This is my story
I’m a freelance illustrator based in Chicago. After earning my bachelor of fine arts degree in painting and printmaking, I spent a decade as an art director and graphic designer. That was how I discovered illustration and realized I could make a career of it.
I work mostly for advertising clients. I’m less of an editorial illustrator, although I have had a few editorial jobs—The New York Times, the Dallas Observer, most recently the Wall Street Journal. But the bulk of my work is for ad agencies, working on campaigns for companies like Pfizer, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and most notably for clothing retailer Daffy’s.
Freelance illustration is a solo gig. After six years of working alone in my studio, I wanted to connect with other illustrators. I needed inspiration and validation that I was doing the right thing. That’s how I found the Hartford Arts School’s Master of Fine Arts in Illustration program.
The low-residency program was perfect for me. In addition to being taught by world-class, award-winning illustrators, I didn’t have to uproot my home base. I could continue freelancing and teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
It’s a three-year program. Each summer two weeks are spent at the University of Hartford learning from some of the biggest names in illustration. Another two weeks—one in the fall and one in the spring—are spent in a major city conducive to finding out more about illustration.
This is my second year in the program, and the knowledge and confidence it has given me so far is amazing.