Ron6thgrade_color I was born in Texas in the hottest month of the year. As my mother is fond of reminding me, this was the summer before they air-conditioned the hospital. I have wisely refrained from pointing out to her how little choice in the matter I had.

When she wasn’t rearing children, my mother was a grade school teacher. While an undergraduate, she met my father, an east Texas farm boy who went to college on the G.I. Bill. The family moved to Chicago when I was nine. I remember lying in bed, listening to the Beatles sing “She Loves You” on a baby blue transistor radio I’d gotten for that birthday.

I always remember being able to draw, even before I could write. It was John Wild, my junior high art teacher, who opened my eyes to what it meant to be an artist. I am living proof of the power of the passionate teacher to shape lives. God bless him.

I had some other great teachers as well, including Mort Castle, who taught creative writing. He was the first grownup I knew who thought comic books could be an art form. He encouraged me (and a whole slew of other people) to pursue writing.

Though I started out as a ceramic major I ended up majoring in drawing and painting in college. After graduating with a BFA in painting, I washed dishes and made pizza for six months before somehow scoring a job at D’Arcy McManus & Masius Advertising in St. Louis, despite the fact I had no qualifications other than being creative and a very quick study.

I put in time as an art director in California and in Texas, then, repenting of success, I went back to graduate school and got an MFA in painting. In one of the great ironies of my life, I quit advertising the year the first Mac came out.

My first child was born while I was in grad school (my youngest graduated from college last year). Since then my art has focused primarily on the space I live in: my friends and family, and the environment in which we all exist.

A few years after my youngest son was born, I put together my first web site. This began the next thread of my work life. Along with the web I started a long free-lance relationship with the Bombay Company, designing a number of exclusive figures and accessories.

Since 2001 I’ve been doing IT work (the Web) in a corporate setting, working with some of the nicest and smartest people I’ve had the pleasure to associate with.

For a dry, boring description of my professional life as an IT geek, see my resume.