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I moved to NYC in 2001 and lived in a Manhattan apartment with my brother and one of his classmates. I was attending graduate school at Parsons that fall and worked weekends in my landlord’s antique store.

One hot Saturday, I kept the front door open to keep the air flowing and encourage customers to come in. A cat wondered in. She was skittish and missing half of its whiskers. When some customers showed an interest in her, the cat bolted out of the store and into a parking garage where they could not follow her. After they left, the cat eventually returned. I was worried that the cat would knock one of the antiques over, but she let me pick her up and once I put her in my lap in my chair behind the desk, she stayed there for the rest of the day.

Come closing time, I figured I could take the cat home with me or leave her out on the sidewalk. She seemed traumatized, but definitely not a street cat. She dug her claws in whenever a bus passed by, so I walked the 10+ blocks home. My roommate named her Rita, after Laura Harring’s character in the David Lynch film, Mulholland Drive.

Rita stayed with me for about four years and moved with me to Brooklyn. When my allergies became too much for me to keep her, a friend in Queens volunteered to take her.

I drew this image in 2003 looking across my Manhattan living room from a futon couch. In the back is my old computer setup. In the lower right corner is a table and chair I still have today.

In high school and college, I took toys apart to make characters for my stop motion projects. I made this humanoid ant by removing limbs and other body parts from the Transformers toy for Inferno from the Beast Wars series.

In this image, this robotic ant-man sits upon a planet, too small for it to inhabit. Unsure of what to do, it waits for something to happen. The moon becomes a peephole for me to look in on my purposeless creation. As a young, egotistical man, I paid too little attention to the world around me and as a result, struggled to find my place in it.

This is a piece of panel art from my 2010 comic Martian Debut. The digital work I did on this was originally done in color. This black and white version was later created for printing purposes. (So far, I’ve only been able to afford printing my books in black and white.) The original may be on my hard drive. It may be lost to time. One day, I shall find out.

The Sandman comic book series introduced me to both Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean. Gaiman’s writing and McKean’s artwork set a high bar for what can be accomplished in comics. The story was epic. Whenever the narrative journey turned away from its title character, it always added thoughtful complexity and dimension to Morpheus’ world. McKean’s covers always pushed the boundaries, utilizing every digital and traditional tool at his disposal. A number of artists worked on the comic’s interior pages. One of my favorites was Kelley Jones, who had a fantastic way of distorting the human form and drawing incredible, billowing capes.

Morpheus’ helm reminds me of H.R. Giger’s Alien, so when I made this collage of the Sandman in the late ’90s, I wanted to take a stab at redesigning it. I came up with a squid-like tribal mask, that exudes a stringy smoke when worn. Likewise, the cloak, when worn, would engulf and distort the wearer’s body.

The original collage was made as part of my 1999 show Cowimari at DONNA’S in Baltimore that featured 17 drawings, paintings and collages.

After I moved to New York, I cut out a photocopy of that collage and combined it with 2 of my experiments with photography from college to create this image.

While in college, I saw a retrospective show for Sigmar Polke’s photography. The German artist took a very painterly and hands-on approach to how he applied the chemicals while developing his prints, resulting in drips and splatters that would obscure parts of the image. I adopted this grungy aesthetic for much of my photography at the time.

This collage incorporates two such photos of a gas station near my parents’ house with a figure constructed from photocopied photographs.

I made this in the late ‘90s, using a transparency I kept from a high school presentation on echolocation. I’m not sure where I found the photo, but I always loved the image. I used scotch tape to remove the ink from the plastic sheet around the bat, and then applied the tape around the border. I kept an old, damaged and discarded book that I found so that I could use random pages in collages like this one.

These illustrations were commissioned for a 2012 blog post on H&R Block’s website. Some things that actual taxpayers were able to deduct on their tax return included posing oil for a bodybuilder and clarinet lessons to help a child’s overbite.

I added the green color to repost them here.

I was asked to produce a colored image of Becca Killburn’s 7″ Kara. At conventions, I have made and sold a number of sketches. This was my first remote commission and it was to be in color.

I was excited to draw something for someone away from all the distractions of the show and in the comfort of my studio, but it had also been years since I made anything in color by hand. Printing costs forced me to produce and print my work in black and white, and it has always been a comfort area for me. Color was a challenge for me.

Not wanting to disappoint, I tested the waters with the client. Could I provide a black and white inked original drawing and a digitally colored print? Nope. I originally agreed to make a hand-colored drawing and that’s what he wanted. So I got to work.

My art at the time involved a lot of crosshatching. So I bought some colored pens and the second image is how the final product ended up. In retrospect, I’m happy with how it turned out, but I wish I could have done a better job with the face to show the character’s freckles, but at the time I was caught up in shadows.

Later, as I started experimenting with color in Photoshop, I made this third image for my website. I like seeing all three versions of the image together. This project pushed me out of my comfort zone as I began to further explore traditional and digital media.

This was an evolving collage. It started as self-portrait for a 1996 photo assignment in college. I later digitally superimposed a photo of a statue of Don Quixote over my chest. This version can be found in Bits and Pieces #1. Ultimately, I combined the original collage with a drawing I made of Spiderman in 2012.

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