single work from the Destruction series was bought…every work but one. When Allen ripped it into shreds and it fell atop a mound of destroyed work, I ran to collect the pieces.

Destruction: The Survivor is coming soon to the Shop. Stay updated by joining my email list here.

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The Book of Souls I, 2017

We all remember that night. Red bleeding across the country as Trump’s lead became inevitable. Liberals were panicking on Facebook. Fake news had gone awry! That election changed us and I wanted to know why. An ideological warfare had begun and in a world where expressing your opinion is literally at your fingertips, we all had a say.

I decided to explore our leaders. I listened to speeches, interviews, debates and rallies. I dissected their policies and their history. While listening, I drew each candidate with Faber Castell ink pens, then scanned the illustration into Adobe Illustrator where I edited the color and linework to create ghost-like campaign posters.

Each work is printed on Epson Hot Press Bright Paper with Archival inks. The color should outlast our grandchildren. Let’s hope they learn from our mistakes, our rivalries and our ignorances so that their future may serve them better. An additional handcrafted frame is available to add on in the Shop.