These past few days, i have been focusing on networking. Since enrolling at Hartford Art for my MFA last year. I have been surrounded by AMAZING, HIGHLY respected professional Illustrators and I am ever so grateful. The first year, I was under the wings of Murray Tinkelman who was instrumental to the illustration family. He and his beloved wife Carol, are deeply missed around my community and he definitely left a legacy behind. Our new director is the well accomplished CF Payne. I am super stoked to get to know him better and his technique. Amazing work.
Over the past few semesters, I have listened to how these illustrators spoke and all mentioned their influences so...let me see if I can do this some justice. I grew up in the late 70's, early 80's and never really cared much about reading. I know, I know...... a sin. See, for circumstances of...a very challenging childhood, I submersed myself around my 4 legged creatures. My horses, to me, were "my" people and still to this very day. Words didn't mean much to me... but the illustrations in the books...... that was everything. Elementary school library classes were often me seeking out the section of horse books. It didn't matter what grade I was in, I had my favorites. CW Anderson's thoroughbred books and his series of Billy and Blaze were what I grew up on. I find my signature graphite style to be reminiscent of his influence on me. I was a classic doodler when I was in elementary school. Classic. And, my doodles were always of horses. Horses and Art to me go hand in hand. Each hold their weight at keeping my mind balance.
As for guidance and influences, I have been very lucky to have studied under the GREATEST: Dennis Nolan, Bill Thomson, and Doug Andersen as an undergraduate. And proud to say as a graduate, Betsy and Ted Lewin, Robert Hunt, Alice "Bunny" Carter were recent additions that had a positive influence on me. AG Ford's presentation in Fort Worth definately had an impact in terms of justifying "stylize realism' which is how I would classify my work.
Never burn a bridge. Network.