Art Journal- September 13, 2022 “The Artist’s Path”
Drawing has always been a passion of mine. In hindsight, growing up in a turbulent household likely heralded a steadfast journey along the artist’s path. During my youth, there were times when my mother allowed me to stay with my grandparents. They lived in a very small town, near the north Georgia foothills. Their house was very old; an icebox in winter and a sauna in summer. However, it allowed for lots of quiet time. I went on many expeditions in the surrounding woods, gloriously lost within my imagination.
My grandmother kept one of my earliest drawings. It’s embarrassing now, to be sure, and I of course don’t remember drawing it. “I love the farm”—proclaimed its childlike scrawl (below a rendering of a farm with questionable livestock roaming a field)–“there are lots of animals.” As time went on, my interest in art took inspiration from more eclectic sources: comics, video games, children’s dinosaur books, and animation. In the mid-1980s, shows like He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, as well as films like Ladyhawke, The Neverending Story, and The Last Unicorn captivated me. Art which adorned the arcade cabinets of the time, such as Galaga, Pac-Man, and Crystal Castles, also served as a heavy influence.
At the onset of my teenage years, while I still loved the science fiction and fantasy subject matter of my childhood, I began to seek out other types of stories, without caring so much if the narrative appeared in the guise of a comic book, film, play, or slice-of-life novel. I grew to love the works of Tennessee Williams, Armistead Maupin, and Scott Heim just as much as I loved the film Blade Runner. By the time I headed for college, one particular novel captured my interest and married my love for sequential art with a slice-of-life autobiographical story: Craig Thompson’s Blankets.
While attending SCAD, I began to write my own slice-of-life stories and translating them into sequential art. During a lecture given by my writing instructor, Mark Kneece, he read aloud a script for one of my slice-of-life comics. Afterward, while receiving feedback, a fellow student turned to me and said, “Do you really think a comic book is the best place for a story like this?”
My reply and immediate thought: “While it’s not a story that will necessarily be for everyone, it’s a story that has the ability to resonate with some. Genre and form are almost secondary.” Years later, with A Home Without, I hope to bring a good story into the world that resonates, especially with LGBTQ readers and all who have known the turmoil of a fractured home. Thus far, I’m so overwhelmed by the support for this graphic novel through Kickstarter and humbly thank each patron of the book. There are many stories in this world, of which this is one. We’ve made excellent progress toward the fundraising goal—let’s keep going!
Warmth and Kindness,
“Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in… go a little bit out of your depth… and when your feet aren’t quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.” — David Bowie